Sirnak - In the Turkish province one relies on Noah's Ark

Sirnak - In the Turkish province one relies on Noah's Ark

The small town of Şırnak (known as Şirnex in Kurdish) is located in the triangle formed by Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

Here in the highlands, which are predominantly inhabited by Kurds, Şırnak is 1,350 m above sea level, tourism has so far hardly been possible due to the long-lasting fighting and clashes between the Turkish army and the PKK.

sirnak impression 1More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK uprising began in 1984, hundreds of thousands have become refugees, thousands of villages have been destroyed and entire regions devastated. Regional détente between Kurds and Turks, withdrawal of the PKK and a new style of politics should enable a stronger focus on cultural tourism in the future. The basic ideas: South of Şırnak lies the Mountain Cudi.

However, what can this mountain offer that is special, where there have been repeated battles between the Turkish armed forces and the PKK, because there are hardly any historically significant ruins?

Noah's ark landed on a mountain

sirnak cudi daghiAt 2,114 meters, Cudi Dağı is the highest mountain in the Turkish province of Şırnak. It has four peaks, all of which are higher than 2,000 m. Between the peaks, the highlands are trough-shaped, which can't really be described as spectacular. However, according to the Qur'an, Noah's Ark ran aground on a mountain called al-Judi. A 2,017 m high peak has the name "Peak of the visit of Prophet Noah". The Qur'an says: "And it [the ship] sat down on (the mountain) al-Judi. And it was said: 'Curse on the people of the wicked!'

When the waters of the deluge receded, Noah's ark landed on a mountain, as far as there was agreement between the Bible and the Koran at first. According to the records in the Bible, this was Mount Ararat in the extreme east of present-day Turkey. But according to Islamic tradition, Noah's vehicle touched down on Mount al-Judi in what is now the Turkish province of Sirnak on the border with Iraq.

sirnak noahs arkAccording to popular etymology, the name Şırnak derives from Şehr-i Nuh, which means Noah's city. This then became Şerneh and then Şırnak. According to the Koran, Mount Cudi is considered the landing place of Noah's Ark.

It is uncertain whether the Koran meant this mountain or a mountain in Arabia. Possibly the name from the Koran was subsequently transferred to the Cudi Dağı. Theodor Nöldeke, a serious German Orient explorer assumed in 1898 that the original name of the mountain was Kardu (from Gordiene). It may also be identical with the Qardū mentioned in early Syriac sources, the land where Noah's ark landed. Several researchers then considered the Cudi as the landing site of Noah's Ark, namely David Rohl, Bill Crouse, Charles Willis and Timo Roller. Arab geographers mention a monastery on the mountain top. The ruins are now referred to as Safinat Nabī Nūḥ (Noah's Ark).

"Noah" with Russell Crowe to be erected on Mount Cudi

sirna belediye binasıAusten Henry Layard and later L. W. King discovered rock inscriptions and sculptures of Sennacherib on Mount Cudi. King concluded that the mountain was Mount Nipur of the inscriptions of Sennacherib. A large number of open questions need to be clarified.

According to the latest ideas from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, a modern Noah's Ark is to come to Sirnak: The authorities want the wooden construction from the Hollywood film "Noah" with Russell Crowe to be erected on Mount Cudi. Hopes are germinating that the ark will attract the first tourists and thus money to the region due to the level of awareness of the film and the popularity of Russell Crowe.

sirna şehir görünümü"This is a very important project for us," said Osman Gelis, Chairman of the Sirnak Chamber of Commerce.

"That will give the economy a huge boost in the long term." It is not without reason that the ark is the official logo of the province, Noah is said to have been buried in the town of Cizre near the Cudi.

Other places in the surrounding Kurdish region are also rich in religious sights, from spectacular Roman mosaics to the birthplace of Abraham.

sirnak hurdaci hurdaCihan Birlik, head of the cultural association in Sirnak, even spoke of setting up a national park on the slopes of the Cudi, where the ark could be set up. A zoo should also be part of the project, after all, Noah also saved the animal world from the deluge.

♁37°31′N, 42°28′E

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