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Varto (Turkey)
Red pog.svg
Basic data
Province (il) : Must
Coordinates : 39 ° 10 '  N , 41 ° 27'  E Coordinates: 39 ° 10 '10 "  N , 41 ° 27' 15"  E
Height : 1650  m
Residents : 9,921 (2018)
Telephone code : (+90) 436
Postal code : 49 600
License plate : 49
Structure and administration (as of 2019)
Structure : 7 Mahalle
Mayor : Ülkü Karaaslan ( HDP )
Postal address : İnönü Mah.,
(İnönü Cd.)
49600 Varto / Muş
Varto county
Residents : 31,169 (2018)
Surface: 1,318 km²
Population density : 24 inhabitants per km²
Kaymakam : Erkan Kaçmaz
Website (Kaymakam):
Template: Infobox location in Turkey / maintenance / district

Varto ( Kurdish and Zazaisch Gımgım ) is a city and capital of the district of the same name ( İlçe ) in the eastern Anatolian province of Muş .



Varto is located between Erzurum and Muş about 80 km south of Erzurum between the Bingöl and Şerafettin mountains. The provincial capital Mus is about 48 km north. Varto was raised to the rank of municipality ( Belediye ) in 1929 .

Varto is located in a valley rich in forests and meadows, which is typical for the area. The population is mainly engaged in agriculture. The dances Çepki, Yare and Memyani originally come from Varto.


The district of Varto is located in the north of the province. It borders on the central district ( Merkez ) in the south and the district Bulanik in the east. Furthermore, the provinces of Erzurum in the north and Bingöl in the west form the border. The summers in the district are dry and hot, the winters cold and snowy. There are three high mountains in the province called Bingöl , Şerafettin and Hanşeref . Hanşeref has a crater lake called Hamurpet (Akdoğan Gölü). The rivers are called Seferek, Bingöl and Goşgar.

The district is crossed by the D955 trunk road, on which the district town is also located.

Kurdish and Zaza are widely spoken languages ​​in this area. In the past, Armenian was spoken in this region . Some of the Zaza-speakers are immigrants from Erzincan .

In addition to the district town with almost a third of the district population (2018: 31.4%), the district also consists of 93 villages ( Köy ) with an average of 228 residents. The largest villages are Karameşe (1,025), Çayçatı (969), Kaynarca (880), Haksever (848) and Leylek (808 pop .). Gelintaşı , the smallest village with 14 inhabitants, is also the smallest in the entire province. The villages of Baltas and Acarkent are the villages with the most water.

The population density of the district (23.6) is half of the provincial value (47.2 inh. Per km²).


  • The name Varto probably comes from the Armenian personal name Vartan (Վարդան). Western Armenian Vart (վարդ) or Eastern Armenian Vard means rose and is one of the many Parthian loan words in Armenian. It has also been borrowed into Arabic ('ward ورد').
  • Some sources believe that the word Varto comes from the word Urartu .
  • Still other sources say that this region was named Varto because it was home to a considerable bustard population. These bustard birds (Turkish: toy ) were coveted prey of the Seljuq princes, who regularly hunted birds in this region and happily exclaimed “There are bustards!” (Turkish: “Toy Var!”). Vartoy is said to have popularly evolved into Varto over the years .

Gümgüm (Kurdish Gimgim ) is one of the oldest names for the city and the district. There are different theories about the origin of the name Gimgim.

  • According to some sources should Goskar Baba, chief of the Ag Qoyunlu , with the arrival of Oghusen in this region in the year 786 this Gimgim area mentioned.
  • Other sources claim that Gimgim is reminiscent of the sound made by drumming. These drums were struck on the occasion of the grave visits (pilgrimages) of Goskar Baba in the 3000 m high Bingöl Mountains.
  • Another assumption is that the former volcanoes south of Varto are responsible for the name Gimgim because of their eruption sounds .


Most sources assume that the history of Varto begins with the Urartians . During archaeological excavations in Kayalıdere , a Urartean fortress with a temple was found. After the Urartians, the Medes , Persians , Parthians , Romans and the Byzantines succeeded in this region.

With the Battle of Manzikert , this region fell under the rule of the Seljuks . Later the Qara Qoyunlu (Black Mutton Horde) and Aq Qoyunlu (White Mutton Horde ) tribes made claims to rule over this region. With the Battle of Tschaldiran in 1514, Varto fell under the administration of the Ottomans . In 1915 the numerous Armenians who once lived in Varto were victims of deportations and massacres or they fled. With the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, Varto received its official name and status as a district with the approval of the Interior Minister and Parliament.


In the 2014 local elections, Sabite Ekinci and Hüseyin Güneş were elected co-mayors with 64% of the vote. Ekinci was taken into police custody on November 4, 2016, and charged with suspected terrorist offenses on November 10, and transferred to the E-Type prison in Mus. Mehmet Nuri Çetin was then appointed administrator of Varto.



  • Christopher de Bellaigue and Karl Heinz Siber: Rebellenland: A journey to the borders of Turkey , CH Beck, September 2008, ISBN 3406577539
  • Mehmet Şerif Fırat: Doğu İlleri ve Varto Tarihi , Ankara 1981, Türk Kültürünü Araştırma Enstitüsü
  • Burhan Kocadağ: Lolan Oymağı ve Yakın Çevre Tarihi , İstanbul 2007, Can Yayınları

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Türkiye Nüfusu İl ilçe Mahalle Köy Nüfusları , accessed on July 9, 2019
  2. a b Kurdistan24: Turkey imprisons another Kurdish mayor . In: Kurdistan24 . ( [accessed August 8, 2018]).
  3. a b German :: Trustee Appointed to Varto Municipality in Muş Province. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .