central district city in Tunceli, Turkey

Tunceli is a city in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey.



Tunceli is home to about 35,000 people as of 2021. It is surrounded by the Munzur Mountains, considered holy by the locals. They are mostly Alevis, who subscribe to a heterodox tradition of Islam and form the largest non-Sunni group in the country. Non-conforming as always, the city has been governed by the only communist mayor of the country since 2019.

Dersim is the ancient name for the city and the surrounding area, still occasionally used. Keep in mind that this name is politically loaded in some fractions of the Turkish society, and it is likely to evoke a (positive or negative, depending on the worldview) feeling towards the Dersim Rebellion of 1937, one of the largest uprisings against the Republican Turkish government during its early years, and ended by a massacre of a considerable portion of the local population.

Get in


By plane


Tunceli doesn't have an airport. The nearest airport is in Elazığ. From Elazığ, you can find minibuses to Tunceli. The trip takes about 2 hours and you will also use ferryboat on the way, while crossing a dam lake.

Malatya-Erhaç Airport further southwest is another option, as is the airport at Erzincan.

By train


There is no railway connection with Tunceli. Elazığ is the site of the nearest station for trains arriving from west. Erzincan is also connected with the rest of the national railway network, and is receiving trains from Ankara and Kars, among others.

By bus


Tuncelililer Bus Company has buses from the main cities of the country. Just show up at the bus station (otogar) and ask for them. They don't have a website yet.

Their phone numbers at various bus stations across the country are (April 2014):

  • Erzincan: +90 446 214-26-00
  • Istanbul: +90 212 658-05-60
  • Ankara: +90 312 224-01-62.

Get around

  • Beaches — probably what you'd least expect to find here. Head east along D885 about 7-8 km out of town to find beaches, complete with sandy strands and deckchairs, on the Pülümür River.





Tunceli is a small city and you have few accommodation options there.



The area code for the city is (+90) 428.

Go next


This city travel guide to Tunceli is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!