Tunceli in Munzur valley
Tunceli in Munzur valley
Tunceli is located in Turkey
Location in Turkey
Coordinates: 39°06′N 39°33′E / 39.100°N 39.550°E / 39.100; 39.550Coordinates: 39°06′N 39°33′E / 39.100°N 39.550°E / 39.100; 39.550
Country  Turkey
Province Tunceli Province
 • Mayor Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu (TKP)
 • District 881.76 km2 (340.45 sq mi)
940 m (3,085 ft)
 (2012) [2]
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density 41/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s) 0428
Licence plate 62
Website http://www.tunceli.bel.tr

Tunceli (pronounced [tundʒeli]; Kurdish: Dêrsimê‎, Zazaki: Desim or Mamekiye) is a city in Turkey. It is the capital of Tunceli Province, located in the middle of Eastern Anatolia Region. Former names of Tunceli include Mamiki (from the Armenian: Mamikon), Kalan, and Dersim.[3]


Tunceli means the land (eli) of bronze (tunç) in Turkish, while the old name for province “Dersim” means silver (sim) door (der) in Persian.


Tunceli at 39°06′N 39°33′E / 39.100°N 39.550°E / 39.100; 39.550 is situated just to the north of the intersection point of two rivers, Munzur and Pülümür, both flowing to south. The city is founded in the valley of Munzur which is known for its picturesque appearance. It is surrounded by high mountains called Munzur mountains. The city has a limited means of transport to other cities. The population of the city is 32815 as of 2011.[4] It is one of the least populated province centers of Turkey.


During the Ottoman Empire, Tunceli (then known as Kalan) was a part of the region named Dersim. In 1847 Dersim was declared a sanjak (a historical administrative unit smaller than the province). The capital of the sanjak was Hozat. During the Republican period Tunceli Province was established in 1935. In 1946 the former town of Kalan was renamed as Tunceli and it was declared as the capital city of the province.[5]

As a result of the Turkish campaign of "Turkisation" Tunceli became a main target of Turkish officials after the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Tunceli played a role in the Dersim rebellion.

Tunceli is famous for excellent rankings in National Education statistics.[6]


In the Municipal Elections of March 2019, Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu was elected Mayor. He is the first mayor of Dersim from the Communist Party of Turkey.

In May 2019 the Municipal Council decided to use the city`s historic name Dersim and also to offer municipal services in the Kurdish languages Zazaki and Kurmanji. 4 Members of the newly elected municipal council had their certificates revoked in May 2019 for having been dismissed from public office in the past.[7]


The main economic activity is animal breeding. Wheat is the only notable agricultural product. There are chromium salt and marble deposits. But only salt is produced. There are a few factories based on agriculture.[8]


Tunceli has a dry-summer continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dsa) with very hot, dry summers and freezing cold, snowy winters.

See also