Taurus Mountains

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Taurus Mountains, Taurus
Western, Middle, and Southeastern Taurus in Turkey

Western, Middle, and Southeastern Taurus in Turkey

Highest peak Uludoruk Tepesi ( 4135  m )
location Turkey
Classification according to Mountain regions of the Taurus
Coordinates 37 ° 50 ′  N , 36 ° 0 ′  E Coordinates: 37 ° 50 ′  N , 36 ° 0 ′  E
rock Limestone , metamorphic rocks , ophiolite

The Taurus Mountains , or just the Taurus for short , ( Turkish Toros Dağları , Kurdish Çiyayên Torosê , ancient Greek ὄρη Ταύρου ) is a 1500 km long part of a complex Alpine chain mountain system in the Middle East , located in Turkey , which connects the Anatolian highlands from the Mediterranean Sea and the Mesopotamian lowlands separates. These mountain ranges are divided into complex mountain ranges, especially in the south-west and east of Turkey, the beginning and end of which cannot be clearly determined. Overall, the Taurus Mountains are part of the Alpidic mountain system .

Name and structure of the Taurus

There is no general agreement on the extent and subdivision of the term Taurus , which is probably due to the fact that the term , which originated in antiquity , covered areas of the mountains of different sizes in the course of history. In antiquity, for example at Eratosthenes , the Taurus also comprised the mountain ranges of the Elbour , the Hindu Kush and even the Himalayas , which adjoined the east and were viewed as a continuous mountain range in the world view of that time.

According to the official Turkish view, the Taurus begins in the southwest of Turkey, largely follows the Mediterranean coast and runs north of Syria to the eastern border of Turkey. It is divided into the Western , Middle and Southeast Taurus .

This largely follows z. B. the Diercke Universal Atlas. Others have a slightly different designation with the same extension, e.g. B. Western Taurus , Taurus, and Eastern Taurus. Some let the Eastern Taurus end south of Lake Van . Others name only the section between the bays of Antalya and Mersin as Taurus , but note the Güney Doğu Toroslar in the east (without translation). Still others agree to only consider the section between Antalya and Mersin as Taurus ( Toros Dağları ) and to name Güney Doğu Toroslar in the east , which is not translated as Southeastern Taurus , but rather as Armenian Taurus according to ancient tradition ( although today's Armenia is around 250 km away). Another version lets the Taurus begin north of Cape Anamur, about halfway between Antalya and Mersin, which then extends northeast to the upper reaches of the Euphrates at the Keban Dam in the province of Elazığ and overlaps with the one further south beginning Outer Eastern Taurus, which extends to the eastern border of Turkey.

According to all versions, the Taurus lies entirely within Turkey. It therefore seems advisable and sensible to follow the official version of Turkey regarding the extension and subdivision of the Taurus, especially since none of the other variants cited above should have compelling reasons for their version.

This article is therefore based on the fact that the Taurus begins in the southwest of Turkey and ends at its eastern border and is divided into the western , the middle and the south-eastern Taurus , which extends to the eastern border of Turkey.

The individual mountain ranges that make up this long mountain range and which usually have no German names, cannot be named in this article, but only in a detailed map.

Western Taurus

The Western Taurus ( Turkish Batı Toroslar ) then extends from Eşen Çayı , which flows out at Gelemiş , the ancient Xanthos ( ) in an arc around the plain of Antalya and then follows the Mediterranean coast in a south-easterly direction up to longitude 32 ° 48 ′ east or . a not exactly north-south running line between Konya and Cape Anamur ( ), beyond which it merges into the Middle Taurus. World iconWorld icon

The first significant mountains in the Western Taurus - seen from the west - are the Agdağlar with the Uyluk Tepe (3016 m) ( ), while the Bey Mountains ( Bey Dağları ) with the Kızlar Sivrisi (3086 m) ( ) are the highest Mountain has. World iconWorld icon

The western part of the Western Taurus between the Eşen Çayı or the ancient Xanthos was in the former Greek Lycia and the Roman Lycia, which is why this section is also called the Lycian Taurus. There is also the Lycian Way , which runs between Fethiye and Antalya for 509 km through the mountains of the Taurus and along the Lycian coast.

Middle Taurus

Demirkazık Dağı Summit in
Niğde Region

The Middle Taurus ( Turkish Orta Toroslar ) joins the Western Taurus in the area of ​​longitude 32 ° 48 'East, extends along the Mediterranean coast to the northeast and forms a large arc around the lowlands of Çukurova until it reaches the upper reaches of the Ceyhan ( Pyramos ) in the province of Kahramanmaraş merges into the southeastern Taurus.

The Çukurova plain and parts of the Middle Taurus belonged to Cilicia in antiquity , which is why the Middle Taurus is also called the Cilician Taurus. The Cilician Gate about 40 km north of Tarsus is the most important pass through this part of the Taurus.

In the Middle Taurus, numerous mountains reach heights between 3000 and 3700 m. 40 km southeast of the city of Niğde is the highest mountain region of the Middle Taurus: the Aladağlar Mountains , which were declared a national park in 1995. The highest mountain is the Demirkazık Dağı (3756 m) ( ) in the Niğde Province . It was considered to be the highest of the entire Taurus as long as the Hakkâri Dağlari with the significantly higher Uludoruk Tepesi (4135 m) standing just before the eastern border of Turkey were not considered part of the Taurus. World icon

Southeastern Taurus

The Southeast Taurus ( Turkish Güney Doğu Toroslar ) extends from the Nur Dağları Mountains (also Amanos Dağlari) to the eastern border of Turkey, where the Hakkari Dağları are located.

If, like Turkey, the Hakkari Dağlari are included in the southeastern Taurus, these are the highest mountain region. There are two mountains over 4000 m high: the already mentioned Uludoruk Tepesi (4135 m) ( ), the second highest mountain in Turkey, and the neighboring Cilo Dağı (4116 m). World icon

The Ataturk Dam ( ), which dams the Euphrates into the largest reservoir in Turkey, is located in the southeastern Taurus . World icon

Inner Taurus

The Inner Taurus is occasionally mentioned as an independent part of the Taurus, which runs parallel to the central southeastern Taurus in the north. Here are the headwaters of the Euphrates and Tigris . To the north, the Inner Taurus merges into the Pontic Mountains .


The mountain ranges of the Taurus are divided into different parallel chains and in places reach up to 4000 meters. The erosion along geological faults and through river valleys could not quite keep pace with the alpine uplift because the mountain formation was particularly severe here. The mountains continue in a huge arc across southeastern Turkey and thousands of kilometers into the Persian Elburs - or Zagros Mountains and the Hindu Kush. Many of these regions are periodically affected by earthquakes and volcanism when parts of the earth's crust shift.

In the eastern Taurus there are parallel chain systems running in a northeasterly – southwesterly direction, as they are typical in Central Anatolia. To the east they fan out further and further. The height of the individual mountain ranges is between 3000 and 4400 m, the valley areas between the mountain ranges around 2000 m.

In the vicinity of Lake Van - halfway between northern Iraq and Armenia - the mountainous areas of the Taurus meet the Armenian highlands . Here whole chains of volcanoes have created mighty volcanic blankets. Next to the Ararat (5137 m) ( ) and the Mount Süphan (4058 m) ( ) are the volcano Nemrut (3050 m) ( ) and further west the Erciyes Dağı (3891 m) ( ) and the Hasan Dağı (3268 m) ( ) to mention. World iconWorld iconWorld iconWorld iconWorld icon

The highlands are intensely folded and formed a multitude of tectonic basins , some of which were turned into plains by river sediments. This means that there are also several large lakes in the region.

See also


  • Julius Wagner et al. (Ed.): Harms Handbook of Geography - Asia . 11th edition. Paul List Verlag, Munich 1971, ISBN 3-471-18852-5 , p. 58 f .
  • Wolf-Dieter Hütteroth, Volker Höhfeld: Turkey: Geography - History - Economy - Politics . 2nd Edition. Scientific Book Society, 2002, ISBN 3-534-13712-4 .
  • Roland Brinkmann (Ed.): Geology of Turkey . 1st edition. Elsevier, 1976, ISBN 3-432-88271-8 .

Web links

Commons : Taurus Mountains  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Taurus  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • Taurus on Livius.org (English)

Individual evidence

  1. According to the physical map of Turkey originally published by the Geography Faculty of Ankara University, now by Harita Genel Komutanlığı, the Turkish General Cartographic Command
  2. Diercke Universal Atlas. Weltbild Verlag, Augsburg 1989, ISBN 3-89350-210-6 , pp. 198, 199
  3. Brockhaus, Die Welt, Volume 5: Western Asia, Western India. FA Brockhaus / wissensmedia in inmediaOne, Gütersloh / Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-577-09805-2 , plate 111
  4. ^ Wolf-Dieter Hütteroth, Volker Höheld: Turkey. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 3-534-13712-4
  5. The Great Dumont Atlas of the World. 2nd Edition. Dumont, Ostfildern 2013, ISBN 978-3-7701-6955-9 , plate 147
  6. Knaur's Atlas of the World. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-426-26260-6 , plate 24
  7. Knaur's Great World Atlas. Original: The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. 11th edition. 2003; German at Droemer Knaur, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-426-64133-X , plate 37
  8. Meyer's universal glass with country dictionary. 4th edition. Meyers, Mannheim 2013, ISBN 978-3-411-07334-4 , plate 58
  9. ^ Bertelsmann Lexikothek Weltatlas. Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus, Mannheim 2001, ISBN 3-577-16031-4 , plate 106