Samsun is the largest city on the Black Sea coast and it is a major commercial port and an industrial city. It is an ancient city which has been totally modernized and has all the traits of a commercial port. The city, with the name Amissos in ancient times, is the port where products of the whole region are exported and it hosts the annual Samsun Trade and Industry Fair.
Samsun was important during the Turkish Independence War as the spot where Ataturk landed on May 19, 1919 to organize the defense of the country. The extraordinary equestrian statue of Ataturk at the city park stands as a memorial of that day. At the Ataturk Museum, there are many memorial objects from the Turkish War of Independence. In the other museum of the city, the Archaeological and Ethnographical Museum, there are many finds from the environs and ancient Samsun (Amissos), especially of importance are the artifacts and jewelry. At Ikiztepe, there was an significant excavation, and an archaeological site from the Early Bronze Age was found. It is important since it displays the history of the Black Sea Region.
Bafra, a little town to the west of Samsun is famous for its tobacco, caviar and thermal springs. You can see a 13th century Turkish Bath (Hamam), a mosque-mausoleum-medresse complex from the 15th century, the Paphlagorian Rock Tombs and the ruins of Asar Fortress.
Lake Simenik at Terme is a birds' paradise.