Çoruh River

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Çoruh, ჭოროხი, Acampsis
Çoruh River.jpg
Origin Mescid Mountains
Mouth Black Sea
Basin countries Turkey, Georgia
Length 438 km (272 mi)[1]
Avg. discharge 278 m3/s (9,800 cu ft/s)
Basin area 22,100 km2 (8,500 sq mi)

The Çoruh River (Turkish: Çoruh, Georgian: ჭოროხი ch'orokhi, Greek: Άκαμψις, Akampsis Armenian "Ճորոխ"- (Tchorokh)) rises in the Mescit Mountains in north-eastern Turkey, flows through the cities of Bayburt, Ispir, Yusufeli, and Artvin, along the Kelkit-Çoruh Fault, before flowing into Georgia, where it reaches the Black Sea just south of Batumi and a few kilometers north of the Turkish-Georgian border.

In Arrian's Periplus Ponti Euxini, it is called the Άκαμψις Acampsis; Pliny may have confused it with the Bathys.[2] In English, it was formerly known as the Boas, the Churuk, or the Chorokh.[3][4]


The Çoruh valley lies within the Caucasus ecological zone, which is considered by the World Wild Fund for Nature and by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot.[5][6] The Çoruh Valley is recognised by Turkish conservation organisations as an important plant area,[7] an important bird area,[8] a key biodiversity area[9] and has been nominated as a high priority area for protection. This valley is rich in plants and contains 104 nationally threatened plant species of which 67 are endemic to Turkey.[7]


The Çoruh has been called "an eco-tourism gem" and "Turkey's last remaining wild river", and is being promoted for whitewater kayaking by the Eastern Anatolia Tourism Development Project.[10] It attracts kayakers and rafters from all over the world and was the site of the 2005 Coruh Extreme kayak competition.[11]

2007-06 Çoruh rafting.jpg


A total of 15 large hydroelectric dams are planned as part of the Çoruh River Development Plan[12] but a total of 27 are proposed for the Çoruh River Catchment. Under the Çoruh Development Plan, five dams have been completed (Borçka, Deriner, Güllübağ, Murtli and Tortum Dams), another five are under construction.[13]

Dam Phase
Tortum Dam Operational – Tortum River (Çoruh tributary)
Muratli Dam Operational
Borçka Dam Operational
Deriner Dam Operational
Olur Dam Planned
Bağlık Dam Planned – Berta River (Çoruh tributary)
Bayram Dam Planned – Berta River (Çoruh tributary)
Artvin Dam Operational
Yusufeli Dam Under construction
Altiparmak Dam Planned – Barhal River (Çoruh tributary)
Ayvali Dam Planned – Oltu River (Çoruh tributary)
Olur Dam Planned – Oltu River (Çoruh tributary)
Arkun Dam Operational
Aksu Dam Preliminary construction
Güllübağ Dam Operational
İspir Dam Planned
Laleli Dam Under construction


  1. UN Economic Commission for Europe, Our waters: joining hands across borders : first assessment of transboundary, p. 150
  2. William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman geography, 1:216 (1854).
  3. Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition 2:757d
  4. W. Rickmer Rickmers, "Lazistan and Ajaristan", The Geographical Journal 84:6 (Dec., 1934), p. 466. at JSTOR
  5. WWF Global 200 Regions
  6. Conservation International Biodiversity Hotspots
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ozhatay N, Byfield A & Atay S 2005, 122 Important Plant Areas of Turkey, for WWF Turkey, Istanbul, Turkey.
  8. Magnin G & Yarar M 1989, Important Bird Area in Turkey, Dogal Hayati Koruma Dernegi, Turkey.
  9. Eken G, Bozdogan M, I˙sfendiyaroglu S, Kılıç DT & Lise Y, (editörler) 2006, Key biodiversity areas in Turkey, Doga Dernegi, Ankara, Turkey.
  10. United Nations Development Programme: Europe & CIS, "Eastern Turkey Becomes Tourist Destination" [1]
  11. Coruh Extreme Race
  12. ENCON 2006, ‘Yusufeli Dam and Hydroelectric Power Project Environmental Impact Assessment’, Ankara, Turkey.
  13. "Hydroelectric Power energy Resources" (PDF) (in Turkish). State Hydraulic Works. Retrieved 10 May 2013.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also

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