Taurus Mountains, called as Toros in Turkish, is a mountain range in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, running approximately 560 kms parallel to the coast, and forming the southern border of the Anatolian plateau. Rising at the western-most range of the Great Himalayas, it is Turkey’s second chain of folded mountains after Pontus mountains. The range starts from Egridir lake in the west and extends to the upper side of the Euphrates (Firat) River in the east after making a long curve. Its northeastern extension across the Seyhan river near Adana is called as Anti-Taurus.
The collision of the European and African plates resulted in this mountain formation in Anatolia. Limestone has eroded to form karstic landscapes of waterfalls, underground rivers, and the largest caves of Asia, especially in the Yedigoller valley.
The highest peaks of the Taurus range are: Demirkazik (3,756 m) at the Aladaglar National Park between Nigde and Adana; Emler and Kizilkaya (both 3,723 m) in the center; Nemrut in the Anti-Taurus; Erciyes (ancient Mount Argaeus) in Kayseri (3,916 m) is also considered part of the Taurus range even though it’s in central Anatolia. Some of this peaks have glaciers on top with a small lake as well. The mountains are rugged, magnificent, and most difficult to climb after Ararat.
The Taurus range is crossed by five major passes; the Cilician Gates (Gulek Bogazi, northwest of Adana and north of Tarsus) is the best known. The mountains have always been a barrier to movements between central Anatolia and the coast. Today especially nomads live on the mountains nearby water. One of the most important cities around Taurus is Antalya, a famous tourist region. About 40% of foreign tourists stay in and around Antalya and go on daily tours. Some sections of Taurus are also well-known for winter sports such as skiing.
The range has important chromium deposits and other minerals such as silver, copper, iron, lignite, and zinc. The Anti-Taurus are well forested but Aladaglar area doesn’t have much vegetation because of the lack of rivers except small ones formed by melting snow depending on the climate.