Hakkari is 210 km southeast of Van. It's area is around 9520 square km and the population is about 272.000 (2012). The city sits at an altitude of 1700 m, with high mountains dominating the land and wide valleys separate the great peaks with heights exceeding 4,000 m. Mounts Cilo and Sat are two of the outstanding ones for mountaineering and winter sports. The snow accumulating on the upper parts of these mountains form beautiful glaciers. The Zap Valley, through which the road to the city passes, offers fantastic scenery.

Because of its high mountains and plateaus, the flora of Hakkari is unique. For example Ters Lale (upside down tulip) is one of the plants growing only in this part of the world, on Cilo mountains. Assyrians called it as "crying tulip" because of drops of water coming out every morning from its bulb. The plant is under special preservation and is not permitted to export outside of the country.

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