/van/; for 1, 2 also Turk. /vahn/, n.1. Lake, a salt lake in E Turkey. 1454 sq. mi. (3766 sq. km).2. a town on this lake. 88,597.3. a male given name.
* * *IThe ruins of stone buildings there date from the 8th century BC, when it was the chief centre of the kingdom of Urartu. After the fall of Nineveh (612 BC), it was occupied in succession by the Medes, the kings of Pontus, Arabs (7th century AD), and Armenians (8th century AD). It fell to the Seljūq dynasty after 1071 AD and to the Ottoman Empire in 1543. Russian forces held it (1915–17) during World War I. It has a large Kurdish population. It once had a large Armenian population that was brutally expelled following the war (see Armenian massacres). Van is a shipping point for hides, grains, fruits, and vegetables.II(as used in expressions)Van Diemen's LandBeethoven Ludwig vanDerek Niven van den BogaerdeJerome van AkenJeroen van AkenBrooks Van WyckCliburn VanDiemen Anthony vanDoesburg Theo vanEyck Jan vanGoes Hugo van derGogh Vincent Willem vanGoyen Jan Josephszoon vanHelmont Jan Baptista vanEdda van Heemstra Hepburn RustonJohan Maurits van NassauLeeuwenhoek Antonie vanLucas Huyghszoon van LeydenMander Karel vanMeegeren Han vanHenricus Antonius van MeegerenMies van der Rohe LudwigOldenbarnevelt Johan vanOstade Adriaen vanPhan Van SanQuine Willard Van OrmanRembrandt Harmenszoon van RijnRuisdael Jacob Isaakszoon vanRuysdael Salomon vanScorel Jan vanIsabella Van WagenerVan Buren MartinVan Cortlandt StephanusVan de Graaff Robert Jemisonvan der Waals Johannes DiederikVan Der Zee James Augustus JosephVan Doren Carl Clinton and MarkVan Dyck Sir AnthonyVan Dyke DickRichard Wayne Van DykeVan Heusen JimmyVan LakeVelde Henri van deVelde Willem van de the ElderAndries van WeselVondel Joost van denWeyden Rogier van derJan van WynkynHonthorst Gerrit vanMaurits prince van Oranje count van Nassau
* * *▪ Turkeycity, eastern Turkey. It lies on the eastern shore of Lake Van at an altitude of about 5,750 feet (1,750 metres). The city lies in an oasis at the foot of a hill crowned by an ancient ruined citadel. A ruined stone building near the foot of the rocky spur bears cuneiform inscriptions dating from the 8th and 7th centuries BC, when Van was the chief centre of the Urartu Kingdom. After the fall of Nineveh (612 BC) it was occupied in succession by the Medes, Achaemenian Persians, and the kings of Pontus. Rock inscriptions on the citadel hill include one in Old Persian carved on the orders of the Achaemenian king Xerxes I (early 5th century BC). Van was included in the kingdom established by King Tigranes I in the 1st century BC. The Romans and the Sāsānids of Persia fought over it for a time; it became a tributary state to the Arabs in the 7th century; and it prospered under the Armenian Bagratid dynasty in the 8th century. The region fell to the Seljuq Turks after their victory over Byzantium (1071) and was later annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1543. Russian forces occupied the city from 1915 to 1917 during World War I.The mound of Toprakkale, 3 miles (5 km) north of the modern city, is the site of an excavated ancient Urartian city dating from the 8th century BC. Van's local museum contains numerous specimens of Urartian inscriptions and pottery found in the vicinity. Van's trade is mainly in regional products such as skins, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Lake Van (Van, Lake), the largest body of water in Turkey, is the focus of a growing tourist trade, and there are air services from Ankara and Istanbul.The region in which Van is situated is a stock-raising area, specializing in horses; grains, fruits, and vegetables are grown. The region has a large Kurdish population; the Armenian section of the population, which had nationalist aspirations, was deported by government order and was subsequently massacred during World War I. Pop. (2000) city, 284,464.
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