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Trip Planner Europe  /  Turkey  /  Kars Province  /  Kars


Ruins · Historic Sites · Sacred & Religious Sites
Kars is a city in northeast Turkey and the capital of Kars Province.With a population of 73,836, it is the largest city on the Turkish side of the closed border with Armenia. For a brief period of time, it served as the capital of the medieval Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. Its significance increased in the 19th century, when Kars was contested between the Ottoman and Russian empires, with the latter gaining control of the city as a result of the 1877-78 war. During World War I, the Ottomans took control of the city in 1918 and declared the Provisional National Government of the Southwestern Caucasus, but were forced to relinquish it to the First Republic of Armenia following the Armistice of Mudros. During the Turkish–Armenian War in late 1920, Turkish revolutionaries captured Kars for the last time. The controversial Treaty of Kars was signed in 1921 between the Government of the Grand National Assembly and the Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, which established the current north-eastern boundaries of Turkey.HistoryEtymologyAs Chorzene, the town appears in Roman historiography as part of ancient Armenia. For the origin of the name "Kars", some sources claim it to be derived from the Georgian word კარი, meaning "the gate" while other sources claim it is from the Armenian word հարս which is a folk etymological word for bride, or rather from կառուց բերդ, "Kaṛuts Fortress". The Turkish etymology offered by M. Fahrettin Kırzıoğlu, has been dismissed as unsustainable by scholars.
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