Artvin City Center

The population of the city center is 24.468 and the population of its villages is 8.517. Artvin is an authentic tourism town which includes Çoruh River, long valleys with steep hillsides, mountain ranges, natural forests, crater lakes located on the peaks of high mountains, dark lakes, rich flora and fauna, historical churches, castles, arch bridges, traditional architectures and festivals.


Dating back to the very long time ago, Ardanuç town has been known as hosting to Hazars and Barsels departed from Oğuz in the first century. Having under the authority of Georgians at 810s, the town has been annexed to the Ottoman Empire territories by the Iskender Pasha, the governor of Erzurum Sanjak, during the Suleiman Magnificent. It has, then, been called Ardanuç Sanjak. Ardanuç became a district of Artvin in 1945. The district which has terrestrial climate has 49 villages. The distance between Ardanuç and Artvin is 37 km and Artvin-Göle-Ardahan road passes through Ardanuç. According to the latest information, the population of the district with its villages is 11.813 .


It was connected to the Gönye Sanjak before 1877 when Batum and its area were under the control of the Turks. It became a township in 1 June 1954. It has an area of 314 km2. It consists of 30 village and 7 small settlements. 19.132 people live there as  2009 census shows.  It is located  between the outskirts of two valleys on a mountainous land. Also, most villages are located on the outskirts of the valleys and on the plains which are occured by the valley.  The highest point of the district is Marsis Hill which constitues Yusufeli-Arhavi-Fındıklı border.  There are two crater lakes at 2800 m height and three small lakes around Dikmen in the district. It is one of the two districts of Artvin which is on the coast and it has 14 km length coastal line. It is 77 km away from Artvin city center. Tea has been grown in Arhavi since 1950.


According to the historical resources, they were the Hurris who came from the Middle Asia and settled down in Borçka. The Kimmers, the Sakas, the Arsaks, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Caspian Turks and the Seljuks dominated the area successively. It is seen that Borçka was annexed to the Ottoman Empire during the principality of Yavuz Sultan Selim. Boçka was invaded by Russians after 1877-1878 Ottoman-Russian War. After the First World War it was occupied by British and Georgians. It was liberated in 7 March 1921 and became a district. It was declared township in 28 May 1928. It is located between Artvin and Hopa and almost entirely covered by mountains and forests. Particularly forests in Camili – Macahel Valley have trees that every one of them can be seen as monuments.


Yavuz Sultan Selim conquered Hopa Area in 1471 and related to Sanjak of Gönce in Batum. The Town was affiliated to Rize until 1936, after this year, it became an Artvin town. It is surrounded by the Republic of Georgia, Arhavi, Boçka and Black Sea. It has 10 m. altitude and its highest point is Yavuz Sultan Selim Peak with 1513 m. It is 65 km. away from Artvin. There are hazelnut and tea gardens between 400 and 600 m. height area of the town.  31.496 people live there as  2009 census shows. It is 18 km away from Sarp Border Gate, 65 km away from Artvin city center, 10 km away from Arhavi and 36 km away from Borçka.


Although there is not detailed information about the history of the district, it is known that it was under the domination of the Pontus Greeks, the Byzantines and the Persians until the Seljuk conquest in 1050s. It was annexed to Ottoman Empire during Yavuz Sultan Selim. The city center was Damar between 1935 and 1950, and Murgul became the city center later. Moreover, it became a district with the name of “Murgul”.  It has an area of 406 km2 and it is 48 km away from Artvin city center.  There is Artvin on the east, Arhavi on the west, Borçka on the north and Yusufeli on the south of Murgul. The Town has two municipalities, one of them is district center municipality and the other is Damar (sub district) municipality. It has 10 villages.


The Town, which is on important crossroads, had been ruled by Saka Turks, Romans and Sasanis. Artvin, Şavşat and Ardanuç had been conquered and declared as sanjaks by Yavuz Sultan Selim during his Trabzon Governorship. After 1877-1878 Ottoman-Russia War, Artvin, Ardanuç, Borçka and Şavşat were separated from the mainland. Turkish Army captured back Artvin, Ardanuç, Borçka and Şavşat by crossing Sahara Mountain in 1921 and annexed the territory to the mainland. The Town is surrounded by Ardahan from the east, Artvin from the south and The Republic of Georgia from the north. Şavşat spreads over 1317 km2 of mountainous and rough land which is mainly covered by rich forests. The center of Town is 1100 m. height. A transitional climate between Blacksea and continental climates is experienced in the Town. Şavşat is 71 and 46 km. away from Artvin, Ardahan respectively. Artvin-Şavşat- Ardahan Highway is the shortest road which connects Blacksea to Gürbulak and Türkgözü border crossing places. The Town has two municipalities, one of them is district center municipality and the other is sub district municipality.


According to historical resources, the Kimmers, the Sakas and the Arsaks reigned over Yusufeli and its area until the domination of Islam. The army of Islam which was under the commandership of Habib bin Mesleme defeated the Byzantine in this region and connected it to the army of Islam. Then, the area was exposed to the invasions of the Seljuks and Şavşat-Artvin-Yusufeli parts were annexed by the Anatolian Seljuks during Alaaddin I period. It has been founded in 1879 as a district of Erzurum province with the name of Kiskim town. The Town Center had been Öğdem for 10 years. Ersis became center after 1899. The name of Kiksim has been changed to Yusufeli in 1912. Just before Russian invasion, all legal documents were moved to Bayburt. But they were brought back to Ersis after Russian withdrawal. Ersis continued to be center to 1926. Town center was moved to Öğdem again in 1926 and related to Artvin for the first time. Çoruh Province was founded in 1933 and Rize was declared as center city. Artvin became a town of this province. Yusufeli was disconnected from Artvin and attached to Erzurum with its villages. Çoruh Province, centered by Rize, was abolished and new Çoruh Province centered by Artvin was created in 1936. With this new development, Yusufeli was disconnected from Erzurum and tied to Artvin and moved to its present place in 1950.

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