Çarpanak, one of Lake Van's four large islands, attracts visitors with its pristine natural beauty and history.
The island of Çarpanak is located in Van's Çitören Village, in the northeastern section of Lake Van. The island, which can be accessed by boat from the village's dock, is maintained restricted to visitors to prevent the natural life inside from deteriorating. Many species found on the island are not seen anywhere else in Turkey. There is also a monastery dedicated to Saint-Jean, which was erected in the 9th or 11th. centuries on the island. Only the church portion of the structure, known as Ktouts Monastery, remains today.
Çarpanak Island, which was considered to be part of a peninsula until 100 years ago, is claimed to have become an island as a result of Lake Van's fast rise in water. The island and the monastery on it were first mentioned in written sources in 1414. Earthquakes have struck the island several times, but owing to the religious structures on the island, it has been mostly unaffected by the conflicts. Craftsman Kaskaper from Bitlis restored the monastery between 1712 and 1720 after it was substantially damaged by an earthquake in 1703.
Also known as Ktuts or Ktouts, Çarpanak Island was once inhabited by Armenians and is still home to the Armenian monastery Ktutsis. Though currently closed, visitors can still explore its ruins. Though the monastery was once a huge complex with a library, chapels, and guest houses, the church remains the only structure still standing today. The building was evacuated in 1918 due to the turmoil in the region. It has not been under any protection since then and is on the verge of demolition today.
Every spring, domestic and foreign visitors come to Çarpanak Island to immerse themselves in the island's natural beauty. Nature enthusiasts, as well as photographers and artists searching for inspiration, flock to the location.
Small fishing boats may be rented in Van's Çitören neighborhood for the one-hour and 40-minute voyage across the lake to the island, which is mostly home to colonies of seagulls.