Genetic diversity, genetic structure, and demographic history of the endemic and endangered cyprinid species Alburnus tarichi based on samples from 17 populations consisting of resident and potamodromous specimens from the Lake Van basin in eastern Turkey were analyzed using two mitochondrial DNA markers. A. tarichi populations in the Lake Van basin are genetically heterogeneous, as indicated by the high haplotype and low nucleotide diversity of 1233 bp of the 16S rRNA marker (44 haplotypes; 70 polymorphic sites, haploid diversity (H-d) = 0.9130, pi = 0.0032) and 1140 bp of the cyt b marker (47 haplotypes; 82 polymorphic sites, H-d = 0.9339, pi = 0.0057). Clades were separated by average sequence divergences of 1.94% (II vs. III), 1.80% (I vs. III), and 0.66% (I vs. II). Based on these clades, AMOVA analysis revealed that 80.76% of the total variation occurred among populations, 10.74% occurred within populations, and only 8.50% occurred between populations within groups for the concatenated 16S rRNA-cyt b sequences. Pairwise F-ST values varied from 0.0167 to 0.9705 for the concatenated 16S rRNA-cyt b dataset, emphasizing the high genetic variation among populations. The time since the endemic tarek populations split from their last common ancestor has been dated to 5.647 Ma (95% highest posterior density: 4.183-7.011 Ma) in the Messinian Stage. Recent population expansion for tarek populations has been determined by neutrality tests and mismatch distribution analyses. The results of this study provide valuable information on the genetic population structure, conservation, and management of this species.