1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adrianople (vilayet)

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ADRIANOPLE, a vilayet of European Turkey, corresponding with part of the ancient Thrace, and bounded on the N. by Bulgaria (Eastern Rumelia), E. by the Black Sea and the vilayet of Constantinople, S. by the Sea of Marmora and the Aegean Sea and W. by Macedonia. Pop. (1905) about 1,000,000; area, 15,000 sq. m. The surface of the vilayet is generally mountainous, except in the central valley of the Maritza, and along the banks of its tributaries, the Tunja, Arda, Ergene, &c. On the west, the great Rhodope range and its outlying ridges extend as far as the Maritza, and attain an altitude of more than 7000 ft. in the summits of the Kushlar Dagh, Karluk Dagh and Kara-Balkan. Towards the Black Sea, the less elevated Istranja Dagh stretches from north-west to south-east; and the entire south coast, which includes the promontory of Gallipoli and the western shore of the Dardanelles, is everywhere hilly or mountainous, except near the estuaries of the Maritza, and of the Mesta, a western frontier stream. The climate is mild and the soil fertile; but political disturbances and the conservative character of the people tend to thwart the progress of agriculture and other industries. The vilayet suffered severely during the Russian occupation of 1878, when, apart from the natural dislocation of commerce, many of the Moslem cultivators emigrated to Asia Minor, to be free from their alien rulers. Through the resultant scarcity of labour, much land fell out of cultivation. This was partially remedied after the Bulgarian annexation of Eastern Rumelia, in 1885, had driven the Moslems of that country to emigrate in like manner to Adrianople; but the advantage was counterbalanced by the establishment of hostile Bulgarian tariffs. The important silk industry, however, began to revive about 1890, and dairy farming is prosperous; but the condition of the vilayet is far less unsettled than that of Macedonia, owing partly to the preponderance of Moslems among the peasantry, and partly to the nearness of Constantinople, with its Western influences. The main railway from Belgrade to Constantinople skirts the Maritza and Ergene valleys, and there is an important branch line down the Maritza valley to Dédéagatch, and thence coastwise to Salonica. After the city of Adrianople (pop. 1905, about 80,000), which is the capital, the principal towns are Rodosto (35,000), Gallipoli (25,000), Kirk-Kilisseh (16,000), Xanthi (14,000), Chorlu (11,500), Demotica (10,000), Enos (8000), Gumuljina (8000) and Dédéagatch (3000).