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Van(vän), city (1990 pop. 153,525), capital of Van prov., E Turkey, near the eastern shore of Lake VanVan, Lake
, 1,453 sq mi (3,763 sq km), largest lake in Turkey, in E Turkey 65 mi (105 km) SW of Mt. Ararat. Some 75 mi (120 km) long, the lake is alkaline and has no outlet; the city of Van is near the lake's east shore.
..... Click the link for more information. , at an altitude of 5,659 ft (1,725 m). It is the trade center for a fruit- and grain-growing region. Now predominantly Kurdish, Van was the cradle of an ancient Armenian civilization. It was the capital of the old Vannic kingdom of UrartuUrartu
, ancient kingdom of Armenia and N Mesopotamia, centered about Lake Van in present-day E Turkey. It was the biblical Ararat. Urartu flourished from the 13th cent. to the 7th cent. B.C., but was most powerful in the 8th cent. B.C., when it ruled over most of N Syria.
..... Click the link for more information. or Ararat. The city fell to the Seljuk Turks (1071) and to the Ottoman Turks in 1543. Near the city is the mound of Toprakkale where excavations in the 19th cent. uncovered the remains of the town of Urartu. Many tablets with so-called Vannic inscriptions relating to early Armenian history were found. In 1939 archaeologists discovered fortifications and various materials dating from the 8th cent. B.C. Many of the Armenians living in the region were massacred by the Turks in 1895 and also during World War I, when control of Van was contested by Russia. Van suffered significant damage from an earthquake in 2011.
a city in eastern Turkey and administrative center of the vilayet of Van; located near the western shore of Lake Van. Population, 31,000 (1965). Trading center of an agricultural district (wheat). Cement-making and flour-milling industries are found in Van.
From the ninth to the sixth century B.C. the capital of the state of Urartu-Turuspa was located on the site of Van. Turuspa was known as Van from the sixth century B.C. In ancient Armenia under Tigranes II (first century B.C.), Van was a town of considerable importance. In 364 A.D. it was severely damaged by the troops of the Sassanian king Sapor II. It again became an important town in the tenth century as part of the Vaspuragan Kingdom. In 1022 it was seized by Byzantium and then by the Seljuks. In the second half of the 14th century it was destroyed twice by the troops of Timur. In the 17th century the city was seized by the Turks. In 1895-96 under Sultan Abdul-Hamid II the population of Van was subjected to a cruel pogrom, during which thousands of Armenians were slaughtered. During World War I (1914-18) the Armenian population was evicted and annihilated by the Turkish authorities.
B. N. ARAKELYAN
a lake in Turkey located in the Armenian Highlands at an altitude of 1,720 m. Area, approximately 3,700 sq km; depth, more than 145 m.
The origin of the lake bed is basically tectonic, but the lake’s waters were also dammed up by the products of eruptions of the Siukhan and Nemrut volcanoes, which formed the northern and western shores. The lake is without drainage; it softens to a degree the climate of the neighboring mountains. The water of Van Lake is saline (19.1 parts per thousand). The populace living along its shores engages in fishing and salt extraction. The lake is navigable.