General Information

It is thought that the Hurris, the ancestors of the Turks, are the first people who dominated Artvin. They founded city sites in Artvin and its neighbourhood  starting from 2000 BC. The Hittite King Mürşit II conquered Artvin after the attacks which started in 1360 BC and lasted 20 years later. The Urartus, descendants of the Hurris, founded the state whose capital city was Van and whose income was based on agriculture-livestock-trade in the Eastern Anatolia. They extended their northern borders to Artvin. However, they couldn't resist the pressure of the Iskits who was migrating from the east and they were destroyed. After this destruction, Artvin was on the west borderline of the Iskit State whose center was in Caucasia.

This state which was called the Iskits by the ancient Greek historian Heredotus was the pioneer of its age. They invented the wheel, domesticated horses and they were the first people  to perform a brain operation. They conquered Artvin and used this area as a military base. After the Iskits, the Arsak family reigned over Artvin. The family who believed in shamanism converted to Christianity because of the Byzantine influence in 350 AD. Later, they underwent the Byzantine domination. When the Safavi King Darivs I attacked the Byzantine in 575, the Caspian Turks who took advantage of this situation had control over the Çoruh area.

In the period of the Caliphate Osman, Habib bin Mesleme, the commander of the armies of Islam defeated the Byzantine and conquered Şavşat, Ardanuç and Artvin. Although he wanted to  proceed to the Caspian sea, the Caspian Turks who converted to Judaism stopped him. The people of Artvin who cooperated with the Caspian Turks resisted the armies of Islam during the reign of the Umayyad Dynasty. In 786, the Abbasid Caliphate Harun Reşid connected the Çoruh Region with Baghdad, the capital city. Two principalities, called Bagrats and Sacs, were founded in Artvin. They were connected to the Abbasids. After the destruction of the Sacs, the Byzantine re-conquered Artvin. At that time, Tuğrul Bey, the Sultan of the Great Seljuk Empire, sent his brother Çağrı Bey to the west in order to explore Anatolia in 1018. The Seljuks who defeated the Ghazna Empire in Dandanakan War in 1040 came to the borders of Artvin with Pasinler War in 1048.

Alparlan conquered the Çoruh area during his campaign aganist Georgia in 1064. Upon the death of Alparslan, the Georgian King Gorgi, who was helped by the Byzantine, re-conquered Artvin. However, Sultan Melikşah defeated him in 1081 and Saltukoğlu Principality was founded in Erzurum-Bayburt-Kars region including the Çoruh area with the support of Sultan Melikşah. This accelerated the spread of Turk population in Artvin. After the destruction of the Great Seljuks, Artvin was connected to the İldenizoğlu Principality whose center was in Azerbaijan. Kubilay Khan conquered and annexed Artvin and its area in 1263. Sark who was a Kipchak Turk founded Çıldır Principality in this area in 1265.

Although the Akkoyunlu Emperor Uzun Hasan attacked the Çoruh area three times between the years 1458, 1463 and 1466, he was conquered by the Safavids in 1502 after his defeat by the Ottoman Emperor Mehmet II in Otlukbeli war.

Artvin-Borçka-Şavşat districts which were under the control of the Russians, Armenians, Georgians and the British in 1878-1918  and 1918-1921 were connected to Ardahan district in 7th March 1921. Artvin became a province on 24th April 1924 with an edition of the first constitution of Turkish Republic. Yusufeli district was connected to Artvin in June of 1926. Borçka subdistrict became a district of Artvin in 1928.  Nine years after these regulations, Artvin and Rize were joined and they composed Çoruh province on 1st June 1933. The difficulties related to geographical features of Artvin and the long distance between the center of the province and Artvin caused some problems. The Prime Minister İsmet İnönü was informed about this situation during his visit to Artvin on 25th July 1935. Thereupon Çoruh province whose center was Rize was abolished by the government on 4th November 1936. The establishment of Çoruh city with Artvin City Center, Hopa, Borçka, Şavşat, Yusufeli districts was approved.