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Kars Province

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Title: Kars Province  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Provinces of Turkey, Akyaka, Kars, Kars, Iğdır Province, Arpaçay
Collection: Eastern Anatolia Region, Kars Province, Provinces of Turkey, States and Territories Established in 1920
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kars Province

Kars Province
Kars ili
Province of Turkey
Location of Kars Province in Turkey
Location of Kars Province in Turkey
Country Turkey
Region Northeast Anatolia
Subregion Ağrı
 • Electoral district Kars
 • Governor Eyüp Tepe[1]
 • Total 9,587 km2 (3,702 sq mi)
Population (2010-12-31)[2]
 • Total 301,766
 • Density 31/km2 (82/sq mi)
Area code(s) 0474
Vehicle registration 36

Kars Province (Turkish: Kars ili) is a province of Turkey, located in the northeastern part of the country. It shares part of its border with the Republic of Armenia. The provincial capital is the city of Kars. The provinces of Ardahan and Iğdır were until the 1990s part of Kars Province.


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Districts 3
  • Kars nature, wildlife and ecotourism 4
  • Economy 5
  • Cuisine 6
  • Monuments 7
  • In popular culture 8
  • Gallery 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


In ancient times, Kars (Armenian:Կարս) was part of the province of Ararat in the Kingdom of Armenia. The first known people were the followers of Vanand (Վանանդ), for whom Kars was their main settlement and fortress. In 928, Kars became the capital of Armenia. In 968, the capital of Armenia was moved to Ani (Անի), but Kars remained the capital of the feudal principality of Vanand. From the 9th to 13th century, even during the Mongol invasion, Kars made significant progress, and the very famous (Առանիկ-Aranik) fortress was completed. Kars, along with many other medieval Armenian towns, began as a fortress, and Armenian historians have referred to such places as berd karouts (-բերդ կարուց). Roughly translated, this means "fortification building". Up until the 13th century, the fortress surrounded the city, and this area was later turned into a citadel. Later on, during the rule of the Persian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, the fortress of Kars, located in what was then the eastern part of the city, fell into disrepair. However, as Kars was within a border region its defensive structures were often renewed, and they continued to advance to such a degree, that in the 19th century Kars was well known around the world as a castle.

As a result of the

  • (Turkish) Kars governor's official website
  • (Turkish) Kars municipality's official website
  • (English) The official city guide of the Kars municipality
  • (Turkish) Kars Daily News
  • (English) Kars weather forecast information
  • Pictures of the city of Kars and of nearby Ani

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ Turkish Statistical Institute, MS Excel document – Population of province/district centers and towns/villages and population growth rate by provinces
  3. ^ a b Coene, Frederik, 'The Caucasus - An Introduction', (2011)
  4. ^ Watts, Nicole F. (2010). Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey (Studies in Modernity and National Identity). Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 167.  
  5. ^ "KuzeyDoga Society"
  6. ^ "Kuyucuk Lake Project"
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Kars-Ekonomik Faaliyetler" (in Turkish). Coğrafya Dünyası. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  8. ^ Küpeli, Mustafa (2011-12-11). "Kaz Kars, Ardahan ve Bölge için Bir Ekonomik Potansiyeldir". Serhat'ın Sesi Siyasal Birikim (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  9. ^ "Kars'tan Almanya'ya Kaz Tüyü İhraç Edildi". Yeni Umut Gazetesi (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  10. ^ Yaşin, Mehmet (2007-01-21). "Kars’ta kaz kebabı ziyafeti".  
  11. ^ Taşdemir, Yüksel Turan. "Kars Kazı, Kars Kars kaşarı , Kars Grevyeri, Kars Balı ve Bu Yöreye Özel Besinler" (in Turkish). Tavsiye Ediyorum. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  12. ^ "Kars usulu Kaz / Kars style roasted goose". Turkish cuisine. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 


See also


Kars was also the setting for the popular novel Snow by Orhan Pamuk. The Siege of Kars, 1855 is a book published by The Stationery Office, 2000, and is an account of its defence and capitulation as reported by one General Williams, one of many British officers lent to the Turkish army to lead garrisons and train regiments in the war against Russia.

In popular culture

Kars contains numerous monuments, the most notable being the ruined Armenian city of Ani and the 9th century Church of the Apostles.


Among the most famous food products special to Kars region are Kars honey, Kars Kasseri, Kars Gruyère cheese, which tastes like Swiss Emmental cheese, and Kars style roasted goose.[10][11][12]


Main industrial plants in Kars are of meat processing, livestock feed processing, gristmill, yarn, tannery, footwear, cement and brick factories.[7]

Ore beds of rock salt, arsenic, asbestos, magnesite, gypsum and perlite are explored, however, only rock salt is mined.[7]

Kars Province is not abundant with woods although the region is favorable for forests. Only 4% of the province area is covered with woods. Scots Pine, spruce and alder are the tree species most found in the woods of Kars. Around 15,000 m3 (530,000 cu ft) timber is produced by logging in forestry.[7]

Livestock breeding in the region is more important than agriculture. Grassland, meadows and the rich vegetation led to the development of livestock breeding. The grassland and meadows, which make out 70% of the area of Kars Province, are capable of providing at least ten times of the current livestock potential's breeding. Kars is the biggest cattle breeding province in Turkey, and is the center of livestock trade.[7] Efforts are being made to increase goose breeding, which is very special to Kars region. Aside its meat taking a special place in the Kars cuisine, goose liver and down feather started already to be exported to Europe.[8] [9]

The climate limits the cultivation of plants in the region. In Kağızman and Tuzluca, cotton, sugar beet, beans and vetches are grown. Vegetable gardening and orchards are not very developed. Wheat, barley, cotton and in small quantity tobacco are grown in the province.[7]

The economy of Kars Province is dominated by agriculture, livestock breeding and forestry. 85% of the active population in Kars Province are farmers or herders. 60% of the gross domestic income is received from those sectors. Industry, tourism and commerce is developing.[7]


Kars has a wealth of wildlife that is being documented by the Kars-Igdir Biodiversity Project run by the KuzeyDoga Society.[5] The project has recorded 323 of Turkey's 468 bird species in the region. At least 223 of these occur at Lake Kuyucuk,[6] that is the most important wetland in the region. Sarikamis Forests in the south harbor wolves, brown bear, lynx and other animals, and Aras (Araxes) River wetlands comprise a key stop-over site for many migrating birds. Aras River Bird Research and Education Center at Yukari Ciyrikli village has recorded 228 bird species at this single location alone.

Kars nature, wildlife and ecotourism

There are 383 villages in Kars.

Kars province is divided into 8 districts (ilçe), each named after the administrative center of the district:


Political scientist Nicole Watts suggests that about 20% of the province's population is Kurdish (as of 2010).[4]



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