Official language: Turkish
Time zone: UTC +3
Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
Make sure you take a walk to Tillo (called Aydınlar in Kurdish). It’s a district of Siirt Province, and home to many tombs and mausoleums originated in the 16th century.
In Siirt, you’ll experience the best that nature has to offer. The northwest part of the region is defined by the dense forests and majestic mountains, while in the south, the steppe stretches to the horizon.
The warmest period is from May to September (with 24C to 30C degrees). The coldest months are December to March when the temperature drops to 0C. The highest temperature ever recorded was 42C; the lowest -15C.
The city of Siirt was established in the 10th century and is known for its beautiful historic architecture. Islamic temples, built in a later period, exist side by side with Byzantine churches. Siirt is also a capital of the same-named province. The Kurds are the city’s largest ethnic group; Arabs are in the second place. Both languages, Kurdish and Turkish, are in use which applies, e.g., to the geographical names.
The most magnificent historic building that has been preserved to our times is Ulu Cami, The Great Mosque. It was erected in 1129 by Mahmut II of Great Seljuk who proclaimed himself the Seljuk sultan of Baghdad in 1118.
A great spirit of enterprise is shown by the inhabitants of the nearby Eruh village. As local tradition has it, in late August, the villagers climb up the mountains to collect… snow. Afterward, they sell it for pennies in street markets. Interestingly, regular buyers look for it! Snow is used in the region to make traditional cellat yemeği – ice creams with grape molasses. Sounds yummy? So, taste it when you’re around Eruh at this time of the year. You will get these unique ice creams at every corner.
What to bring home from Siirt? The province is famous for Siirt battaniyesi – handmade blankets, and kilims – rugs or carpets made of goat wool and handwoven on a wooden loom. You can also buy a local soap which makes a nice and easy-to-transport souvenir. It has a delightful scent and moisturizing properties.
Where to eat in Siirt? In the first place, visit Gozde Ocak Basi on Hastane Cad. They serve really delicious food; especially kebabs are worth a try. And if you’re tired of being pressured by the shopkeepers, you can relax here – the staff is not pushy at all. And there’s an added attraction – in front of the restaurant, you’ll see the ruins of the former hammam.