The surface area of the region is 40.842 square kilometers which is %5,2 of Turkey.
The region is topographically high and rough because of the mountains covering 63% of it. Settlement is usually on the plains between the mountains and there is settlement on a height range from 800 m and 2500 m. The highest settlement is in Karayazı district of Erzurum that is on 2500 m.
There are micro-climate zones on low altitude areas formed by water courses but generally because of high altitude and continentality there is harsh climate. The temperatures are so low that may be registered as records and average precipitation is annually 409,5 mm. Precipitation is always in the form of snow and the length of snow cover duration makes the region as the starting point for water resources. The region is on the basin of the most important water courses of Turkey namely Çoruh, Aras, Euphrates and Yeşilırmak.
As the region is on the intersection point of North Anatolia and East Anatolia fault lines; Erzincan, Çat, Hınıs and Karaçoban are on the first degree seismic belt and with this characteristic the region is rich in terms of natural mineral water and geothermal resources.
The region due to its geographical position throughout the history has been a transit point for trade. It is a crossing road connecting east-west and north-south of Turkey and it was entrance to Anatolia for Kürk Road coming from Siberia– Caucasus, for Silk Road coming from China- Turkestan-Iran and for Spice Road coming from India-Iran.
The region is on the east-west energy corridor. It has a transit position about carrying rich energy resources of Central Asia and Caucasus to international markets. Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan Pipeline, Baku–Tbilisi-Erzurum and East Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) that will be constructed pass through the region.
The region has the opportunity to access the external world through Trabzon and Rize ports in North and İskenderun and Mersin ports in South with progress in highway and railway connections. Also it has accessibility to Europe over Black Sea and across the Danube River and it has geographic and cultural closeness to Central Asia and Caucasus.
Northeast Anatolia Region has a capacity to address a circle with a diameter of 1000 km. Within this circle Iran, Russia and Ukraine are important countries with their population and also Azerbaijan and Georgia are close and similar with ethnic, cultural and social features.
By the end of 2013 the population of the region is 1.062.345 which is 1,4 % of Turkey’s whole population and the population density is 26 man per square kilometer and it is the last among the NUTS II Regions. The share of the region in Turkey’s population is expected to decrease until 2023. 63% of the population live in urban areas. Day by day the rural population migrate to urban areas or outside the region.
Compared to the increase in country statistics, there is an appreciable decrease in number of working population (15+) and employment rates. According to data of the year 2013; 44,3% of employment is in agriculture, 11,2% is in industry and 44,5% is in services sector. The employment in agriculture is higher than Turkey’s average. While majority of men (62,9%) work in non-agricultural sectors, women mostly (75,3%) work in agriculture sector. As education level of the population get higher employment rates rise.
Region is in a very good condition in terms of the number of university. In the region every province has its own state university. In addition to this, technical university is established as the second university in Erzurum which is extremely important for the future of the region.
The region is better than the country average in terms of public health institutions and health personnel. If especially Erzurum can attract attention of private sector hospitals in addition to public hospitals with its physical and human resources infrastructure, it will be a significant potential for health tourism in line with the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Health.
Due to the fact of being on the route of farm and transition, services sector as well as animal breeding have been economic activities of the region since centuries. Tourism that develops in recent years, has become an important sector that can contribute to socio-economic development by utilizing the existing potential. Industrial production, in spite of the private sector investments, shows relatively a slower development.
In terms of agricultural sector; livestock (meat and dairy products), organic farming, aquaculture, feed crops, medicinal and aromatic plants, beekeeping and bee products and the seed sectors are sub-sector activities of the region that have intensity and potential.
By year 2010; the ratio of the region’s agriculture, industry and services sectors share to the country-wide is 1.8%, 0.7 and 0.9 respectively; and rank number is 24 among 26 NUTS II Regions.
In the center of provinces of the region there are 3 Organized Industrial Zones and 8 Small Industrial Estates all of which are active. 2nd Organized Industrial Zone of Erzurum, Erzurum Livestock Organized Industrial Zone and Oltu Organized Industrial Zone are the foundations on establishment phase. In addition to these 3 Small Industrial Estates are on the establishment phase in Hınıs district of Erzurum and Centre and Üzümlü distrcits of Erzincan.
The region is very rich in terms of industrial raw materials potential. 46.4% and 32.4 % of total exports of the region was of mining sector in 2011 and 2012, respectively. However, since the processing of the extracted minerals and raw materials is not possible, raw materials without value added is exported and this causes a fall in value.
As fixed investment amount, region could only get 1.11% of amount of incentive certificate held throughout Turkey between 2001 and 2014. The rate of the exportation of the region to the country is 0,032 in 2012 and a large proportion of it belongs to Erzurum. In general, region has foreign trade deficit.
With its 4000 years of history, the unique climate and geographical structure, water resources and thermal resources, region offers potential for different tourism types. In the region, a total of 1,290 tourism assets have been identified that can be a resource for winter sports; convention, incentive and exhibition; history and culture; adventure and extreme sports; eco-tourism and health tourism. These values and assets owned by the region, point to high potential of the region and rich assortment for the four seasons tourism. After Universiade games, held in Erzurum in 2011, potential of the region has been recognized on an international platform. For the promotion of tourism potential of the region, Innovation Based on Regional Tourism Strategy and Action Plan (2012-2023) prepared in 2011 by coordination of Northeast Anatolia Development Agency and in 2012 it has been implemented with the contribution of local actors.
To learn more about the region you can visit the following web addresses.