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The most important city in eastern Turkey and the capital of Erzurum province.

Erzurum is an ancient frontier town that historically was a site of contestation between Byzantium and Persia, Byzantium and the Arabs, and the Ottoman and Safavi empires. Erzurum is located in a high valley 2078 yards (1,900 meters) of the Kara Su and Aras rivers. During the Ottoman period, the town had a large Armenian population, but the community was forcibly deported during the Armenian genocide of 1915. Later, Erzurum was the site of the first nationalist congress in 1919, which was attended by Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) and issued the declaration of the Turkish war of independence from Allied occupation. Modern Erzurum has grown into the major urban center of eastern Turkey, with a population of 565,516 (census of 2000). It is the site of a large military base and Atatürk University, and is a trade center, especially for local products such as iron, copper, sugar, grain, cattle, and leather.

See also Armenian Genocide; AtatÜrk, Mustafa Kemal; Erzurum Congress (1919).


"Erzurum." Available at <>.

elizabeth thompson updated by eric hooglund