Cizre (or Cizîr in Kurdish) is a town in the Kurdish region of Turkey, near the border with Syria and Iraq, and is located on the Tigris River. Cizre is home to one of several locations that claims to be the tomb of Noah, the biblical figure whose ark is said to have come to rest in the foothills of Mount Judi, only several miles east of Cizre. Theories between religions differ on the resting place of the Ark, and some believe it came to rest in the foothills of Mount Ararat, near Agri, Turkey.
History of Cizre
Cizre is said to have been the location that Alexander the Great crossed the Tigris. It was also the gateway for the Crusaders to access Armenia from Mesopotamia. In 639 AD, the seat of the Syriac Orthodox Church was established in Cizre.
Much later, in the 19th century, Cizre was the site of a large Kurdish rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. Today, the population of Cizre is primarily Kurdish. Because of it’s proximity to Iraq and Syria, Cizre has been known to have a small presence of Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), who are outlawed in Turkey.
Kurdish fighters from Cizre have been actively joining the Kurdish YPG to fight ISIS in Syria. It has been estimated that approximately 1 in 10 families have a member who is fighting with the PKK or YPG.
In the wake of ISIS attacks, Cizre has received thousands of Yezidi and Syrian Kurdish refugees.