Photographer's Note

I've had my time machine checked and repaired and fit for new journeys, so I decided to leave the digital era for some time. I started by going straight back to Turkey in 1974.

This is an ordinary street in the city of Kars in eastern Turkey, not far from what was the Soviet Union, today Armenia.

It is no understatement to say that Kars has a dramatic history, changing hands through the centuries between Armenian, Ottoman and Russian rule well into the 20th century. Presently the city has belonged to Turkey only since 1921, and as recently as after WW2 the Soviet Union claimed this area. It was only after the beginning of the Cold War, when the USA started to regard Turkey as an important strategic partner, that the Soviet leaders accepted they should stay away from this region.

In this photo we see a typical taxi stand of the 1970's. In the background is Kars castle, or rather fortress, originally built in the 12th century but destroyed and rebuilt so many times that much of its present look probably can be dated to the 1920's.

Here is a larger version.

One WS shows a closer view of the castle, another WS shows the ruins of a complex somewhere inside the castle.

I had to check my diary to recall what I thought of Kars during the 2-3 days I spent there in 1974. I discovered that I enjoyed the city very much. I thought it was generally nice and I met a lot of friendly people. I did remember, without reading the diary, that there were lots of old buildings recalling the days when Kars was part of Russia.

All photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10956 W: 536 N: 21229] (92774)
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