The New York Times18 June 1918

TURKS OCCUPY TABRIZ, SECOND PERSIAN CITY

In Order to Protect Their Caucasian Front, Says an Official Statement.

LONDON, June 17. - Turkish troops have occupied Tabriz, next to Teheran the largest city in Persia, according to a Turkish official statement dated June 14.

The text reads: We have occupied both shores at Lake Urumiah and the town of Tabriz (Northwestern Persia) in order to protect the wing el our army on the Caucasian front.

MOSCOW, June 4, (Associated Press.) - Turkey having reached an understanding with the leaders, in the Transcaucasian district, there are indications that the Ottoman troops will not encounter any further opposition in that section and May move freely toward the Port of Baku, on the Caspian Sea.

The Transcaucasian Government with which Turkey treated fell to pieces after the agreement was reached, but the dismembered sections are friendly to Turkey.

Once at Baku the Turks in the opinion of observers here, would have easy access to and across the Caspian to Turkestan and could reach the great cotton stores there. Alexandropol is connected by rail with Baku through Tiflis, the capital of Georgia. As Georgia is now friendly to the Turks, there apparently will be no hindrance to their movements along the 300 miles of railroad between Alexandropol and Bantu.

Tabriz- is in the centre of the former Russlan sphere of influence in Northern Persia, halfway between the Caspian Sea and the Persian-Armenian line. Lake Urumiah is halfway between the town and the frontier. The town, formerly a great trade centre, still has a population of 175,000. It is situated on a plateau at an altitude of 4,500 feet, and is the capital of the Province of Azerbaijan. It is 300 miles south of the Caucasus town of Tiflis; and 430 miles northwest of Teheran. The lake has a water area of 1.795 miles, and is more of a drowned land than a lake - so shallow that mosquitos are said to have no difficulty in wad1ng across.

Since the withdrawal of the Russian Army of the Caucasus the Turks in Armenia. have been opposed only by Cossack detachments; and, in isolated columns, or bands, have been gradually working southeast from the old front. Trezizond - Erzerum - Lake Van, so as to join forces with the armies driven north in the direction of Mosul; on the Tigris, by General Marshall and his Anglo-Indian troops operating in Mesopotamia. At last accounts Marshall was sixty miles south of Mosul. The left Turkish wing on Lake Urumiah and at Tabriz is 200 miles northeast of that place.



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