Trabzon Information

Trabzon , Turkey

Trabzon (see other names, Turkish pronunciation: [ˈtrabzon]) is a city on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road, became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Iran in the southeast and the Caucasus to the northeast.[1] The Venetian and Genoese merchants paid visits to Trebizond during the medieval period and sold silk, linen and woolen fabric; with the Republic of Genoa having an important merchant colony within the city that was similar to Galata near Constantinople (north across the Golden Horn) in present-day Istanbul.[2] Trabzon formed the basis of several states in its long history and was the capital city of the Empire of Trebizond between 1204 and 1461. During the Ottoman period, Trabzon, because of the importance of its port, became a focal point of trade to Iran and the Caucasus. The population of the center urban is 230,399 (2009 census.)
 

History


Ancient and medieval


The city was founded as Τραπεζοῦς (Trapezous) by Milesian traders (756 BC). It was one of a number (about ten) of Milesian emporia or trading colonies along the shores of the Black Sea. Others include Sinope, Abydos and Cyzicus (in the Dardanelles). Like most Greek colonies, the city was a small enclave of Greek life, and not an empire unto its own, in the later European sense of the word. Early banking (money-changing) activity is suggested occurring in the city according to a silver drachma coin from Trapezus in the British Museum, London.

Trebizond's trade partners included the Mossynoeci. When Xenophon and the Ten Thousand mercenaries were fighting their way out of Persia, the first Greek city they reached was Trebizond (Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.5.10). The city and the local Mossynoeci had become estranged from the Mossynoecian capital, to the point of civil war. Xenophon's force resolved this in the rebels' favor, and so in Trebizond's interest.

The city was added to the kingdom of Pontus by Mithridates VI Eupator and it became home port for the Pontic fleet.
Walls of Trabzon

When the kingdom was annexed to the Roman province of Galatia in 64–65, the fleet passed to new commanders, becoming the Classis Pontica. Trebizond gained importance under Roman rule in the 1st century for its access to roads leading over the Zigana Pass to the Armenian frontier or the upper Euphrates valley. New roads were constructed from Persia and Mesopotamia under the rule of Vespasian, and Hadrian commissioned improvements to give the city a more structured harbor. A mithraeum now serves as a crypt for the church of Panaghia Theoskepastos in nearby Kizlara, east of the citadel and south of the modern harbor. The city was pillaged by the Goths in 258, and, although it was afterwards re-built, Trebizond did not recover until the trade route regained importance in the 8th to 10th centuries; 10th century Muslim authors note that Trebizond was frequented by Muslim merchants, as the main source transshipping Byzantine silks into eastern Muslim countries.[9] In Byzantine times, the city was the capital of the theme of Chaldia. It was also ruled by Danishmendids between 1080 and 1098.
A fourteenth-century miniature Greek manuscript depicting Byzantine Greek soldiers from the Empire of Trebizond.

After the Fourth Crusade in 1204, a Byzantine successor state was founded there with support of Queen Tamar of Georgia, the Empire of Trebizond, which ruled part of the Black Sea coast from Trebizond until 1461, when its ruler, David, surrendered to Mehmed II, ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Following this takeover, Mehmed sent many Turkish settlers into the area, but the old ethnic Laz, Armenian, and Greek communities remained. During the late Ottoman period, the city had a great Christian influence in terms of culture, and a wealthy merchant class who created several Western consulates.
 

Ottoman era


The city became part of the Ottoman Empire after 1461. During Bayezid II's reign, his son, Prince Selim was the sancakbeyi of Trabzon, and his son Suleiman I of the Ottoman Empire was born in Trabzon in 1495. Trabzon became the capital of the Vilayet of Trebizond, that was a vilayet of the north-eastern part of the Ottoman Empire. The population of the city was in 1523 according to the Ottoman defter a total of 1,473 adult males.[10] 85% of the total population was Christian, 1,252 adult males, 13% of the total population was Armenian, 197 adult males and 15% of the total population was Muslim, 221 adult males.[10]

During Ottoman era, Local Chepni and Laz beys were appointed as beylerbey. It is recorded that even some Bosniak beys appointed by Sublime Porte ruled Trabzon as beylerbey. During Ottoman campaign in Europe (16th-17th century), "beylerbeylik" of Trabzon had always sent troops.
 

Modern era


In 1901 the harbour was equipped with cranes by Stothert and Pitt of Bath in England. The city was the site of one of the key battles between the Ottoman and Russian armies during the Caucasus Campaign of World War I which resulted in the capture of Trabzon by the Russian Caucasus Army under command of Grand Duke Nicholas and Nikolai Yudenich in April 1916. Russian general Shvartz's army caused a massive destruction in Trabzon.Russians banned[11] Muslim mosques, and forced Turks, who were the main ethnic group of the city, to leave Trabzon.At last, the Russian Army retreated from the city and the rest of eastern and northeastern Anatolia with the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Trabzon was a major Armenian extermination centre during the Armenian Genocide, as well as a location of subsequent trials (see Trabzon during the Armenian Genocide). Many of the victims were taken out to sea in boats that were then capsized. The Trabzon trials reported Armenians having been drowned in the Black Sea.

Following the Turkish War of Independence and the annulment of the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) which was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), Trabzon again became a part of Turkey. During World War II shipping activity was limited because the Black Sea had again become a war zone. Hence the most important export products, tobacco and hazelnut, could not be sold and living standards degraded.

As a result of the general development of the country, Trabzon has developed its economic and commercial life. The coastal highway and a new harbour have increased commercial relations with Central Anatolia, which has led to some growth. However, progress has been slow in comparison with the western and the southwestern parts of Turkey.

Trabzon is famous throughout Turkey for its anchovies called hamsi, which are the main meal in many restaurants in the city. Major exports from Trabzon are hazelnuts and tea.

The city may still have a small community of Greek-speaking Muslims, most of whom are originally from the vicinities of Tonya and Of. However, the Pontic Greek language (known as Romeiaka or Ποντιακά, Pontiaka) is spoken mostly by the older generations.
 

Rivers

Değirmendere (ancient Piksidis), Yanbolu, Fol, Karadere, Koha, Sürmene (ancient Manahos) ve súrmene (küçük dere), Solaklı, Baltacı and İyidere (ancient Kalopotamos.)

Lakes
Lake Uzungöl near Trabzon.

Uzungöl, Çakırgöl, Sera Gölü.
 

Climate

Trabzon has a climate typical of the Black Sea region with plentiful precipitation. Under the Köppen climate classification, it has an oceanic climate (Cfb).[16] Summers are warm and humid, and the average maximum temperature is around 27 °C (81 °F) in August. Winters are cool and damp, and the lowest average minimum temperature is around 5 °C (41 °F) in January.

Precipitation is heaviest in autumn and winter, with a marked reduction in the summer months. Snowfall is quite common between the months of December and March, snowing for a week or two, and it can be heavy once it snows.

The water temperature, like in the rest of the Black Sea coast of Turkey, is always cool and fluctuates between 8 °C (46 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F) throughout the year.
 

Main sights


Hagia Sophia
Atatürk Köşkü
Atatürk Square in Trabzon


Trabzon has a number of tourist attractions, some of them dating back to the times of the ancient empires that once existed in the region. In the city itself, one can find a hub of shops, stalls and restaurants surrounding the Meydan, a square in the center of the city, which includes a tea garden.

    The Hagia Sophia (Turkish: Ayasofya Müzesi), a stunning Byzantine church, is probably the town's most important tourist attraction.
    Trabzon Castle ruins are visible in the town but cannot be visited as they fall in a military zone. The outside wall of the castle now serves as the back wall of a military building.
    The "Atatürk Köşkü" is a villa built in 1890 by a local Greek merchant. In 1924 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk stayed in the villa during his visit to Trabzon. He stayed there again in 1937. It houses period rooms and serves as a monument to the memory of the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.
    Boztepe Park is a small park and tea garden on the hills above Trabzon that has a panoramic view of nearly the entire city. The terrain in Trabzon is ascending in such a way that although the view is far above that of the buildings below, it is still close enough to be able to observe the flow of traffic and the people moving about in the city.
    Uzun Sokak is one of the most crowded streets of Trabzon.
    Trabzon Museum is located in the town centre and offers interesting exhibits on the history of the region, including an impressive collection of Byzantine artifacts.
    Trabzon's Bazaar District offers interesting shopping opportunities on ancient narrow streets, continuing from Kunduracılar Street from the Meydan (town square).
    Kostaki Mansion is located to the north of Zeytinlik near Uzun Sokak.

Other sites of the city include: Fatih Mosque (originally the Panagia Khrysokephalos Church), Yeni Cuma Mosque (originally the Agios Eugenios Church), Nakip Mosque (originally the Agios Andreas Church), Hüsnü Köktuğ Mosque (originally the Agios Elevtherios Church), İskender Pasha Mosque, Semerciler Mosque, Çarşı Mosque, Gülbahar Hatun Mosque and Türbe (commissioned by Sultan Selim I), Kalepark (originally Leonkastron).

Within Trabzon Province, the main attractions are the Sümela Monastery (i. e. the Monastery of the Panagia Soumelá) and the Uzungöl lake. The monastery is built on the side of a very steep mountain overlooking the green forests below and is about 50 km south of the city. Uzungöl is famous for the natural beauty of the area and the amazing scenery. Other important sites of interest in the broader region include:

    Kaymaklı Monastery, a formerly Armenian Monastery of the All-Saviour (arm. Ամենափրկիչ Վանք, Amenaprgič Vank),
    Kızlar Monastery of Panagia Theoskepastos (the God-veiled Virgin),
    Kuştul Monastery of Gregorios Peristereotas (gr. Ιερά Μονή του Αγίου Γεωργίου Περιστερεώτα, Ierá Moní tou Agíou Georgíou Peristereóta),
    Vazelon Monastery of Agios Savvas (Maşatlık),
    Cave churches of Agia Anna (Little Ayvasıl), Sotha (St. John), Agios Theodoros, Agios Konstantinos, Agios Christophoros, Agia Kyriakí, Agios Michail and Panagia Tzita churches.

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