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(Reguidit frae Kars, Turkey)
Panaromic view o Kars ceety frae the fortress.
Panaromic view o Kars ceety frae the fortress.
Kars is located in Turkey
Location o Kars
Coordinates: 40°37′N 43°6′E / 40.617°N 43.100°E / 40.617; 43.100Coordinates: 40°37′N 43°6′E / 40.617°N 43.100°E / 40.617; 43.100
Kintra Turkey
RegionEastren Anatolie
 • MayorNevzat Bozkuş (AKP)
1768 m (5,801 ft)
 • Total73,826
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Kars (Armenie: Կարս Kars or Ղարս Ghars, Azerbaijani: Qars) is a ceety in northeast Turkey an the caipital o the Kars Province.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

As Chorzene, the toun appears in Roman historiography (Strabo) as pairt o auncient Armenie. For the etymological oreegin o the name "Kars", some sources claim it is derived frae the Georgian wird ყარსი ("kari"), meanin "the gate" [1] while ither sources claim it is frae the Armenian wird "հարս" ("hars") which means bride.[2]

Medieval period[eedit | eedit soorce]

The tent century Armenian Kirk o the Holy Apostles, as seen in a photo taken in the late nineteent century.

Little is kent o the early history o Kars ayont the fact that it haed its awn dynasty o Armenian rulers an wis the caipital o a region kent as Vanand. Medieval Armenian historians referred tae the ceety bi a variety o names, includin "Karuts' K'aghak'" (Kars ceety), "Karuts' Berd", "Amrots'n Karuts'" (baith meanin Kars Fortress) an "Amurn Karuts'" (Sturdy Kars).[3] At some pynt in the nint century (at least bi 888) it became pairt o the territory o the Armenian Bagratunis. For a short time (frae 928 tae 961) Kars became the caipital o thair kinrick. It wis durin this period that the toun's cathedral, later kent as the Kirk o the Holy Apostles, wis biggit.[4]

In 963, shortly efter the Bagratuni caipital wis transferred tae Ani, Kars became the caipital o a separate independent kinrick, again cried Vanand. The extent o its actual unthirldom frae the Kinrick o Ani is uncertain: it wis aye held bi relatives o the rulers o Ani, an efter Ani's captur bi the Byzantine Empire in 1045 the Bagratuni title Keeng o Keengs held bi the ruler o Ani wis transferred tae the ruler o Kars. In 1064, juist efter the captur o Ani bi the Seljuk Turks, the Armenian keeng o Kars, Gagik-Abas, peyed hamage tae the victorious Turks, sae that thay wad no lay siege tae his ceety. In 1065 Gagik-Abas cedit control o Kars tae the Byzantine Empire, but suin efter thay lost it tae the Seljuk Turks.[3]

In 1206/1207 the ceety wis captured bi the Georgians an gien tae the same Zakarid faimily who ruled Ani. Thay retained control o Kars till the late 1230s, efter which it haed Turkis rulers. In 1387 the ceety surrendered tae Timur (Tamerlane) an its fortifications wur damaged. Anatolian beyliks followed till 1534, when the Ottoman airmy captured the ceety. The fortifications o the ceety wur rebuilt bi the Ottoman Sultan Murad III an wur strang eneuch tae athstand a siege bi Nadir Shah o Persie, in 1731. It became the heid o a sanjak in the Ottoman Erzurum Vilayet.

Russian admeenistration[eedit | eedit soorce]

The 1828 Roushie siege o Kars.

In 1807 Kars successfully resistit an attack bi the Roushie Empire. Efter anither siege in 1828 the ceety wis surrendered on Juin 23, 1828 tae the Roushie general Count Ivan Paskevich, 11,000 men acomin prisoners of war. Awtho it later returned tae Ottoman control, the new mairch atween the Ottoman Empire an Roushie wis nou much closer tae Kars. During the Crimean War a Ottoman garrison led bi Breetish officers includin General William Fenwick Williams kept the Roushies at bay durin a protracted siege; but efter the garrison haed been devastated bi cholera an fuid supplies haed failed, the toun wis surrendered tae General Mouravieff in November 1855.

The fortress wis again stormed bi the Roushies in the Battle o Kars during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78 unner generals Loris-Melikov an Ivan Lazarev. Follaein the war, Kars wis transferred tae Roushie bi the Treaty of San Stefano. Kars became the caipital of Kars Oblast (province), comprising the districts of Kars, Ardahan, Kaghisman, an Olti.

Frae 1878-1881 mair nor 82,000 Muslims frae formerly Ottoman-controlled territory migrated tae the Ottoman Empire. Amang thae thare war mair nor 11,000 people frae the ceety of Kars. At the same time, mony Armenians an Pontic Greeks migrated tae the region frae the Ottoman Empire an ither regions of Transcaucasia. Accordin tae the Roushie census data, bi 1892 Roushies formed 7% o the population, Greeks 13.5%, Kurds 15%, Armenians 21.5%, Turks 24%, Karapapakhs 14%, an Turkmen war 5% o the population of Kars Oblast of Roushie Empire.[5]

Warld War I[eedit | eedit soorce]

Armenian civilians fleein Kars efter its captur bi Kâzım Karabekir's forces.

In the First Warld War, the ceety wis ane o the main objectives o the Ottoman airmy durin the Battle o Sarikamish in the Caucasus Campaign. Roushie cedit Kars, Ardahan an Batum tae the Ottoman Empire unner the Treaty o Brest-Litovsk on Mairch 3, 1918. Housomeivver, bi then Kars wis unner the effective control o Armenian an non-Bolshevik Roushie forces. The Ottoman empire captured Kars on Aprile 25, 1918, but unner the Armistice o Mudros (October 1918) wis required tae athdraw tae its 1914 frontier. The Ottomans refused tae relinquish Kars, its military govrenor insteid constituting a proveesional govrenment, the Proveesional Naitional Govrenment o the Soothwastren Caucasus, led bi Fahrettin Pirioglu, that claimed Turkis sovereignty ower Kars an the Turkis-speakin an Islamic neighborin regions as far as Batumi an Alexandropol (Gyumri). Muckle o the region fell unner the admeenistrative control o Armenie in Januar 1919 but the pro-Turkis govrenment remained in the ceety till the arrival o the Breetish troops, who dissolved it on Aprile 19, 1919, arrestin its leaders an sendin them tae Maltae.[6] In Mey 1919 Kars came unner the full admeenistration o the Armenian Republic an became the caipital o its Vanand province.

Skirmishes atween Turkish revolutionaries an Armenian mairch troops in Olti led tae an invasion o the Armenian Republic bi fower Turkish divisions unner the command of General Kâzım Karabekir, triggering the Turkish-Armenian War.[7] The war led tae the captur o Kars bi Turkis forces on October 30, 1920.[8] The terms o the Treaty o Alexandropol, signed bi the representatives o Armenie an Turkey on December 2, 1920, forced Armenie tae cede mair nor 50% o its pre-war territory an tae gie up aw the territories grantit tae it at the Treaty o Sèvres.

Efter the Bolshevik advance intae Armenie, the Alexandropol treaty wis supersedit bi the Treaty o Kars (October 23, 1921), signed atween Turkey an the Soviet Union. The treaty allowed for Soviet annexation of Adjara in exchange for Turkis control o the regions o Kars, Igdir, an Ardahan. The treaty established peaceful relations atween the twa naitions, but as early as 1939, some Breetish diplomats notit indications that the Soviet Union wis no satisfee'd wi the established border. On mair nor ane occasion, the Soviets attemptit tae renegotiate wi Turkey tae at least allou the Armenians access tae the auncient ruins o Ani. Housomeivver, the govrenment in Ankara refused thir attempts.[9]

Recent history[eedit | eedit soorce]

Efter Warld War II, the Soviet Union attemptit tae annul the Kars treaty an regain the Kars region an the adjoinin region o Ardahan. On Juin 7, 1945, Soviet Foreign Meenister Vyacheslav Molotov tauld the Turkis ambassador tae Moscow Selim Sarper that the regions shoud be returned tae the Soviet Union, in the name o baith the Georgian an Armenian republics. Turkey foond itsel in a difficult poseetion: it wantit guid relations wi the Soviet Union, but at the same time thay refused tae gie up the territories. Turkey itsel wis in nae condeetion tae fecht a war wi the Soviet Union, which haed emerged as a superpouer efter the seicont warld war. Bi the hairst o 1945, Soviet troops in the Caucasus wur awready assemblin for a possible invasion o Turkey. The Breetish prime meenister Winston Churchill objectit tae thir territorial claims, while Preses Harry S. Truman o the Unitit States felt that this matter shouldna concern ither pairties. The Cauld War wis juist beginnin.

In Aprile 1993, Turkey closed its Kars mairch crossin wi Armenie, in a protest against the captur o Kalbajar destrict o Azerbaijan bi Armenian forces durin the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[10] Syne then the land mairch atween Armenie an Turkey haes remained closed. Awtho naitional politeecians hae shawn little inclination tae chynge this policy, an Azerbaijan thegither wi Turkis naitionalist groups hae campaigned for the closure tae remain, thare haes been increasin local pressure for the mairch tae be re-opened. In 2006, umwhile Kars mayor Naif Alibeyoğlu said that openin the mairch wad boost the local economy an reawaken the ceety.[11] But thare is an' a' an increasin opposition an pressure bi the local population against the re-openin o the border.[12] Alang wi intense pressure frae Azerbaijan an the local population, includin the 20% ethnic Azerbaijani minority, the Turkis foreign meenister Ahmet Davutoğlu haes reiteratit that openin the mairch wi Armenie is oot o quaisten.[13][14]

Sister ceeties[eedit | eedit soorce]

The municipality o Kars haes developit sister ceety relationships wi follaein ceeties at hame an abroad:

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Ring, Trudy (1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 357. ISBN 9781884964022. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  2. Room, Adrian (2003). Placenames of the World. McFarland. p. 178. ISBN 0786418141.
  3. a b (in Armenie) Arakelyan, Babken, Vrezh Vardanyan, an Hovhannes Khalpakhchyan. «Կարս» (Kars). Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. vol. v. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1979, pp. 342-344.
  4. (in Armenie) Harutyunyan, Varazdat M. "Ճարտարապետություն" ("Architecture"). History of the Armenian People. vol. iii. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1976, pp. 374-375.
  5. (in Roushie) Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. "Kars oblast". St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890-1907.
  6. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia, Vol. I: The First Year, 1918-1919. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 197–227. ISBN 0-5200-1984-9.
  7. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1996). The Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV: Between Crescent and Sickle, Partition and Sovietization. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 182ff. ISBN 0-5200-8804-2.
  8. Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, pp. 253-261.
  9. (in Armenie) Zohrabyan, E. (1979). Սովետական Ռուսաստանը և հայ-թուրքական հարաբերությունները, 1920-1922 (Soviet Russia and Armenian-Turkish Relations, 1920-1922). Yerevan: Yerevan State University Press, pp. 277-280.
  10. Panico, Christopher; Rone, Jemera (1994). Bloodshed in the Caucasus: Escalation of the Armed Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki Watch. p. 74. ISBN 9781564321428. Turkey cut all routes to Armenia in April 1993, after the Karabakh Armenian army - with alleged support from Russian and Armenian armies - seized Kelbajar province of Azerbaijan.
  11. "Kars battles for access to Armenia and beyond", Turkish Daily News, July 30th 2006.
  12. "Border Turks Want Door to Armenia Kept Shut." Hetq. 7 May 2009.
  13. "Armenia border opening out of question, says Davutoğlu." Today's Zaman. July 19, 2010.
  14. "Two vast and ugly blocks of stone." The Economist. January 13, 2011.

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]