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Kars

Trip Planner Europe  /  Turkey  /  Kars Province  /  Kars
(4.2/5 based on 500+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, winter sports, museums
Kars is a city in northeast Turkey and the capital of Kars Province.With a population of 73,826, it is the largest city on the Turkish side of the 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, 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.HistoryEtymologyFor the origin of the name "Kars", some sources claim it to be derived from the Georgian word კარი (kari), meaning "the gate" while other sources claim it is from the Armenian word հարս (hars) which is a folk etymological word for bride, or rather from կառուց բերդ (kaṛuts berd), "Kaṛuts Fortress". The Georgian etymology, along with a Turkish one offered by M. Fahrettin Kırzıoğlu (that the name came from the "Karsak", a Turkish tribe), has been criticized by some scholars.
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