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The Taurus Mountains (
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
: ''Toros Dağları'' or ''Toroslar'') are a
mountain complex
mountain complex
in southern
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
, separating the
Mediterranean coastal region
Mediterranean coastal region
from the central
Anatolian Plateau The Anatolian Plateau () is a plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rock ...
. The system extends along a curve from
Lake Eğirdir
Lake Eğirdir
in the west to the upper reaches of the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
and
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
rivers in the east. It is a part of the
Alpide belt The Alpide belt or Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt,K.M. Storetvedt, K. M., ''The Tethys Sea and the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt; mega-elements in a new global tectonic system,'' Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Volume 62, Issues 1 ...

Alpide belt
in
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
.


Etymology

The mountain range under the current name was mentioned in ''The Histories'' by
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the ...

Polybius
as Ταῦρος (''Taûros'').
Heinrich Kiepert Heinrich Kiepert (July 31, 1818 – April 21, 1899) was a Germany, German geographer. Early life and education Kiepert was born in Berlin. He traveled frequently as a youth with his family and documented his travels by drawing. His family was f ...
writes in ''Lehrbuch der alten Geographie'' that the name was borrowed into
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
from the
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...

Semitic
(
Old Aramaic Old Aramaic refers to the earliest stage of the Aramaic language Aramaic ( Classical Syriac: ''Arāmāyā''; Old Aramaic: ; Aramaic alphabet, Imperial Aramaic: ; Hebrew alphabet, square script ) is a language that originated among the Aram ...
) root ''tür nowiki/>Aramaic_script_needed.html" ;"title="Aramaic_script.html" ;"title="nowiki/>Aramaic script">nowiki/>Aramaic script needed">Aramaic_script.html" ;"title="nowiki/>Aramaic script">nowiki/>Aramaic script needed/sup>'', meaning "mountain".


Geography

The Taurus mountains are divided into three chains from west to east as follows; * Western Taurus (Batı Toroslar) *Central Taurus (Orta Toroslar) *Southeastern Taurus (Güneydoğu Toroslar)


Western Taurus

The Western Taurus Mountains form an arc around the Gulf of Antalya. It includes the Akdağlar, Bey Mountains, Katrancık Mountain, Kuyucak Mountains, and Geyik Mountains. The East Taşeli Plateau and Goksu River divide it from the Central Taurus Mountains. It has many peaks rising above . Mt. Kizlarsivrisi, , in the Bey Mountains is the highest peak in the Western Taurus."Mountaineering in Turkey" ''All About Turkey''
/ref> Image:Termessos solymos 200603.jpg ,
Termessos Termessos (Greek language, Greek Τερμησσός ''Termissós'') was a Pisidian city built at an altitude of more than 1000 metres at the south-west side of the mountain Solymos (modern-day Güllük Dağı) in the Taurus Mountains (modern ...

Termessos
is an ancient city in the western Taurus Image:AntalyaSunset.JPG ,
Antalya Antalya (, from grc, Ἀττάλεια) is the fifth-most populous city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balka ...

Antalya
with the sunset and mountains in the west Image: Крепость Аланья.JPG ,
Alanya Alanya (; ), formerly Alaiye, is a beach resort town, resort city and a district of Antalya Province on the southern coast of Turkey, in the country's Mediterranean Region, Turkey, Mediterranean Region, east of the city of Antalya. As of Turkey' ...

Alanya
, and the surrounding mountains


Central Taurus

The Central Taurus Mountains are roughly defined to include northern
Mersin Province Mersin Province ( tr, ), formerly İçel Province ( tr, ), is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, su ...
and northwestern
Adana Province Adana Province ( tr, ) is a Provinces of Turkey, province of Turkey located in central Cilicia. With a population of 2.20 million, it is the Provinces of Turkey, sixth most populous province in Turkey. The administrative seat of the province is ...
. The highest point in the Central Taurus is Mt. Demirkazık (3,756m). The
Cilician Gates Cilicia (); el, Κιλικία, ''Kilikía''; Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literar ...
or Gülek Pass has been the principal
pass Pass, PASS, The Pass or Passed may refer to: Places *Pass, County Meath, a townland in Ireland *Pass, Poland, a village in Poland *Pass (strait), Pass, an alternate term for a number of straits: see List of straits *Mountain pass, a lower place ...

pass
through the Eastern Taurus since ancient times, connecting the coastal plain of
Cilicia Cilicia (); el, Κιλικία, ''Kilikía''; Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the litera ...

Cilicia
with
Central Anatolia The Central Anatolia Region ( tr, İç Anadolu Bölgesi) is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the ...
. The Tarsus-Ankara Highway ( E90, O-21) passes through it. Mountain ranges in the Central Taurus include: *Akçalı Mountains, western *
Bolkar Mountains Bolkar Mountains, also known as Bulgar Dagh or Bolghar Dagh, are a mountain range situated in the middle part of the Taurus mountains complex in southern Turkey bounded by the Göksu River to the west and the Pozantı River to the east. The north ...

Bolkar Mountains
, central, highest peak Mt. Medetsiz *, central, highest peak Mt. Kızılkaya *
Tahtalı MountainsTahtalı may refer to places in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially ...
or
Anti-Taurus Mountains The Anti-Taurus Mountains (from el, Αντίταυρος, tr, Aladağlar) are a mountain range in southern and eastern Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia ...
* Munzur mountain range, eastern, highest peak Mt. Akbaba ** Mercan mountain range, within the Munzur Image:AlaDaglarDirektas.jpg , Aladağlar Image:Tahtali Mountains.jpg ,
Tahtalı MountainsTahtalı may refer to places in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially ...
Image:Puertas Cilícias.jpg , Gülek, Mersin Province Image:Varda Demiryolu Koprusu.jpg , Railway viaduct,
Adana Province Adana Province ( tr, ) is a Provinces of Turkey, province of Turkey located in central Cilicia. With a population of 2.20 million, it is the Provinces of Turkey, sixth most populous province in Turkey. The administrative seat of the province is ...
Image:Toros Mountains near Mersin.jpg, Near
Mersin Mersin () is a large city and a port on the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey. As of the last 2020 estimation, the Metropolitan Province population was 1,868,757 inhabitants whom 1.050.301 lived in the built-up (or metro ...
Image:Karagöl, Toros.JPG, Lake ( Karagöl) near the summit


Southeastern Taurus

The Southeastern Taurus mountains form the northern boundary of the
Southeastern Anatolia Region The Southeastern Anatolia Region ( tr, Güneydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi) is a Geographical regions of Turkey, geographical region of Turkey. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Region, Turkey, Mediterranean Region to the west, the Eastern Anatolia ...

Southeastern Anatolia Region
and North
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
. They include the Nurhak Mountains, Malatya Mountains, Maden Mountains, Genç Mountains, and Bitlis Mountains. They are in the watershed of the
Euphrates River The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are a ...

Euphrates River
and
Tigris River The Tigris, () is the eastern of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end ...

Tigris River
. Image:Kale.jpg ,
Malatya Malatya ( hy, Մալաթիա, translit=Malat'ya; ku, Meletî; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), general ...
's Castle district and the Southeastern Taurus Image:Karakaya dam-GAP.jpg , Karakaya Dam.


Geology

The Taurus Mountains were formed by the collision of the
African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** People who are native to Africa, descendants of natives of Africa, or individuals who trace their ancestry to indigenous inhabitants of Africa *** Ethnic groups ...
and
Eurasian Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it spans from the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Japa ...
tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibri ...
s. The predominant underlying rock is
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
. In the Aladaglar and Bolkar mountains, limestone has eroded to form
karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topography ...

karst
ic landscapes of
waterfall A waterfall is a point in a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its cour ...

waterfall
s,
underground river A subterranean river is a river that runs wholly or partly beneath the ground surface – one where the riverbed does not represent the surface of the Earth. It is distinct from an aquifer, which may flow like a river but is contained within a Per ...
s, and some of the largest
cave A cave or cavern is a natural void in the Earth#Surface, ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word ''cave'' can also refer to much small ...

cave
s of
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
. The
Manavgat River Manavgat River originates on the eastern slopes of Western Taurus Mountains in Turkey. In ancient times it was called Melas ( grc, Μέλας). At an elevation of 1,350 m, the outflow of several small springs joins together to become the headwater ...
originates on the southern slopes of the Beydaglari range.


Climate

The mountains have a
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
, with a dry summer and rainy winters. Temperatures vary with elevation, with warm winters on the lower coastal slopes and cold winters in the high mountains and in the interior.


Flora and fauna

At lower elevations, the predominant vegetation forest and woodland of evergreen oaks and
Turkish pine ''Pinus brutia'', commonly known as the Turkish pine, is a species of pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum ...
(''Pinus brutia''), and areas of
maquis shrubland 220px, Low maquis in Corsica 220px, High ''macchia'' in Sardinia (French) or ( it, macchia mediterranea; hr, makija) is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Assoc ...
. Above 1200 meters elevation are montane forests of (''Pinus nigra''),
Lebanon cedar ''Cedrus libani'', the cedar of Lebanon or Lebanese cedar (), is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

Lebanon cedar
(''Cedrus libani''), Taurus fir (''Abies cilicica''), and
juniper Junipers are conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The divi ...

juniper
(''Juniperus'' spp.). The high peaks are home to alpine meadows.


History


Pre-history and early Roman period

The bull was commonly the symbol and depiction of
ancient Near Eastern The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
storm gods, hence
Taurus Taurus is Latin for 'bull' and may refer to: * Taurus (constellation), one of the constellations of the zodiac * Taurus (mythology), one of two Greek mythological characters named Taurus * Taurus (astrology), the astrological sign * ''Bos taurus' ...
the bull, and hence the name of the mountains. The mountains are a place of many ancient storm-god temples. Torrential thunderstorms in these mountains were deemed by the ancient Syrians to be the work of the storm-god Adad to make the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
and
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
rivers rise and flood and thereby fertilise their land. The
Hurrians The Hurrians (; cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by ...
, probably originators of the various storm-gods of the ancient Near East, were a people whom modern scholars place in the Taurus Mountains at their probable earliest origins. A
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
archaeological site, where early evidence of
tin Tin is a with the Sn (from la, ) and  50. Tin is a silvery-colored metal that characteristically has a faint yellow hue. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent ...

tin
mining Mining is the extraction of valuable mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occu ...

mining
was found, is at Kestel. The pass known in antiquity as the
Cilician Gates Cilicia (); el, Κιλικία, ''Kilikía''; Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literar ...
crosses the range north of Tarsus. The Amanus range in southern Turkey is where the Taurus Mountains are pushed up as three tectonic plates come together. The Amanus is a natural frontier: west is
Cilicia Cilicia (); el, Κιλικία, ''Kilikía''; Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the litera ...

Cilicia
, east is Syria. There are several passes, like the Amanian Gate (Bahçe Pass), which are of great strategical importance. In 333 BC at the
Battle of Issus The Battle of Issus (also Issos) occurred in southern Anatolia, on November 5, 333 BC between the League of Corinth, Hellenic League led by Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Empire, led by Darius III of Persia, Darius III, in the second gre ...

Battle of Issus
, Alexander the Great defeated Darius III Codomannus in the foothills along the coast between these two passes. In the Second Temple period, Jewish authors seeking to establish with greater precision the geographical definition of the
Promised Land The Promised Land ( he, הארץ המובטחת, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:litte ...
, began to construe
Mount Hor Mount Hor (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , ''Hor Ha-Har'') is the name given in the Old Testament to two distinct mountains. One borders the land of Edom in the area south of the Dead Sea, and the other is by the Mediterranean Sea at the Northern borde ...
as a reference to the Amanus range of the Taurus Mountains, which marked the northern limit of the Syrian plain.


Late Roman period to present

During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, the German and Turkish railway system through the Taurus Mountains proved to be a major strategic objective of the Allies. This region was specifically mentioned as a strategically controlled objective slated for surrender to the Allies in the
Armistice An armistice is a formal agreement Agreement or concord (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) happens when a word changes form depending on the other words to which it relates. It is an instance of inflection, and usually involves makin ...

Armistice
, which ended hostilities against the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
.Price, Ward (16 December 1918) "Danger in Taurus Tunnels" ''New York Times''
/ref>


Attractions

In addition to hiking and mountain climbing, there are two
ski resort A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. In Europe, most ski resorts are towns or villages in or adjacent to a ski area – a mountainous area with pistes (ski trails) and a ski lift system. In North ...

ski resort
s on the mountain range, one at Davras about from the two nearest towns of Egirdir and
Isparta Isparta ( el, Σπάρτη, ''Baris''/Βάρις in Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hel ...

Isparta
, the second is from the city of
Antalya Antalya (, from grc, Ἀττάλεια) is the fifth-most populous city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balka ...

Antalya
. The Varda Viaduct, situated on the railway lines
Konya Konya (), historically known as Iconium (), is a major city in south-central Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and ...

Konya
-
Adana Adana () is a major city in southern Turkey. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, inland from the north-eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the administrative seat of the Adana Province and has a population of 1.77 million. Ada ...

Adana
at Hacıkırı village in
Adana Province Adana Province ( tr, ) is a Provinces of Turkey, province of Turkey located in central Cilicia. With a population of 2.20 million, it is the Provinces of Turkey, sixth most populous province in Turkey. The administrative seat of the province is ...
, is a railway bridge constructed in the 1910s by
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...

German
s.


References


External links


map of Eurasia
showing Taurus Mountain ranges {{Authority control Mountain ranges of Turkey Central Anatolia Region Mediterranean Region, Turkey Southeastern Anatolia Region Upper Mesopotamia Physiographic provinces