The Friendly Face Of The Caucasus

With Its Unique Climate, Rich History And Impressive Nature, Iğdir Is A Region Of Civilization That Gets Bigger As You Approach It.

The majestic plateaus hidden away in the rugged mountains and the famous plain that is a horn of plenty spring to mind first. The city, which appears small when viewed from afar on maps, gets bigger as you approach it, inviting you to explore its different worlds. This city, which appears small when viewed from afar on maps, gets bigger as you approach it, inviting you to explore its different worlds. Iğdir is one of Anatolia’s historic gateways to the Caucasus, a distinction that lends it a structure reflecting the cultures both of Anatolia and of the Caucasus. Indeed, to view it as a basin and tour it with that eye is the more correct approach for internalizing the spirit of these lands. What make Iğdir and its basin a brother of Bitlis and Tbilisi is the corridor that joins the two. These are lands that produced mankind’s universal values, the scene of epics and legends. Whispering of wisdom and grandeur, Anatolia’s Mt. Ağrı is Iğdir’s comrade and friend. The roof of Anatolia with its rugged, snow-capped peaks, this majestic mountain has been the source of the city’s legends from time immemorial. Scores of civilizations had left their mark on these lands before the Arab conquerors came to Iğdır and its environs in the seventh century. The indispensable resources that facilitate human life have made Iğdır a center of attraction since prehistoric times. The Assyrian, Urartu and Scythian civilizations were followed by the Persian, Greek, Roman and Seljuk Empires. Iğdır is also a city of kumbets (conical tombs). Challenging the centuries, these mausoleums of the Akkoyun and Karakoyun Turkmens are architectural masterpieces that transformed stone into art and aesthetics. At Iğdır you will find the art of gravestones in the shape of ram’s heads spreading over the vast Iğdır Plain as well as the world of merchants and travelers of the past at Harmandöven Caravanserai, a legacy of the Seljuks. Sürmeli Fortress and Iğdır Castle meanwhile are proof of the passion of past civilizations for this region. Behind this love of Iğdır lies without a doubt its temperate climate and the bountiful Iğdır Plain. Watered by the Aras River, which is also ideal for water sports, these lands have nourished mankind for millennia. The fertility of the land brings happiness to its people, simultaneously nurturing their traditions and producing a unique culture. If you happen to come at the right time, be sure to be a guest at an Iğdır wedding. Rest assured that no one will view you as a stranger and that you will be welcomed as a distinguished guest. Engagements and weddings reveal the cultural richness of these lands in all its glory. Like a time machine, this city will take you now to the irrepressible bustle of the Caucasus, now to the refined serenity of the east. Yılmaz Erdoğan, describes the possibility of gazing on Mt. Ağrı from the roof of a mud brick house in Iğdır’s neighbor, Doğubeyazıt. Be sure that Mt. Ağrı is going to offer you a different beauty and splendor when viewed from Iğdır. Iğdır Plain provide life and abundance to the city and the basin. When the harsh winters of Eastern Anatolia makes themselves felt with all their might, a mild microclimate prevails in the plain. An area where plentiful crops are harvested, and engagements, weddings and newly forged lives celebrated. Witness to countless migrations for thousands of years, the plain here and there takes on the quality of an open air museum. Iğdır is a friend of Mt. Ağrı. The city’s minstrel poets have shared their joys, their sadness and their legends with this mountain, which is far more than a majestic peak with its head in the clouds. Scaling its summit is every mountain climber’s dream. The shepherd that grazes his flocks in its foothills is actually the best person to relate the legends of this mountain. A natural monument mentioned in the texts of the celestial religions, a mountain that is home to over a hundred bird species and scores of endemic plants, a mountain whose beauty is sufficient for everyone! One of the largest and deepest meteor craters in the world can be found on Korhan Highland, approximately 42 kilometers from the city center. Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Iğdır-Istanbul flights four days a week and Ankara-Iğdır-Ankara flights six days a week. For more information: www.turkishairlines.com Believed to be good for respiratory problems, the salt caves in the area are frequently visited spots in Iğdır’s town of Tuzluca. The Monument and Museum to Turkish Martyrs is one of the city’s must-see sights for its documents and artifacts shedding light on the past of Iğdır and Anatolia. Watering the Iğdır lands before emptying into the Caspian Sea, the Aras River is a natural resource ideal for rafting and other water sports. Dil Ucu (Tip of the Tongue) in the southeastern Iğdır Plain is the easternmost point where the sun rises in Turkey. FESTIVAL CITY Iğdır is a city of festivals. Nowruz New Year’s Day, and the Nature, Apricot and Mt. Ağrı Kayhan festivals spice up the city’s usually tranquil atmosphere with art and cultural events. At the nature festival, to be held in October, the area’s natural riches are explored on the one hand while festival participants are offered its authentic tastes on the other. the culture and solidarity festival staged jointly with sister city Nakhchivan is another vital organisation. The balaban, tütek, nağara and garmon are the intriguing instruments of Iğdır’s local music. Iğdır folk dances consist mainly of lively Caucasian melodies. Iğdır’s traditional men’s and women’s costumes are among the items you may admire and buy. The kalpak, dagger, belt and vest are favorites with the men, bolero jacket, sash and headpiece with the women. Mainly the fruit of women’s labor, handwoven woolen socks with original motifs are among the souvenirs you can pick up at Iğdır along with Caucasian kilims and local cheeses. Bozbaş soup is Iğdır’s most famous dish. Iğdır cuisine offers original tastes well worth discovering in the form both of meat dishes and of other stews. DID YOU KNOW? Iğdır has a very rich store of local expressions, lullabies, prayers, folk songs and riddles. The city is one of a handful of places in our country where the contests, collections and oral culture of the ‘aşık’ minstrel poets are kept alive.