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Coordinates: 38°44′00″N41°29′28″E / 38.73333°N 41.49111°E / 38.73333; 41.49111 Coordinates: 38°44′00″N41°29′28″E / 38.73333°N 41.49111°E / 38.73333; 41.49111
Country Turkey
Province Muş
  MayorFeyat Asya (AKP)
  District2,604.14 km2 (1,005.46 sq mi)
1,350 m (4,430 ft)
(2012) [2]
  District density69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Muş (pronounced  [muʃ] ; transliterated as Mush, also historically Moush or Moosh; Armenian : Մուշ, Kurdish : Mûş) is a city and the provincial capital of Muş Province in Turkey. The former Armenian Catholic eparchy (bishopric) is now a titular see.

Armenian language Indo-European language

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken primarily by Armenians. It is the official language of Armenia. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.

Muş Province Province of Turkey in Central East Anatolia

Muş Province, is a province in eastern Turkey. It is 8,196 km2 in area and has a population of 406,886 according to a 2010 estimate, down from 453,654 in 2000. The provincial capital is the city of Muş. Another town in Muş province, Malazgirt (Manzikert), is famous for the Battle of Manzikert of 1071. The majority of the province's population is Kurdish.

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.



Ancient and medieval

The date of foundation of Mush is unknown, although a settlement is believed to have been around by the time of Menua, the king of Urartu (c. 800 BC), whose cuneiform inscription was found in the city's vicinity. [3]

Menua was the fifth known king of Urartu from c. 810 BC to approximately 786 BC. The name is sometimes written as Menuas or Minua.

Urartu Iron Age kingdom located in a large region around Lake Van

Urartu, which corresponds to the biblical mountains of Ararat, is the name of a geographical region commonly used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the historic Armenian Highlands.

During the Middle Ages, Mush was the center of the Taron region of Armenia. Its is first mentioned as a city in Armenian manuscripts of the 9th and 10th centuries. In the late 8th century Mush, along with the Taron region, came under control of the Armenian Bagratid (Bagratuni) dynasty, who reconquered it from the Arabs. Mush and the Taron region was captured and annexed to the Byzantine Empire in 969. [4]

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Taron (historic Armenia) regions of ancient Armenia

Taron was a canton of the Turuberan province of Greater Armenia, roughly corresponding to the Muş Province of modern Turkey.

Bagratid Armenia 885-1045

The Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia, also known as Bagratid Armenia, was an independent state established by Ashot I Bagratuni in the early 880s following nearly two centuries of foreign domination of Greater Armenia under Arab Umayyad and Abbasid rule. With the two contemporary powers in the region, the Abbasids and Byzantines, too preoccupied to concentrate their forces in subjugating the people of the region and the dissipation of several of the Armenian nakharar noble families, Ashot was able to assert himself as the leading figure of a movement to dislodge the Arabs from Armenia.

After the 11th century, the town was ruled by Islamic dynasties such as the Ahlatshahs, Ayyubids, Ilkhanids and Kara Koyunlu. In the 10th-13th centuries Mush developed into a major city with an estimated population of 20 to 25 thousand people. [5] In 1387 the central Asian ruler Timur crossed the area and apparently captured Mush town without a battle. [6]

Kara Koyunlu

The Kara Koyunlu or Qara Qoyunlu, also called the Black Sheep Turkomans, were a Muslim Oghuz Turkic monarchy that ruled over the territory comprising present-day Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, northwestern Iran, eastern Turkey, and northeastern Iraq from about 1374 to 1468.

Timur Turco-Mongol ruler

Timur, sometimes spelled Taimur and historically best known as Amir Timur or Tamerlane, was a Turco-Mongol Persianate conqueror. As the founder of the Timurid Empire in and around modern-day Iran and Central Asia, he became the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty. According to John Joseph Saunders, Timur was "the product of an islamized and iranized society", and not steppe nomadic.

Later the Akkoyunlu ruled the area and in the 16th the Ottomans took control over the town and region in the 16th century from the Persian Safavids. Mush remained part of the Ottoman Empire till the early 20th century and during these times retained a large Armenian population. In 1821 a Persian invasion reached Mush. [6]

Musch - PA 0699 U 33 002 58.jpg
Musch - PA 0699 U 33 002 59.jpg
Musch - PA 0699 U 33 002 60.jpg
Musch - PA 0699 U 33 002 61.jpg
Panorama of the city of Muş, then in the Ottoman Empire, photographed by the Norwegian missionary Bodil Katharine Biørn (1871–1960) in 1905. Photo from the collections of the National Archives of Norway.


At the turn of the twentieth century, the city had around 20,000 inhabitants, of which 11,000 were Muslims (mainly Turks and Kurds), while 9,000 were (Christian) Armenians. [7] According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) the town had 27,000 inhabitants, of whom 13,300 were Muslims and 13,700 Armenians. [8] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) the population was nearly equally divided between Kurds and Armenians. [9]

<i>Encyclopædia Britannica</i> General knowledge English-language encyclopaedia

The Encyclopædia Britannica, formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia. It was written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors. The 2010 version of the 15th edition, which spans 32 volumes and 32,640 pages, was the last printed edition.

During the Armenian Genocide of 1915 the indigenous Armenian population of the region was exterminated. Over 140,000 Armenians of the Mush sanjak (living in 234 villages and towns) [10] were targeted in June and July 1915. [11] Military-aged Armenian men were conscripted to serve in World War I. The Armenian population was largely defenseless to these threats [12] The massacre of the Armenian population of the city of Mush came only after the surrounding villages were destroyed. [12]

The town was occupied during World War I by the (Allied) Czarist Russia Empire in 1916 and retaken by Turkish (Central Powers) troops on 30 April 1917.

Main sights

The area of Muş has several ruined castles. Under the rule of the medieval Armenian dynasties monasteries and churches were built in localities near Mush such as the Arakelots Monastery, Surp Marineh Church, Mush, Surb Karapet Monastery most of which are now ruins.

Under the rule of the Muslim dynasties, other type of buildings were built as well. There are mosques from the Ottoman and pre-Ottoman period which show influences of Seljuk architecture. Mosques like the Alaeddin Bey (18th century), [6] Haci Seref (17th century), [6] and Ulu Mosque (14th century). [6] Caravanserais like the "Yıldızlı Han" (13th century) destroyed in 1916, the now almost completely ruined "Arslanli Han" [6] and also bathhouse and fountain of Alaeddin Bey and tombs of Muslim saints.


Population of the municipality of Muş numbers 72,774 (2009 estimate). [13] The province of Muş is one of the 13 provinces of Turkey with a Kurdish majority. [14] Kurds make up the majority of the city's population as well. [15] [16] The rest are Turks (mostly native, some are Balkan or Caucasian muhajirs), Arabs, [17] and Crypto-Armenians [18] (2,000 to 3,000 according to estimates). [19] [20]

Notable locals


Muş has a hot summer Mediterranean continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dsa) with freezing, snowy winters and hot, very dry and very sunny summers.

Climate data for Muş (1960-2012)
Record high °C (°F)10.2
Average high °C (°F)−3.2
Daily mean °C (°F)−7.4
Average low °C (°F)−11.2
Record low °C (°F)−32.6
Average precipitation mm (inches)84.8
Average precipitation days13.212.313.714.513.
Mean monthly sunshine hours 65.186.8148.8198285.2354387.5372315226.312965.12,632.8
Percent possible sunshine 21294050648086888465432259
Source: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü [22]

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  22. İl ve İlçelerimize Ait İstatistiki Veriler- Meteoroloji Genel Müdürlüğü Archived 2011-04-30 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 2011-04-16.