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Erzerum(–zə–), city (1990 pop. 241,344), capital of Erzurum prov., E Turkey. It is an agricultural trade center and a railroad center. Agricultural products include sugar beets, wheat, barley, and vegetables. Metal and leather handicrafts are also produced. Although its origins are obscure, the city was known in the 5th cent. A.D. as Theodosiopolis, an important Byzantine frontier fortress. It was later held by various peoples, including the Armenians, Persians, and Seljuk Turks, before being captured by the Ottoman Turks in the early 16th cent. The first Turkish Nationalist congress was held there in 1919. In 1983 an earthquake caused extensive damage in and around the city and killed more than 1,300 people. It is the site of Atatürk Univ.
(also Erzerum), a city in northwestern Turkey and the capital of Erzurum Vilayet. Population, 163,000 (1975). Erzurum is a transportation junction on a railroad line that runs from Ankara to Leninakan (USSR) and on a highway that runs from Trabzon to Tabriz (Iran). It has a meat-packing plant, sugar refineries, butter and cheese plants, a footwear factory, and furniture factories. The city has a metalworking industry. A university is located in Erzurum.
In antiquity Erzurum, which was called Karin, belonged to Armenia. It was known as Theodosiopolis under Byzantine rule and as Kalikala under the Arabian Caliphate. In the 11th century the city was captured by the Seljuks, who gave it its present name; it became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1514. The Erzurum area was on numerous occasions the scene of military conflict. The city was occupied by Russian troops in 1829 and 1878 and from 1916 to 1918 (seeERZERUM OPERATION OF 1916). In 1919, Erzurum became a center of the Kemalist Revolution.