Turkey/To Kars Part 1
By: Nurettin YilmazPublished: 5 months ago
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Kars is a city in northeast Turkey and the capital of Kars Province.
With a population of 113599 (in 2016), 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.
Kars is served by a main highway from Erzurum, and lesser roads run north to Ardahan and south to Igdir. The town has an airport (Kars Harakani Airport), with daily direct flights to Ankara and Istanbul. Kars is served by a station on the Turkish Railways (TCDD) that links it to Erzurum. This line was originally laid when Kars was within the Russian Empire and connected the city to nearby Alexandropol and Tiflis, with a wartime, narrow-gauge extension running to Erzurum. Turkey's border crossings with Armenia, including the rail link, the Kars-Gyumri-Tbilisi railway, have regrettably been closed since April 1993. Construction on a new line, the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway, intended to connect Turkey with Georgia and Azerbaijan, began in 2010 and is scheduled for completion by 2017. The line will connect Kars to Akhalkalaki in Georgia, from where trains will continue to Tbilisi, and Baku in Azerbaijan.Wikipedia