: ܫܲܡ̱ܣܕܝܼܢ Shamizdin
) is a district located in the Hakkari Province
of southeastern Turkey
It was previously in the Ottoman wilāyet of Vān and the district and the district centre was called Nāwshār.
The name Şemdinli is the Turkicised form of Shamdinan.
This district, along with many others located in southeastern Turkey, was previously inhabited by Assyrians before World War I.
Today, the majority of the citizens are ethnic Kurds and Assyrians.
The district of Şemdinli lies in the center of the Assyrian Nochiya Tribe
. The district of Şemdinli is the heart of their tribe. It is the home of the famous Assyrian Matran Family
. The Nochiya tribe of Şemdinli are well known for their adherence to the Nestorian
faith, growing tobacco
, and for their religious customs (such as lent
and prayer were strictly observed).
Located at the farthest corner of Turkey, the district of Şemdinli is a mountainous land. There is a visible military presence in the town, owing to the strategic position of the town astride a mountain route connecting the least-controllable corners of Iran and Iraq. The Kurdish
dialects of the Gerdi
clans are used by some locally.
15 km southwest of the town is Nehri, officially called Bağlar
, the former capital of the valley of Şemdinli. Here at the beginning of the 19th century Seyid Taha, who claimed descent from the Prophet Muhammad
, set up the headquarters of a powerful sufi lodge of the Nakshibendi order. He reconciled the warring clans and set up a medrese
that became a spiritual beacon of the Kurdish lands. His son Seyid Ubeydullah grew strong enough to make war on Persia. A grandson, Seyid Abdülkadir, was the last president of the Ottoman Senate. He was hanged in 1925 for suspected complicity in the Kurdish rebellion of that year.
The lodge (tekke) and the residence of the seyids are now scant ruins in an overgrown mulberry grove.
A bomb ripped Şemdinli town centre on November 1
. It was officially attributed to the PKK
, a terrorist
Kurdish separatist group. A second bomb went off near a bookstore on November 9. The suspects of this attack, however, were caught in the act by bystanders. They were said to be members of a gendarmerie special-operations unit, JITEM
. The resulting investigation developed into a major political issue in Turkey in the first half of 2006.
Investigations concerning the Şemdinli bombing trial have been blocked by the military. All the judges and prosecutors associated with the Şemdinli bookshop bombing case were transferred from Van to other cities following a June 2007 decree.
On October 4th, 2008 Kurdish rebels killed 15 Turkish soldiers in an attack near Şemdinli. The attack is believed to be orchestrated by the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).