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Edirne is a city in Thrace, the westernmost part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria; the city was known in English until after the First World War as Adrianople. The city was founded eponymously by the Roman Emperor Hadrian on the site of a previous Thracian settlement known as Uskadama, Uskudama or Uskodama. Conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1362, the city served as the Ottoman capital from 1365 until 1453. The Selimiye Mosque, built by Sultan Selim II in 1575 and designed by Ottoman master architect Sinan, has the highest minarets in Turkey, at 70.9 meters. The area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 15 major battles or sieges, from the days of the ancient Greeks. In particular, the catastrophic defeat of the Roman Emperor Valens by the Visigoths took place nearby, and the city was a vital fortress defending Ottoman Constantinople and Eastern Thrace during the Balkan Wars of 1912–13. The city was, however, occupied by the Russians in 1829 and 1878, and by the Bulgarians in 1912. Edirne is famous of its "liver in oil", white cheese and "fruit shaped soaps". Also in every June, there is an oil-wrestling festival called Kırkpınar. Kırkpınar is the oldest sport organization after the Olympic Games. The city initially took its name after its founder, and the usage remains current in Greek, though it has fallen into desuetude in English and other languages. The Turks, however, have commonly used Edirne (now the official and customary name) or Edreneh, and the Slavs Odrin; both of these are probably adapted forms of the original name.
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