Major mountain chain of southern Turkey.
The Taurus chain is composed of several parallel limestone ranges rimming and reaching the Mediterranean, for about 930 miles (1,500 km), from Muğla in the west to Lake Van in the east. The summits often exceed 10,000 feet (3,000 m), the highest nonvolcanic peak being 12,323 feet (3,756 m)—the Aladağ—north of Adana. The average width of the range is 95 miles (150 km), and it forms a barrier to the Anatolian plateau but provides a valuable source of water for irrigation, forest products, and summer pasture. The most important pass is north of Tarsus, called the Cilician Gates. To the northeast is the extension of the range, called the Anti-Taurus.
Fisher, Sydney N. The Middle East: A History, 3d edition. New York: Knopf, 1979.
john r. clark