New History Channel documentary will shed light on Noah’s Ark in eastern Turkey

Noah’s huge ship is said to have come to rest on Mount Agri, a peak in eastern Turkey, after a legendary great flood

The US History Channel is making a documentary about the region in eastern Turkey where the legendary Noah’s Ark is believed to have come to rest after the Great Flood.

Said to have been discovered in 1959 at Dogubayazit in the province of Agri by Ilhan Durupinar, an expert cartographer, the legendary vessel – whose story is told in the Torah, Bible and Quran – remains a source of fascination.

The area around Mount Agri – Mount Ararat in English – where the boat is believed to have run aground as the flood receded attracts thousands of local and foreign tourists each year, and continues to attract the attention of foreign researchers and documentarians.

The upcoming History Channel special is directed by Sait Yardimci, with cinematographer Abdurrahman Itik and cameraman Bulent Kaya.

The film features comments by American researcher Andrew Jones, tourism expert Zafer Onay and Faruk Kaya, vice-rector of Agri Ibrahim Cecen University.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yardimci, who also heads the Turkish Film Commission, said the province had become more visible after the remains of Noah’s Ark were discovered.

“When this project is completed, it will play a very important role in promoting Agri,” he said. “We both protect the cultural heritage and contribute to the country’s tourism.”

– More than a billion people hoped to see a documentary

Calling the History Channel the world’s leading documentary medium, Yardimci said the Noah’s Ark documentary is expected to be watched by more than a billion people worldwide.

“Local documentaries have been made about this place before,” he added. “The Turkish Film Commission believes that Turkey is a natural hub for cinema and that a lot more content should be produced…Because the region we are in is a place that is both unique and steeped in history.”

He said the documentary is due out next summer.

For his part, American researcher Jones said he first came to the area in 1997, when he was just 20 years old.

“It was my first trip to Turkey,” he said. “And I fell in love with the people, the culture, the history. And since that time I have returned many times in this search for Noah’s Ark and I have brought tour groups here and promoted the tourism in the area.”

Highlighting the interest in the area, Jones said, “People are interested in knowing where Noah’s Ark is, and according to the holy books of the Bible, Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat.”

The story of the Great Flood and Noah’s Ark is told in the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the three Abrahamic religions.