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Erzurum travel guide — Erzurum tourism and travel information

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about Erzurum

Erzurum (or Erzerum, Arzen in antiquity, Karin in ancient Armenian, Theodosiupolis or Theodosiopolis during Byzantine rule) is one of the Provinces of Turkey, in the Eastern Anatolia Region, to the east of the country. It is surrounded by Kars and Ağrı to the east, Muş and Bingöl to the south, Erzincan and Bayburt to the west, Rize and Artvin to the north and Ardahan to the northeast.

Erzurum geography

The surface area of Erzurum is the fourth biggest in Turkey. The majority of the province is elevated. Most plateaus are about 2,000 m (6,500 ft) high from sea level, and the mountainous regions beyond the plateaus are 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and higher. Depression plains are located between the mountains and plateaus. The southern mountain ranges are Palandöken Mountains (highest peak Büyük Ejder 3,176 m high) and Şahveled Mountains (highest peak Çakmak Mountain 3,063 m high). The northern mountain ranges are the second row elevations of the North Anatolian Mountains, i.e. Mescit Mountains (highest peak 3,239 m), Kargapazarı Mountains (highest peak 3,169 m) and Allahuekber Mountains. The two depression plains between these mountainous areas are Erzurum Plains and Hasankale Plains.

Continental climate rules in the province with long and harsh winters, and short and mild summers. The lowest temperature average is -8.6 °C (16 °F) and the highest average temperature is 19.6 °C (67 °F). Yearly average precipitation is 453 mm. Snow falls for 50 days and stays for about 114 days.

Steppe formations are prevalent in the geography, occupying about 60% of the surface area, much of it fertile. Forest areas are not large mainly consisting of scots pines and oaks.

Eastern part of the province is in the basin of the Araks river (Aras), the western part in the Karasu (Western Euphrates) basin, and the northern part in the Çoruh basin.

There are a few natural lakes in the province, the major one being Lake Tortum (approximately 8 km²) fed by the Tortum (Uzundere) Falls. A hydroelectric power plant built in 1963 is on the inlet of this lake. There are three artificial lakes in the province.

Erzurum history

The region is known to have been inhabited since the Hittites. There is also evidence that Armenians were active here too. Most of the province was incorporated to the Roman Empire in 4th Century who founded a city called Erzen. The Byzantine Empire also built a city in the region, called Theodosiupolis, which was on the border. Standing on the crossroads of main trade routes in Asia Minor, the area was a center of importance for Persians and Arabs who frequently clashed with the Byzantine Empire. Threatened by, devastated and looted by the Seljuk Turks in 1049, the older city of Erzen was conquered, but Theodosiupolis survived the invasion.

Theodosiupolis resisted many attacks and military campaigns by Seljuks and Georgians until 1201 when the city and the province was conquered by the Seljuk sultan Süleiman II of Rüm in 1201. Erzen-Erzurum fell to the Mongol siege in 1242, and the city was looted and devastated. After the fall of the Seljuk Sultanate of Anatolia (Rüm) in early 14th Century, it became an administrative province of the Ilkhanates, and after their fall, became part of the Çoban beylik, Black Sheep Turkmen, Mongols lead by Timur Lenk and White Sheep Turkmen. Finally, in 1514 the region was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

During the Ottoman reign, the city served as the main base of Ottoman military power in the region. Early in 1600s, the province was threatened by Iran and a revolt by the province governor Abaza Mehmed Pasha. This revolt was combined with Jelali Revolts (the uprising of the provincial musketeers called the Celali), backed by Iran and lasted until 1628.

The city was conquered by the Russian army in 1829, given back to the Ottoman Empire with the Treaty of Adrianople (Edirne). The city was directly attacked by the Russian army in the Russo-Turkish Wars in 1877, and again during the World War I in 1916, this time to be conquered. It was returned to the Ottomans with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918. Erzurum was also a main Turkish base during the Turkish War of Independence. It was declared a province of Turkey in 1924.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Erzurum".

This city is also known as: Erzurum.

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