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Location of Ağrı within Turkey.
Ağrı is located in Turkey
Location of Ağrı within Turkey.
Coordinates: 39°43.3′N 43°3.4′ECoordinates: 39°43.3′N 43°3.4′E
Region Eastern Anatolia
Mayor Hasan Arslan (AKP)
Governor Halil İbrahim Akpınar
Elevation 1,665 m (5,463 ft)
Population (2009 )
Urban 99 336
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 04xxx
Licence plate 04
Ağrı, formerly Karaköse and (before 1919) Karakilise, is the capital of Turkey's Ağrı province, near the border with Iran. The population of Ağrı is made up predominantly of Azeri, Kurdish and Turkish people ethnically
Main article: Mount Ararat
In the Ottoman Empire era the area was called Şorbulak, and the settlement was called Karakilise (Black Church). At that time, the district's administrative centre was located at Alashkert, once an important town. In 1895, Lynch wrote that Karakilise had between 1500-2000 inhabitants, was nearly two-thirds Armenian, and that a barracks for the Hamidiyeh regiment was located in the town. The Armenian population of the town and surrounding valley was massacred during the Armenian Genocide: a New York Times report from March 1915 talks of the Alashkert valley being covered with the bodies of men, women, and children. The "kara kilise" that gave the town its name was a medieval Armenian church. In the 1920s the town's name was mutated to Karaköse (the black man with no moustache) and the church was demolished. The name "Ağrı" might have been given by the Turkish government because of the Ağrı rebellion.
Economy and infrastructure
This is a very poor region with extremely cold winters. Most people live by grazing animals on the mountainside. Few people manage to attend university; people tend to marry in their teens and families with ten or more children are common. The local MP Fatma Salman Kotan has written of the need to erode the patriarchal nature of society in the region. The soldiers stationed here bring business to the restaurants and cafes of the town and there is also a certain amount of smuggling across the Iranian border.
The town provides only the most basic amenities like chemist's shops and schools to the surrounding districts; the only social amenities are cafes where men gather to drink tea and smoke cigarettes. There are no bars or cinemas. The only theatre is the occasional state-sponsored travelling shows that perform in one of the schools.
North of Agri, there is a longwave broadcasting station with 2 250 metres tall guyed masts, broadcasting on 162 kHz with 1000 kW.
Ağrı has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfb), with a wide range of temperature between the summer and winter, due to its high elevation . Summers are generally brief but hot with cool nights. The average high temperature in August is 30 °C (86 °F). Winters are very cold. The average low January temperature is −16 °C (3 °F). However, temperatures usually plummet to −40 °C (−40.0 °F) during the winter months. It snows a lot in winter, staying for an average of four months in the city. The highest recorded temperature was 37.6°C (99.68°F) on 31 July 2000. The lowest recorded temperature in Ağrı was -45.6°C (-50.1°F) on 20 January 1972.