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Town in northwestern (European) Turkey with 55,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), in the foothills of the Yildiz Mountains. It is the capital of Kirklareli province with 330,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Kirklareli is the centre of a rich agricultural region producing wheat, barley, sugar beets, grapes and tobacco. The dense forest to the north makes the region one of the greatest producers of timber. Kirklareli itself deals with trade in dairy products, cereals and tobacco.
Kirklareli became a urban centre because of the route over the mountains that connected Istanbul with the Ottoman provinces corresponding to modern Bulgaria. Today, Kirikaleri is connected by road to Edirne, 60 km west and Istanbul southeast.
The city has numerous Ottoman monuments, including the 15th-century Mosque of Hizir Bey.
It was formerly known as Kirk Kilise, "Forty Churches".

By Tore Kjeilen