West Azarbayjan province is located in North west of
the country bordering with Turkey to the west, Iraq to the south west
and Nakhchivan to the north, and the provinces of East Azarbayjan to the
east, Zanjan to the south east and Kurdistan to the south.
The province of West Azarbayjan covers an area of 39,570 km²
(excluding the Urmia), or 43,660 km² including the Lake. The population
of the province estimated as 3,100. The capital city of the province is
The province is divided into 17 (counties) including Piranshahr,
Urmia, Mahabad, Oshnaviyeh, Miandoab,Naghadeh, Takab, Shahindej, Maku,
Chaldoran County, Salmas, Khoy, Sardasht and Bukan.
West Azarbayjan central coordination locates in 37.5528°N 45.0759°E.
The present number of counties was achieved over time by subdivision
of many of the larger into smaller ones. There are no official
statistics or census figures on the ethnic makeup of Iran. The bulk of
the population in West Azarbayjan Province is Azarbayjanis and Kurds.
There are also immigrants from other parts of Iran in the major cities
of the province.
Urmia or Oroumieh, during the majority of the Pahlavi Dynasty
[1925–1979] called Rezaiyeh, is a city in Northwestern Iran and the
capital of West
Azarbayjan Province. The city lies on an altitude of 1,330 m above sea
level on the Shahar Chay River (City River). Urmia is the 10th most
populated city in Iran with a population of about 600,000. The
population is mainly Azeri, with Kurdish, Assyrian, and Armenian
Urmia is situated on a fertile plain called Urmia Plain, on western
side of Lake Urmia ; and eastern side of Turkish border and marginal
range of mountains.
Urmia is the trade center for a fertile agricultural region where fruit (especially Apple and Grape) are grown.
The name Urmia is thought to have come from Sumerian tongue, the
earliest known civilization in the world located in southern
Mesopotamia. Ur was a principal Sumerian city. Some believe the name is
derived from Syriac. Ur, meaning "cradle," and mia, meaning "water."
Hence, Urmia, situated by a lake and surrounded by rivers, would be the
cradle of water. Some have claimed connections to other languages. There
is, however, no generally accepted etymology.
According to study of households and ethnic composition in the city
of Urmia, which took place around the year 2000 shows that 75.7% of the
city are speakers of Azeri and the rest are speakers of Kurdish and
other groups. Major cities of the province include:
- Oshnaviyeh is a county in northwestern Iran with a population of
around 30,000 west of Lake Urmia about 1,300 meters above sea level. The
capital of the county is Oshnavieh. It lies in the West Azarbaijan
province on border to the Kurdish provinces in Turkey and Iraq. The
county is captured by huge mountains who keep the mild weather even
under the summers. Ushnavieh is located in an agricultural area and has
water flows from mountains entire the year. The most agricultural
products are wheat, beetroots and main tree fruits like apple and grape.
Oshnovieh is a historic city and there are many historic sites from the
Hurrian and Urartian periods onward.
- Bukan is a town south of Lake Urmia about 1,300 meters above sea
level. It lies in the West Azarbaijan Province of Iran with estimated
population of 50,000 and due county of 110,000.
The town is situated
on the eastern bank of the Siminarud, on the road between Saqqez and
Miandoab at about 56 km southeast of Mahabad. The rural population is
engaged in farming (wheat, barley and other cereals, sugar beets, and
some summer crops), gardening, and animal husbandry.
village housed a community of about 70 families (Razmara, loc. cit.)
residents of Bukan were actively involved in the short-lived Kurdish
Republic of 1946, which had its capital at Mahabad (Eagleton). The town
acquired a printing press, and books and magazines were published in
Kurdish there. Six years later the region was the center of a peasant
revolt that spread to all the Kurdish provinces of Iran (Mokhammedov).
The army interfered, and the revolt was ruthlessly put down. The people
of Bukan participated in the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 and in the
subsequent movement for Kurdish autonomy.
In 2007, a group of French
Scientists discovered that the water sources in the surrounding areas of
Bukan are amongst the worlds cleanest.
- Chaldoran is a county in the north of West Azarbaijan
province with administrative center of Seyah Cheshmah with a population
of 15,000. The population of Chaldoran is Azeri and Kurmancî Kurds.
Formerly, the county had a large Christian population, many of whom were
Chaldoran is one of the touristic areas of West Azarbaijan
province of Iran because of its cold weather in winter and cool in
summer. The name of Chaldoran comes from the local Iranian words Char
deran which literally mean four temples.
- Maku is a town in the northwestern part of the West
Azarbaijan province of Iran. It is situated 22 km from the Turkish
border in a mountain gorge at an altitude of 1634 meters. The Zangmar
River cuts through the city. The population of Maku speak dominantly
Azeri and Kurdish
- Mahabad is a county in West Azarbaijan Province in Iran. The
capital of the county is Mahabad. The language of the inhabitants is
Soorani Kurdwith the Mokriani dialect. Because of its strategic position
and its proximity with the border the city is a stop for many
travelers. The population is estimated 200,000 including.
Naghadeh formerly known as Sulduz is a city in northwestern Iran
with 80,000 inhabitants, 23 km southeast of Lake Urmia about 1,300
meters above sea level.
climate of the province is largely influenced by the rainy winds of the
Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean. Cold northern winds affect the
province during winter and cause heavy snow. According to existing
meteorological data, local temperatures vary within the province.
Average temperature differs from 9.4 °C in Piranshahr to 11.6 °C in
Mahabad, while it is 9.8 °C in Urmia, 10.8 °C in Khoy, 9.4 °C in
Piranshahr, and in Mahabad 11.6 °C. According to same data, the highest
temperature in the province reaches 34 °C in July, and the lowest
temperature is –16 °C in January. Maximum change of temperature in
summer is 4 °C, and in winter 15 °C. West- Azarbayjan province,
encompassing vast and fertile plains, high mountains, enjoying moderate
and healthy weather, rivers with high volume of water, vineyards,
orchards, luxuriant forest and rangelands, mountain outskirt with
wonderful flora, magnificent wildlife and beautiful shores around the
lake with different recreational facilities, which all together form one
of the most beautiful and spectacular region in Iran. A land with
wonderful flora during the spring and the summer covered with tulip,
poppy, narcissus and hyacinth extending from Arass rivers banks in the
north to Zab Kouchak valley in the south.
Urmia's climate is semi-arid (Koppen BSk) with moderately cold
winters, mild springs, hot, dry summers (though mild for Iran) and crisp
autumns. Precipitation is heavily concentrated in late autumn, winter,
and especially spring, while summer precipitation is very scarce.