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Patricia KnightPatricia Knight
It all started with a Google search looking for trips to Cappadocia in central Turkey andbefore I knew it, I had booked a 15 night tour of the country for us.I had entered into correspondence with Mevlüt Uysal of Pomegranate Tour based inIstanbul. Mevlüt dealt with all my questions and requiremen...
Patricia Knight
Trabzon is a province of Turkey on the Black Sea coast. Located in a strategically important region, Trabzon is one of the oldest trade port cities in Anatolia. Neighbouring provinces are Giresun to the west, GümüÅŸhane to the southwest, Bayburt to the southeast and Rize to the east. The provincial capital is Trabzon city, and the traffic code is 61. The major ethnic groups are Chepni Turks and Lazes. The province is home to a small community of Muslim Romeika-speakers. Those speakers are not fluent in this language.
Trabzon 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. 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. 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 Turkish name of the city is Trabzon. It is historically known as Trebizond, Trapezund, Tribisonde and Trapezus.
The city was founded as Τραπεζοῦς (Trapezous) by Miletan traders (traditionally in 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 . 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.
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.
The current ethnic background of the people of Trabzon is mostly Turkish.
It is possible that the majority of the population of Trabzon and Rize (and other ancient Greek colonies in the Pontus region) except up to the time of the Chepni Turk immigration waves — consisted of indigenous Caucasian tribes (the Colchians and the Laz) who had been partly Hellenized religiously and linguistically.Michael Meeker stresses the cultural resemblances (e.g. in village structure, house types, and pastoral techniques) between the Eastern Black Sea coast and the areas in the Caucasus proper.
Main sights
Atatürk KöÅŸkü
Atatürk Squarein Trabzon
Trabzonhas 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 , 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 KöÅŸkü" 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.
•BoztepePark 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.
•TrabzonMuseumis 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).
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�ZÕ¡Õ¶Ö„, Amenaprgič Vank),
•Kızlar Monastery of Panagia Theoskepastos (the God-veiled Virgin),
•KuÅŸtul Monastery of Gregorios Peristereotas (gr. Ιερά Μονή του Αγίου Γεωργίου Περιστερε�Zτα, Ierá Moní tou Agíou Georgíou Peristereóta),
•Vazelon Monastery of Agios Savvas (MaÅŸatlık),
•cave Churches of Agia Anna (Little Ayvasıl), Sotha (St. John), Agios Theodoros, Agios Konstantinos, Agios Christophoros, Agia Kyriakí, Agios Michail and Panagia Tzita churches.
The people of the eastern Black Sea region are also known for their wit and sense of humour; in fact many jokes in Turkey are told about the natives of the Black Sea region Karadeniz fıkraları (Black Sea jokes). The character Temel, a universal buffon figure found in many cultures, forms an important part of the Turkish oral tradition.
How to go to Trabzon ?
You may reach Trabzon by air or bus from Istanbul or Ankara.