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Muş (pronounced [muʃ]; transliterated as Mush, also historically Moush or MooshArmenianՄուշKurdishMûş‎) is a town and the provincial capital of Muş Province in Turkey. Population of the municipality of Muş numbers 72,774 (2009 estimate).

The date of foundation of Mush is unknown, although a settlement is believed to have been around by the time of Menua, the king of Urartu (c. 800 BC), whose cuneiform inscription was found in the city's vicinity.[4]

During the Middle Ages Mush was the center of the Taron region of Armenia. Its is first mentioned as a city in Armenian manuscripts of the 9th and 10th centuries. In the late 8th century Mush, along with the Taron region, came under control of the Armenian Bagratid (Bagratuni) dynasty, who reconquered it from the Arabs. Mush and the Taron region was captured and annexed to the Byzantine Empire in 969.[5]

After the 11th century the town was ruled by Islamic dynasties such as the AhlatshahsAyyubidsIlkhanids and Kara Koyunlu. In the 10th-13th centuries Mush developed into a major city with an estimated population of 20 to 25 thousand people.[6] In 1387 the central Asian ruler Timur crossed the area and apparently captured Mush town without a battle.[7] Later the Akkoyunlu ruled the area and in the 16th the Ottomans took control over the town and region in the 16th century from the Safavids. Mush remained part of the Ottoman Empire till the early 20th century and during these times retained a large Armenian population. In 1821 a Persian invasion reached Mush

At the turn of the twentieth century, the city had around 20,000 inhabitants, of which 11,000 were Muslims (mainly Turks and Kurds), while 9,000 were Armenians.[8] According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) the town had 27,000 inhabitants, of whom 13,300 were Muslims and 13,700 Armenians.[9] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) the population was nearly equally divide between Kurds and Armenians.[10]

During the Armenian Genocide of 1915 the indigenous Armenian population of the region was exterminated. The over 140,000 Armenians of the Mush sanjak (living in 234 villages and towns)[11] were targeted in June and July 1915.[12] Military-aged Armenian men were conscripted to serve in World War I and the Armenian population was essentially defenseless.[13] The massacre of the Armenian population of the city of Mush came only after the surrounding villages were destroyed.[13]

The town was occupied during World War I by Russia in 1916 and retaken by Turkish troops on 30 April 1917.