History

Although Bingöl has a rich history, we know little about the pre-Islamic era of her. Hurrian, seen on Eastern Anatolia Region in 3000 BC., spread on a wide region, and had political and military struggles with Hittites; and these affected Bingöl until 2000BC. In these dates, Hayasa Azzi Kingdom—settled on north Elazığ and Erzincan—and İşşua Kingdom—settled on south Elazığ—were affiliated to Hittites. Due to proximity to these kingdoms and being on transition area, Bingöl was affected by these kingdoms, both politically and culturally. With Hittites and Hurrian being withdrawn from the stage of history around 1200 BC., local principalities had started to dominate the area. Formed as little city-states, these principalities are stated as “Nairi States” in Assyrian sources. Nairi States form Urartu State by organizing as a confederation in 900 BC., against attacks of strong Assyria Kingdom. At short notice, Urartian became one of the strongest and most organized states of its era and Bingöl became a city within the boundaries of Urartian.

Urartian, forming an advanced civilization, built a wide range of road network to expand and control trade. Bingöl was on a strategic location in this road network, which connected east to west. Today, the most well-preserved part of the Urartian Path can be seen on wide plains in south of Bingöl-Elazığ main road. From this point, the Road—approximately 5.40m width—lies on a route towards west, through Karakoçan-Palu-Harput to Malatya. Urartian built outposts on strategic points to secure the road network and trade. There are still some castle ruins—which has been built as Urartian outposts— and they can be seen on commanding heights along Urartian Path. After the collapse of Urartu State in 600 BC., the region was dominated in turn by; Meds, Persians and Komagenes.

Bingöl, which was ruled by Roman Empire in 100 BC., fell under Byzantium Empire boundaries by separation of Roman Empire. The region was ruled by Byzantium Empire who dominated principalities until 1000 AC. Zağ Caves, close to Kuşburnu Village in central, were secret place for local Christians to live and worship around 500 AC.

The city, which was dominated by Seljuk Empire after Battle of Manzikert in 1071, was dominated in turn by; Artuqid, Ayyubid, Ilkhanid, Qara Qoyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu until the Ottoman period. From 1080 to 1121, the region was captured by Artuqid. After Artuqid, Ayyubid and Ilkhanid dominated the region for a short period, which was followed by Aq Qoyunlu’s domination on the region.

Aq Qoyunlu -with the domination and strength they had in 1400- left significant artifacts especially in Kiğı, Adaklı and Genç.

After defeat of Uzun Hassan in Battle of Otlukbeli in 1474 by Mehmed the Conqueror, the region started to be ruled by Ottomans. Although Shah İsmail captured the region after Mehmed the Conqueror’s death, after his defeat in Battle of Çaldıran by Selim I region was ruled by Ottomans again. Bingöl completely fell under Ottoman boundaries in 1515.

With The Republic, Bingöl became a province in 1936, and in 1945, its name has been changed from Çapakçur to Bingöl.