Siirt had an important place in scientific and cultural life and contributed to the development of regional culture with education given by medresses in Aydinlar (Tillo). The tomb of Ismail Fakirullah in Aydinlar is on a hill 3 km to the east of Tillo. Before the tomb was restored, sunrays used to pass through a prism on a tower and shed light on the head of the tomb on a specific time of March 21st each year. This was a striking blend of knowledge on astronomy and architectural skill on the part of its architect, Ismail Hakki of Erzurum. Ismail Hakki also had many essays on such diverse fields as theology, anatomy, geometry, psychology and literature. Grand Mosque, Cas houses, Derzin Castle and Erzin ruins are other significant historical properties of the province.
The province has a surface area of 5,406 km2. The Tigris and its tributaries constitute the natural drainage network of the area. The population of the province is 225, 574 according to the results of the Population Census (2000). Aydinlar, Baykan, Eruh, Kurtalan, Pervari and Sirvan are the administrative districts of the province.
Weaving and copper work are the traditional handicrafts of the province. Angora wool blankets woven on geometric motifs and dyed with natural plants are quite valuable for tourists. Rich in terms of its animal stock, Siirt enjoys high potential for integrated meat processing plants and tanning. It may also move forward with forestry products since its forested areas extend over 700,000 hectares. Vegetable and pistachio culture are important in the province as its reserves of asphaltite, copper and chromium.
It was built in 1129 by the Seljuk Sultan Mugizuddin Mahmut. In 1260, Cizre Governor El Mucahit Ishak added some building to the original structure. The General Directorate of Foundations restored the mosque in 1965. Its pulpit is one of the finest pieces of sophisticated wood working and now exhibited in Ethnography Museum in Ankara. The mosque has a single gallery minaret decorated with china work.
These interesting houses were designed and constructed with a consideration of ecologic and climatic conditions. In the older sections of the town, these two or three-story houses getting narrower to the top, having small windows and flat roofs were covered on their outer surfaces with a special plaster called "cas". This material is obtained by grinding cooked gypsum, which is available in the area. "Cas" hardens very quickly and is thus fit for building special domes. There are fine stone carvings around the doors and windows of cas houses.
Ismail Hakki Tomb
TOMB OF FAKIRULLAH
This tomb in Tillo was built in the 18th century for Fakirullah (see above).
VEYSEL KARANI TOMB
It was built in 1901 in Ziyaret neighborhood of Baykan. Although the tomb itself has no historical significance, Veysel Karani memorial days celebrated on 16 - 17 March each year are important for local tourism and interaction.
It is near Adakale village 8 km to the east of Baykan district. Watchtowers of the castle build during the Byzantine rule are still standing.
It covers a wide area in Kurtalan district, between Bozhoyuk and Gokdogan villages. It is considered that it was one of the earliest human settlements in the region.
It is in Beykent village 6 km to the south of Kurtalan district.
It is in Garzan (Yanarsu) 42 km to the northeast of Siirt.
The spa is in a cave near Botan stream on Siirt-Eruh highway. Its water is at 35 degrees celsius. Waters leaving a cave and gathering in a pool is rich in calcium bi-carbonate. Since it also contains sulfurous hydrogen it is not potable, but good for skin diseases and rheumatism.
HANDCRAFTS IN SIIRT
Since animal husbandry is the major economic activity in Siirt, wool is the most important input in weaving. Looms in Siirt produce mostly blankets and scarves. At present, there are efforts to promote kilim weaving in an organized way. In Cinarlisu village 12 km to the center of Siirt, there is a cooperative workshop with few looms used in producing "Jirkan Kilims".