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For the Taurus Mountains on the moon, see Montes Taurus. For Mount Taurus outside Cold Spring, New York, see Bull Hill.
Taurus Mountains
Demirkazik Crest of Aladag Mountains in Nigde Turkey.jpg
Demirkazık in Niğde Province
Highest point
Peak 3,756m
Native name Toros Dağları
Country Turkey
Range coordinates 37°N 33°E / 37°N 33°E / 37; 33Coordinates: 37°N 33°E / 37°N 33°E / 37; 33

The Taurus Mountains (Turkish: Toros Dağları, Ancient Greek: Όρη Ταύρου) are a mountain complex in southern Turkey, dividing the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The system extends along a curve from Lake Eğirdir in the west to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the east. It is a part of the Alpide belt in Eurasia.

The Taurus mountains are divided into three chains from west to east as follows;

  • Western Taurus (Batı Toroslar)
    • Akdağlar, the Bey Mountains, Katrancık Mountain, Geyik Mountain
  • Central Taurus (Orta Toroslar)
    • Akçalı Mountains, Bolkar Mountains, Aladağlar, Tahtalı Mountain
  • Southeastern Taurus (Güneydoğu Toroslar)
    • Nurhak Mountains, Malatya Mountains, Maden Mountains, Genç Mountains, Bitlis mountains


The bull was commonly the symbol and depiction of ancient Near Eastern storm gods, hence Taurus the bull, and hence the name of the mountains. The mountains are a place of many ancient storm-god temples.[1] Torrential thunderstorms in these mountains were deemed by the ancient Syrians to be the work of the storm-god Adad to make the Tigris and Euphrates rivers rise and flood and thereby fertilise their land.[2] The Hurrians, 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 archaeological site, where early evidence of tin mining was found, is at Kestel.[3][page needed] The pass known in antiquity as the Cilician Gates crosses the range north of Tarsus.

During World War I, a 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, which ended hostilities against the Ottoman Empire.[4]


In the Aladaglar and Bolkar mountains, limestone has eroded to form karstic landscapes of waterfalls, underground rivers, and some of the largest caves of Asia. The Manavgat River originates on the southern slopes of the Beydaglari range.[5]


In addition to hiking and mountain climbing,[6] there are two ski resorts on the mountain range, one at Davras about 25 km (16 mi) from the two nearest towns of Egirdir and Isparta, the second is Saklıkent 40 km (25 mi) from the city of Antalya.

The Varda Viaduct, situated on the railway lines Konya-Adana at Hacıkırı village in Adana Province, is a 98 m (322 ft) high railway bridge constructed in the 1910s by Germans.

Western Taurus[edit]

West Taurus and Taurus Mountains form an arc around the Gulf of Antalya. The East Taşeli Plateau and Goksu River divide it from the Central Taurus Mountains. It has many peaks rising above 3,000–3,700 m, (10,000–12,000 ft). The complex is divided into four ranges:[6]

The highest point in the central Tauruses is the summit of Mt. Demirkazık (3,756m).[6]

Central Taurus[edit]

Central Taurus are roughly defined to be northeast of Mersin and Antalya

Southeastern Taurus[edit]

The Southeastern Taurus mountains form the northern boundary of the Southeastern Anatolia Region and North Mesopotamia. They are also the source of the Euphrates River and Tigris River.


  1. ^ Ravinell, Alberto and Green, Whitney The Storm-god in the Ancient Near East, p.126. ISBN 1-57506-069-8
  2. ^ Saggs, H.W.F. The greatness that was Babylon: a survey of the ancient civilization of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, Sidgwick & Jackson, 2nd Revised edition, 1988, p.380. ISBN 0283996234
  3. ^ Yener, K.A. (2000) The Domestication of Metals: The Rise of Complex Metal Industries in Anatolia Brill, Leiden, ISBN 90-04-11864-0
  4. ^ Price, Ward (16 December 1918) "Danger in Taurus Tunnels" New York Times
  5. ^ "Manavgat River Water as a Limited but Alternative Water Resource for Domestic Use in Middle East" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  6. ^ a b c "Mountaineering in Turkey" All About Turkey

External links[edit]

  • [1] map of Eurasia showing Taurus Mountain ranges

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_Mountains — Please support Wikipedia.
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15 news items

Hurriyet Daily News
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:45:00 -0700

Owls that call the Taurus Mountains home are such mysterious and discreet animals that evidence of their existence was only discovered in 1990, only for the birds to make the most fleeting appearance since then. Now, however, the owls, known as “fish ...
Today's Zaman
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:56:15 -0700

Davutoğlu is a Yuruk whose childhood was spent in the Taurus mountains. In one of his talks he recalled the French historian Fernand Braudel -- who is well-known for his thesis about the role of humans on geography -- drawing a similarity between the ...


Sat, 16 Aug 2014 17:22:30 -0700

Most the refugees have settled in Silopi, on a plain beneath the southeast Taurus Mountains, but some have gravitated to other cities in the region, where makeshift camps have been built to respond to the country's latest influx of refugees. Turkey is ...

Hurriyet Daily News

Hurriyet Daily News
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:03:52 -0700

The ship slowly left the harbor, making its way toward the open sea laden with precious goods from the land of plenty. The sight of the mighty Taurus mountains would soon be left behind. The veteran vessel creaked as it swayed like a cradle in the deep ...
Hurriyet Daily News
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:18:45 -0700

Located in the outskirts of the Taurus Mountains in southwestern Anatolia, Lake Burdur has suffered as the water streams feeding it and subterranean water sources dry. According to the Nature Association, the lake has lost a third of its water over the ...

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:36:33 -0700

Club Med Palmiye, which sits between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, is near Antalya, a one-hour flight from Istanbul. A seven-night, all- inclusive stay costs from $1259 (adult) and $479 (child) See clubmed.com.au/palmiye. Club Med ...
Napa Valley Register
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 11:33:45 -0700

We arrived at the home and farm of our gracious host family for the evening near the shore of Lake Beysehir, looking toward the snow covered Taurus Mountains on the other side. The farm is versatile, with an assortment of dairy cattle, chickens and ...
Daily Sabah
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:47:02 -0700

26, 1959 in Taşkent, a small town in Konya province in the heart of the Taurus Mountains. His family consisted of moderate and religious people. His father Mehmet Bey was a man of commerce, yet he did not push his son to be a merchant like him ...

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