The city of Van is located on the east shore of Lake Van in a region of the Armenian Plateau of Anatolia that has been settled since at least 5000 BCE. In the 9th Century BCE, it was called Tushpa and was the capitol of Urartu, an Iron Age Kingdom called the Kingdom of Ararat in the Bible.
   In its long history the region came successively under the control of Persians, Alexander the Great, the Kingdom of Armenia, Byzantium and the later Turk migrations.
   Today Van has a Kurdish majority and a Turkish minority but has few or none of the Armenians whose dominance ended with the genocide of 1915.