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For ither uises, see Kars (disambiguation).
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
Region Eastren Anatolie
Province Kars
 • Mayor Nevzat Bozkuş (AKP)
Elevation 1,768 m (5,801 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Tot 73,826
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

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 point 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 their kinrick. It wis durin this period that the toun's cathedral, later kent as the Kirk o the Holy Apostles, was built.[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 capture bi the Byzantine Empire in 1045 the Bagratuni title Keeng o Keengs held bi the ruler o Ani was 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, paid hamage tae the victorious Turks, so that they wad no lay siege tae his ceety. In 1065 Gagik-Abas cedit control o Kars tae the Byzantine Empire, but suin efter they lost it tae the Seljuk Turks.[3]

In 1206/1207 the ceety was captured by the Georgians an given tae the same Zakarid family who ruled Ani. They 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 enough 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. After another siege in 1828 the city was surrendered on June 23, 1828 to the Russian general Count Ivan Paskevich, 11,000 men becoming prisoners of war. Although it later returned to Ottoman control, the new border between the Ottoman Empire an Roushie was now much closer to Kars. During the Crimean War a Ottoman garrison led by British officers includin General William Fenwick Williams kept the Roushies at bay durin a protracted siege; but after the garrison had been devastated by cholera and food supplies haed failed, the town was surrendered to General Mouravieff in November 1855.

The fortress was again stormed by the Russians in the Battle of Kars during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78 under generals Loris-Melikov and Ivan Lazarev. Following the war, Kars was transferred to Russia by the Treaty of San Stefano. Kars became the capital of Kars Oblast (province), comprising the districts of Kars, Ardahan, Kaghisman, and Olti.

From 1878-1881 more than 82,000 Muslims from formerly Ottoman-controlled territory migrated to the Ottoman Empire. Among those there were more than 11,000 people from the city of Kars. At the same time, many Armenians and Pontic Greeks migrated to the region from the Ottoman Empire and other regions of Transcaucasia. According to the Russian census data, by 1892 Russians formed 7% of the population, Greeks 13.5%, Kurds 15%, Armenians 21.5%, Turks 24%, Karapapakhs 14%, and Turkmen were 5% of the population of Kars Oblast of Russian Empire.[5]

Warld War I[eedit | eedit soorce]

Armenian civilians fleein Kars efter its capture by 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 May 1919 Kars came unner the full admeenistration o the Armenian Republic an became the caipital o its Vanand province.

Skirmishes atween Turkish revolutionaries and Armenian border troops in Olti led to an invasion of the Armenian Republic by four Turkish divisions under the command of General Kâzım Karabekir, triggering the Turkish-Armenian War.[7] The war led tae the capture 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 than 50% o its pre-war territory an tae give 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 than 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 these 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 Minister 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 position: it wantit guid relations wi the Soviet Union, but at the same time they refused tae give up the territories. Turkey itsel wis in nae condition tae fecht a war wi the Soviet Union, which haed emerged as a superpouer efter the seicont warld war. Bi the autumn o 1945, Soviet troops in the Caucasus wur awready assemblin for a possible invasion o Turkey. The Breetish prime meenister Winston Churchill objectit tae these 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 border 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 border atween Armenie an Turkey haes remained closed. Although naitional politeecians hae shown little inclination tae chynge this policy, an Azerbaijan thegither wi Turkis naitionalist groups hae campaigned for the closure tae remain, there haes been increasin local pressure for the border tae be re-opened. In 2006, umwhile Kars mayor Naif Alibeyoğlu said that openin the border wad boost the local economy an reawaken the ceety.[11] But there 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 border wi Armenie is oot o question.[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; Salkin, Robert M.; La Boda, Sharon (1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 357. ISBN 9781884964022.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  2. Room, Adrian (2003). Placenames of the World. McFarland. p. 178. ISBN 0786418141. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 (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. (Armenie) Harutyunyan, Varazdat M. "Ճարտարապետություն" ("Architecture"). History of the Armenian People. vol. iii. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1976, pp. 374-375.
  5. (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. (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]