All About Turkey

Tigris River

Tigris river (Dicle in Turkish) is one of the biggest rivers of Turkey together with Euphrates (Firat in Turkish). Tigris rises from the mountains near Elazig province in eastern Anatolia, divides into several smaller rivers while passing from southeastern Anatolia, goes into Iraq passing across the border near Cizre, then joins with Euphrates in Shatt al-Arab just below Qurna in Mesopotamia, and empties into the Persian Gulf in Basra. It's approximately 1,900 km (1,180 mi) long, out of which 523 km (325 mi) are in Turkey. Important tributaries of the Tigris are Batman, Garzan, Botan and Habur rivers in Turkey, and Greater Zab and Lesser Zab rivers in Iraq. Its average water flow if 360 m3 (95,100 gallons) per second; around mid-September the flow drops to 55 m3 (14,530 gallons) per second because of dry summers in the region, and in March it goes up to 2,263 m3 (597,821 gallons) per second because of the winter precipitations and then snowmelting in the Spring. Tigris is shorter than Euphrates in lenght but it carries more water when both rivers are compared, thus it causes lots of floodings especially on the Iraqi side.

There are several hydroelectric power plants on the Tigris, such as Kralkizi (built between 1985-1997), Batman (1986-1999), Dicle (1986-1997) and Ilisu (under construction) Dams. Besides producing electricity, these dams provide water for irrigating agricultural fields in the arid GAP area as well. There are also several dams built on Tigris on the Iraqi side, Mosul Dam being the largest dam in Iraq.

According to the Book of Genesis, the Tigris (named as Hiddekel) was one of the four rivers branching off the river flowing out of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10), and that the prophet Daniel received his visions near Hiddekel (Daniel 10:4). These four rivers were Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel (Tigris) and Perat (Euphrates).

All About Turkey © Burak Sansal 1996–2014, a certified professional tour guide in Turkey. Contact Burak at buraksan@superonline.com for all kinds of regular and/or private travel services throughout the country.