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Erzurum, Turkey.
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In front the Lala Mustafa Pasa mosque, the Yakutiye medrese in the back.

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Çifte Minareli Medrese. Erzurum, Turkey.
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Çifte Minareli Medrese. Photo: Jean & Nathalie.

The Yakutiye medrese, Erzurum, Turkey.
Üç Kümbetler mausoleums, Erzurum, Turkey.

Üç Kümbetler mausoleums, Erzurum, Turkey.
Erzurum, Turkey.

City in eastern Turkey with 360,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), at an elevation of 1,950 metres above sea level on a fertile plain north of the Karasu Mountains, and on the Karasu river, a headwater of the Euphrates. It is the capital of Erzurum Province with 940,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Erzurum is the administrative, economic and transport centre of a fertile agricultural region, where livestock is especially important. Agricultural products are principally wheat, barley, millet, sugar beets and vegetables. Erzurum is well-known for handcrafted leather and metal articles; even in modern times, large quantities of saddles are produced. Erzurum has very few modern industries, a sugar-beet factory being the only exception.
The railway running through Erzurum, connecting Anatolia with Iran, is a continuation of the caravan trade route, surviving since antiquity. Erzurum has also good road connections, with roads going in all but southern directions.
Historically important buildings include Seljuq theological colleges, especially the Cifte Minareli from 1253 and Yakutiye from 1310. The Great Mosque dates back to 1179, and a few royal Seljuq mausoleums date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
The name comes from the Arabic, "Arzu r-Rum," meaning "Land of the Romans." Today, Erzurum is dominated by Kurds.

5th century: The Byzantines build the fortress, Theodosiopolis.
653: Theodosiopolis falls to the Muslim Arabs.
1071: Conquered by Seljuq Turks.
1515: Comes under control of the Ottomans.
1829: Occupied by the Russians.
1916: Occupied by the Russians.
1918: With the end of World War 1, Russian troops leave Erzurum.
1919: Mustafa Kemal forms the Turkish Nationalist Congress, a forerunner to the Turkish republic.
1957: Atatürk University is founded.

By Tore Kjeilen