The Black Sea Region of Turkey

The Black Sea Region, which extends from the East of Adapazarı Plain to the border with Georgia, gets its name from the sea it borders. The region that covers 14.81% of Turkey with a surface area of 116,169 km² has the biggest time difference from one end to the other of all regions in the country.

According to the 2008 ABPRS results, the population of the region is 7,482,491. Of this population, 4,190,755 live in urban areas and 3,291,736 live in rural areas.

The principal industrial facilities in the Black Sea Region are the iron and steel factories in Karabük and Ereğli, the Çatalağzı Thermal Power Plant, the anthracite beds in the environs of Zonguldak, the Murgul Copper Production Complex and a number of factories in various parts of the region producing sugar, paper, sulfuric acid, vegetable oil, tea, hazel-nut and its byproducts, fish meal and cigarettes.

Bolu:

This is a lovely Western Black Sea city, with lofty mountains, thick forests, lakes and streams.

The watery lands, expansive pastures and thick forests of the province have resulted in the development of agriculture, as well as animal husbandry and forestry. The environs of Bolu are also rich in flora. More than half of the 7,000 plant species existing in Turkey grow here.

Abant Lake, 34 km. southwest of Bolu, has an altitude of 1,325 m. A tourism center on its own, Abant attracts thousands of people in the summer due to the clean waters of its lake and the fragrance of its pine forests. It is an ideal skiing center in wintertime. To the southwest of Bolu, Mudurnu and Göynük are among the prominent centers in Turkish cultural history. The Akşemsettin Turbeh (tomb), one of the most elegant works of art of the Ottoman era is also in Göynük. Mengen District, on the other hand, is famous for its cuisine and internationally praised chefs.

The Coal Basin of Turkey

The economic life in Zonguldak, the coal mining center of Turkey, is based on mining and industry. Devrek to the southeast of the city is known for its ornately carved canes.

Ereğli, to the west of Zonguldak, is an industrial port. To the east of Ereğli, where the iron and steel works are located, is the Cehennem Ağzı Cave. According to mythology, this is the place in which Hercules killed the triple headed dog Cerberus. Bartın, in the east of Zonguldak, is a Western Black Sea town known for its old wooden houses and natural beauty. Located to the south of the city are the industrial towns of Karabük and Safranbolu counties, resembling an open-air museum with their historical houses.

Kastamonu is a town whose economy is based on agriculture. There are also numerous curative springs. Kastamonu is a paradise on earth with its 170 km. long coastline, Küre Mountains, woods, world famous Valla Canyon, breezy plateaus, and curative mountain springs.

The significant historical and artistic sites of Kastamonu are the Evkaya (Paphlagonia) Tombs, presumably dating back to the 7th century B.C., the Kastamonu Citadel built by the Byzantines on a rocky hill in the 12th century, the Kastamonu Museum with a historical building, the İbni Neccar Mosque built in the Çandaroğulları era and a bronze statue of Atatürk on Cumhuriyet Avenue, representing the Hat Reform.

Sinop is located on a peninsula. Due to regular and abundant precipitation, the natural flora and the forest structure of the province are very rich. The city, named after the Amazon Queen Sinope, was founded by colonists from Miletus. The renowned philosopher Diogenes, known for his saying, "Don't cast a shadow, no other gift is needed", lived in Sinop in the 4th century B.C.

Düzce, bordering the Marmara Region on the Western Black sea region, is one of the rare cities where cultural variety meets historical values and natural beauties. The history of the province dates back to the Hittites who ruled between 1300 and 800 B.C. Düzce has a great capacity for tourism and nature sports with its plateaus, lakes, rivers, forests and beaches.

The history of Amasya dates back to the Hittites. Amasya gained substantial importance, especially in the Ottoman era, and became one of the five largest cultural centers of Anatolia where many scientists and Ottoman shahzadahs (sultans' sons) were raised in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was recognized as "the Oxford of Anatolia" by European tourists. Murat II and Yavuz Sultan Selim were born here. Amasya also played an important part in the history of the National War of Independence. Mustafa Kemal, after landing in Samsun on May 19th, 1919, reached Amasya on June 12th, 1919.

Tokat province, located to the east of Amasya, preserves the natural beauty of the Black Sea Region, and is also rich in historical and cultural assets. In the province, there are a great many works belonging to the Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman eras. Domes, Gökmedrese (Gök Madrasah), Hıdırlık Bridge, the Clock Tower, Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque), Ali Paşa Mosque as well as many other madrasahs and Turkish baths adorn the city. The province earned its fame from hand printed scarves and copper smithery, leatherwork and weaving are also thrive here. The fertile Niksar and Erbaa plains, located on the Yeşilırmak River and its tributaries, produce abundant vegetable and fruit for the region. The Ballıca cave, 24 km. from Tokat, is a splendid natural phenomenon.

Giresun, having the only island of the Eastern Black Sea, is the region of myths where blue and green go hand in hand. The history of the city is based on its foundation as a port in the 8th century B.C. by Miletus. The name of the city, whose ancient name was "Kerasus", was derived from the cherry, as the province is the homeland of cherries. The hazelnut is the most important economic product of the region.

Samsun is a prominent harbor city in the Eastern Black Sea Region. In addition to its natural beauty, it is also an industrial city. It is recorded in history as the Anatolian town where Atatürk took the first step to launch the National War of Independence. The statue of Atatürk on a rearing horse is the most awe-inspiring monument in the city. The Atatürk Museum and Library hosts a very lively exhibition of the Na-tional War of Independence.

Ordu is a typical Black Sea town with green hazelnut groves extending for kilometers. To the south of the city are the Çambaşı (1,250 m. high) and the Keyfalan (2 thousand m. high) plateaus.

A Historical Harbor City

Trabzon is a large and pro-minent harbor city on the Black Sea coast. It is the starting point of the transit route to Iran and has connections with the ports of the other coastal countries of the Black Sea. The city was founded by colonists from Miletus in the 8th century B.C. A majority of the architectural works in the city dates back to the Byzantine, Comnenian and Ottoman eras. The historical houses on the back streets, the Kızlar Manastırı (Girls' Monastery) and the Irene Tower, dating back to the Comnenian era are worth visiting. In the Altındere National Park near Maçka, to the south of Trabzon, the magnificent Sumela Monastery is located. The monastery is built on the facade of a 270 meters high cliff.

The vicinity of Trabzon is full of plateaus, such as Erikbeli, Hıdırnebi, Şolma, Kirazlı and Kadırga, each having distinct beauty. To the south of Hamsiköy, renowned for its meals, is the Zigana Passage, Turkey's longest mountain pass. The Jewellery Bazaar in the city is also quite famous. Trabzon's famed gold and silver bracelets, which look like wickerwork, are sold here.

City on Green Ridges

Rize is one of the greenest provinces of Turkey. Agriculture ranks 1st in the economic life here. Mention agriculture and immediately tea comes to mind, since it is the symbol of Rize. The Kaçkar Mountains National Park located to the south is a heaven of natural beauties with its flowers and butterflies.

Gümüşhane-Bayburt and Dede Korkut

Gümüş-hane, located inland in the Eastern Black Sea Region, is named after the silver beds in its district.

Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent contributed to the development of this place by building a mosque and 50 houses and named the settlement Gümüşhane (Silverton). The Hagios Georgios Monastery Church built by Alexius Comnenus in the 14th century and the Kelkit Valley, through which the Kelkit Creek flows and which is famed for its scenic wonders, are among the most beautiful places in this province.

The known history of Bayburt, located on the banks of the Çoruh River, dates back to 3,000 B.C. As a result of its location on the historical Silk Road, it was mentioned in the works of many western and eastern travelers, such as Marco Polo and Evliya Çelebi. The tomb of Dede Korkut, one of the sages who migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia, is located here.

Artvin, Famed for its Plateaus

Artvin, located along the Caucasian border of Turkey, has the most beautiful plateaus in the country. As summer commences, the residents of the region start preparations to migrate to the mountain pastures for animal husbandry. The "Migration to the Plateau" that became a tradition is carried out in a mood of veritable festivity. In the Çoruh River, which divides the city into two, water sports such as rafting and canoeing are enjoyed.

Provinces