Trabzon (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈtɾabzon]), historically known as Trebizond, is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeastern 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 Persia 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. Both republics had merchant colonies within the city - Leonkastron and the former 'Venetian castle - that played a role to Trebizond similar to the one Galata played to Constantinople (modern 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 early modern period, Trabzon, because of the importance of its port, again became a focal point of trade to Persia and the Caucasus.
Emblem of Trabzon Metropolitan Municipality
City of Tale in the East
|Region||Black Sea Region|
|Established||c. 756 BCE|
|• Governor||Yücel Yavuz|
|• Mayor||Murat Zorluoğlu (AKP)|
|• District||188.85 km2 (72.92 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Urban density||1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Trapezian, Trapezuntine, Trebizonian, Trabzonlu|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (FET)|
|Area code(s)||(+90) 462|
The Turkish name of the city is Trabzon. It is historically known in English as Trebizond. The first recorded name of the city is Τραπεζοῦς (Trapezous), referencing the table-like central hill between the Zağnos (İskeleboz) and Kuzgun streams on which it was founded (τράπεζα meant "table" in Ancient Greek; note the table on the coin in the figure.) In Latin, Trabzon was called Trapezus, which is a latinization of its ancient Greek name. Both in Pontic Greek and Modern Greek, it is called Τραπεζούντα (Trapezounta). In Ottoman Turkish and Persian, it is written as طربزون. During Ottoman times, Tara Bozan was also used. Some western geographers used this name instead of the Latin Trebizond. In Laz it is known as ტამტრა (T'amt'ra) or T'rap'uzani, in Georgian it is ტრაპიზონი (T'rap'izoni) and in Armenian it is Տրապիզոն Trapizon. The 19th-century Armenian travelling priest Byjiskian called the city by other, native names, including Hurşidabat and Ozinis. Other versions of the name, which have incidentally been used in English literature as well, include: Trebizonde (Fr.), Trapezunt (German), Trebisonda (Sp.), Trapesunta (It.), Trapisonda, Tribisonde, Terabesoun, Trabesun, Trabuzan, Trabizond and Tarabossan.
Before the city was founded as a Greek colony the area was dominated by Colchian (Caucasian) and Chaldian (Anatolian) tribes. It is possible that the settlement origins of Trabzon go back to these tribes. The Hayasa, who had been in conflict with the Central-Anatolian Hittites in the 14th century BCE, are believed to have lived in the area south of Trabzon. Later Greek authors mentioned the Macrones and the Chalybes as native peoples. One of the dominant Caucasian groups to the east were the Laz, who were part of the monarchy of the Colchis, together with other related Georgian peoples.
According to Greek sources the city was founded in classical antiquity in 756 BCE as Τραπεζοῦς (Trapezous), by Milesian traders from Sinope. It was one of a number (about ten) of Milesian emporia or trading colonies along the shores of the Black Sea. Others included Abydos and Cyzicus in the Dardanelles, and nearby Kerasous. 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. As a colony Trapezous initially paid tribute to Sinope, but early banking (money-changing) activity is suggested occurring in the city already in the 4th century BCE, according to a silver drachma coin from Trapezus in the British Museum, London. Cyrus the Great added the city to the Achaemenid Empire, and was possibly the first ruler to consolidate the eastern Black Sea region into a single political entity (a satrapy).
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.
Up until the conquests of Alexander the Great the city remained under the dominion of the Achaemenids. While the Pontus was not directly affected by the war, its cities gained independence as a result of it. Local ruling families continued to claim partial Persian heritage, and Persian culture had some lasting influence on the city; the holy springs of mt. Minthrion to the east of the old town were devoted to the Persian-Anatolian Greek god Mithra. In the 2nd century BCE the city with its natural harbours was added to the Kingdom of Pontus by Pharnaces I. Mithridates VI Eupator made it the home port of the Pontic fleet, in his quest to remove the Romans from Anatolia.
After the defeat of Mithridates in 66 BCE the city was first handed to the Galatians, but it was soon returned to the grandson of Mithradates, and subsequently became part of the new client Kingdom of Pontus. When the kingdom was finally annexed to the Roman province of Galatia two centuries later, the fleet passed to new commanders, becoming the Classis Pontica. The city received the status of civitas libera, extending it judicial autonomy and the right to mint its own coin. Trabzon gained importance 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. In the next century, the emperor Hadrian commissioned improvements to give the city a more structured harbor. The emperor visited the city in the year 129 as part of his inspection of the eastern border (limes). A mithraeum now serves as a crypt for the church and monastery of Panagia Theoskepastos (Kızlar Manastırı) in nearby Kizlara, east of the citadel and south of the modern harbor.
Trebizond was greatly affected by two events over the following centuries: in the civil war between Septimius Severus and Pescennius Niger, the city suffered for its support of the latter, and in 257 the city was pillaged by the Goths, despite reportedly being defended by "10,000 above its usual garrison", and being defended by two bands of walls.
Although Trebizond was rebuilt after being pillaged by the Goths in 257 and the Persians in 258, the city did not soon recover. Only in the reign of Diocletian appears an inscription alluding to the restoration of the city; Ammianus Marcellinus could only write of Trebizond that it was "not an obscure town." Christianity had reached Trebizond by the third century, for during the reign of Diocletian occurred the martyrdom of Eugenius and his associates Candidius, Valerian, and Aquila. Eugenius had destroyed the statue of Mithras which overlooked the city from Mount Minthrion (Boztepe), and became the patron saint of the city after his death. Early Christians sought refuge in the Pontic Mountains south of the city, where they established Vazelon Monastery in 270 AD and Sumela Monastery in 386 AD. As early as the First Council of Nicea, Trebizond had its own bishop. Subsequently, the Bishop of Trebizond was subordinated to the Metropolitan Bishop of Poti. Then during the 9th century, Trebizond itself became the seat of the Metropolitan Bishop of Lazica.
By the time of Justinian, the city served as an important base in his Persian Wars, and Miller notes that a portrait of the general Belisarius "long adorned the church of St. Basil." An inscription above the eastern gate of the city, commemorated the reconstruction of the civic walls following an earthquake at Justinian's expense. At some point before the 7th century the university (Pandidakterion) of the city was reestablished with a quadrivium curriculum. The university drew students not just from the Byzantine Empire, but from Armenia as well.
The city regained importance when it became the seat of the theme of Chaldia. Trebizond also benefited when 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. According to the 10th century Arab geographer Abul Feda it was regarded as being largely a Lazian port. The Italian maritime republics such as the Republic of Venice and in particular the Republic of Genoa were active in the Black Sea trade for centuries, using Trabzon as an important seaport for trading goods between Europe and Asia. Some of the Silk Road caravans carrying goods from Asia stopped at the port of Trebizond, where the European merchants purchased these goods and carried them to the port cities of Europe with ships. This trade provided a source of revenue to the state in the form of custom duties, or kommerkiaroi, levied on the goods sold in Trebizond. The Greeks protected the coastal and inland trade routes with a vast network of garrison forts.
Following the Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, Trebizond came under Seljuk rule. This rule proved transient when an expert soldier and local aristocrat, Theodore Gabras took control of the city from the Turkish invaders, and regarded Trebizond, in the words of Anna Comnena, "as a prize which had fallen to his own lot" and ruled it as his own kingdom. Supporting Comnena's assertion, Simon Bendall has identified a group of rare coins he believes were minted by Gabras and his successors. Although he was killed by the Turks in 1098, other members of his family continued his de facto independent rule into the next century.
The Empire of Trebizond was formed after Georgian expedition in Chaldia, commanded by Alexios Komnenos a few weeks before the sack of Constantinople. Located at the far northeastern corner of Anatolia, it was the longest surviving of the Byzantine successor states. Byzantine authors, such as Pachymeres, and to some extent Trapezundines such as Lazaropoulos and Bessarion, regarded the Trebizond Empire as being no more than a Lazian border state. Thus from the point of view of the Byzantine writers connected with the Lascaris and later with the Palaiologos, the rulers of Trebizond were not emperors.
Geographically, the Empire of Trebizond consisted of little more than a narrow strip along the southern coast of the Black Sea, and not much further inland than the Pontic Mountains. However, the city gained great wealth from the taxes it levied on the goods traded between Persia and Europe via the Black Sea. The Mongol siege of Baghdad in 1258 diverted more trade caravans towards the city. Genoese and to a lesser extent Venetian traders regularly came to Trabzon. To secure their part of the Black Sea trade, the Genoese bought the coastal fortification "Leonkastron", just west of the winter harbour, in the year 1306.
One of the most famous persons to have visited the city in this period was Marco Polo, who ended his overland return journey at the port of Trebizond, and sailed to his hometown Venice with a ship; passing by Constantinople (Istanbul) on the way, which was retaken by the Byzantines in 1261. A year earlier, in 1260, Niccolò and Maffeo Polo (the father and uncle of Marco Polo) were residing in Constantinople, then the capital of the Latin Empire. They foresaw a political change, liquidated their assets into jewels and moved away. Their decision proved wise, as Constantinople was recaptured in 1261 by Michael VIII Palaiologos, the ruler of the Empire of Nicaea, who promptly burned the Venetian quarter in the city and reestablished the Byzantine Empire. Captured Venetian citizens in Constantinople were blinded, while many of those who managed to escape perished aboard overloaded refugee ships fleeing to other Venetian colonies in the Aegean Sea.
Together with Persian goods, Italian traders brought stories about the city to Western Europe. Trebizond played a mythical role in European literature of the late middle-ages and the Renaissance. Miguel de Cervantes and François Rabelais gave their protagonists the desire to possess the city. Next to literature, the legendary history of the city - and that of the Pontus in general - also influenced the creation of paintings, theatre plays and operas in Western Europe throughout the following centuries.
The city also played a role in the early Renaissance; The western takeover of Constantinople, which formalized Trebizond's political independence, also led Byzantine intellectuals to seek refuge in the city. Especially Alexios II of Trebizond and his grandson Alexios III were patrons of the arts and sciences. After the great city fire of 1310, the ruined university was reestablished. As part of the university Gregory Choniades opened a new academy of astronomy, which housed the best observatory outside Persia. Choniades brought with him the works of Shams al-Din al-Bukhari, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi and Abd al-Rahman al-Khazini from Tabriz, which he translated into Greek. These works later found their way to western Europe, together with the astrolabe. The observatory Choniades built would become known for its accurate solar eclipse predictions, but was probably used mostly for astrological purposes for the emperor and/or the church.
The Black Death arrived at the city late 1346, probably via Kaffa. At that time the local aristocracy was engaged in the Trapezuntine Civil War. Constantinople remained the Byzantine capital until it was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1453, who also conquered Trebizond eight years later, in 1461.
Its demographic legacy endured for several centuries after the Ottoman conquest in 1461, as a substantial number of Greek Orthodox inhabitants, usually referred to as Pontic Greeks, continued to live in the area during Ottoman rule, up until 1923, when they were deported to Greece. A few thousand Greek Muslims still live in the area, mostly in the Çaykara-Of dialectical region to the southeast of Trabzon. Most are Sunni-Muslim, while there are some recent converts in the city and possibly a few Crypto-Christians in the Tonya/Gümüşhane area to the southwest of the city. Compared to most previously Greek cities in Turkey, a large amount of its Greek Byzantine architectural heritage survives as well.
The last Emperor of Trebizond, David, surrendered the city to Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire in 1461. Following this takeover, Mehmed II sent many Turkish settlers into the area, but the old ethnic Greek, Laz and Armenian communities remained. According to the Ottoman tax books (tahrir defterleri), the total population of adult males in the city was 1,473 in the year 1523. Approximately 85% of them (1,252 adult males) were Christian, 13% of whom (197 adult males) were Armenian, and 15% of them (221 adult males) were Muslim. However, a large portion of the local Christians were Islamized and Turkified by the end of the 17th century, according to a research by Prof. Halil İnalcık on the tax books (tahrir defterleri) of the Ottoman Empire. Trabzon was sanjak centre in Rum Eyalet (1461–1514) and (1520–1535), Erzincan-Bayburt eyalet (1514–1517), Anadolu Eyalet (1517–1520) and Erzurum Eyalet (1535–1598).
Trabzon was the capital of the Ottoman Eyalet of Trebizond (1598–1867) and later of the Ottoman Vilayet of Trebizond (1867–1923) in the northeastern part of Anatolia. During the reign of Sultan Bayezid II, his son Prince Selim (later Sultan Selim I) was the sancakbeyi of Trabzon, and Selim I's son Suleiman the Magnificent was born in Trabzon on November 6, 1494. The Ottoman government often appointed local Chepni and Laz beys as the regional beylerbey. It is also recorded that some Bosniak beys were also appointed by the Sublime Porte as the regional beylerbeyi in Trabzon. The Beylerbeylik of Trabzon (Trabzon Beylerbeyliği) had always sent troops for the Ottoman campaigns in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Trabzon had a wealthy merchant class during the late Ottoman period, and the local Christian minority had a substantial influence in terms of culture, economy and politics. A number of European consulates were opened in the city due to its importance in regional trade and commerce. In the first half of the 19th century Trabzon even became the main port for Persian exports. However, the opening of the Suez Canal greatly diminished the international trading position of the city. In the last decades of the 19th century the city saw some demographic changes. Many residents from the wider region (mostly Christians, but also some Jews and Greek or Turkish speaking muslims) started to migrate to the Crimea and southern Ukraine, in search for farmland or employment in one of the booming cities along the northern and eastern coasts of the Black Sea. Among these migrants were the grandparents of Bob Dylan and Greek politicians and arists. At the same time, thousands of Muslim refugees from the Caucasus arrived in the city, especially after 1864, in what is known as the Circassian genocide.
Next to Constantinople, Smyrna and Selanik, Trabzon was one of the cities where western cultural and technological innovations were first introduced to the Ottoman Empire. In 1835, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions opened the Trebizond Mission station that it occupied from 1835 to 1859 and from 1882 to at least 1892. Hundreds of schools were constructed during the first half of the 19th century, giving the region one of the highest literacy rates of the empire. The city got a post office in 1845. New churches and mosques were built in the second half of the 19th century, as well as the first theater, public and private printing houses, multiple photo-studios and banks. The oldest known photographs of the city center date from the 1860s and depict one of the last camel trains from Persia.
Between one and two thousand Armenians are believed to have been killed in the Trebizond vilajet during the Hamidian massacres of 1895. While this number was low in comparison to other Ottoman provinces, its impact on the Armenian community in the city was large. Many prominent Armenian residents, among them scholars, musicians, photographers and painters, decided to migrate towards the Russian Empire or France. The large Greek population of the city was not affected by the massacre. Due to the high number of Western-Europeans in the city, news from the region was being reported on in many European newspapers. These western newspapers were in turn also very popular among the residents of the city.
In 1901 the harbour was equipped with cranes by Stothert & Pitt of Bath in England. In 1912 the Sümer Opera House was opened on the central Meydan square, being one of the first in the empire. The city lost many young male citizens at the Battle of Sarikamish in the winter of 1914–15. The coastal region between the city and the Russian frontier was the site of key battles between the Ottoman and Russian armies during the Trebizond Campaign, part of the Caucasus Campaign of World War I. A bombardment of the city in 1915 by the Russian navy cost the lives of 1300 citizens.
In July 1915, most of the adult male Armenians of the city were marched off south in five convoys, towards the mines of Gümüşhane, never to be seen again. Other victims of the Armenian Genocide were reportedly taken out to sea in boats which were then capsized. 
The Russian army landed at Atina, east of Rize on March 4, 1916. Lazistan Sanjak fell within two days. However, due to heavy guerrilla resistance around Of and Çaykara some 50 km to the east of Trabzon, it took a further 40 days for the Russian army to advance west. The Ottoman administration of Trabzon foresaw the fall of the city and called for a meeting with community leaders, where they handed control of the city to Greek metropolitan bishop Chrysantos Philippidis. Chrysantos promised to protect the Muslim population of the city. Ottoman forces retreated from Trabzon, and on April 15 the city was taken without a fight by the Russian Caucasus Army under command of Grand Duke Nicholas and Nikolai Yudenich. Many adult Turkish males left the city out of fear for reprisals, even though mayor Chrysantos included them in his administration. According to some sources the Russians banned Muslim mosques, and forced Turks, who were the largest ethnic group living in the city, to leave Trabzon. However, already during the Russian occupation many Turks who had fled to surrounding villages started to return to the city, and mayor Chrysantos helped them to re-establish their facilities such as schools, to the dismay of the Russian governor. During the Russian Revolution of 1917 Russian soldiers in the city turned to rioting, with officers commandeering Trebizonian ships to flee the scene. The Russian Army ultimately retreated from the city and the rest of eastern and northeastern Anatolia. In december 1918 Trabzon deputy Hafız Mehmet gave a speech at the Turkish parliament in which he blamed the former governor of Trabzon province Cemal Azmi - who had fled to Germany after the Russian invasion - for orchestrating the Armenian Genocide in the city in 1915, by means of drowning. Subsequently a series of war crimes trials were held in Trabzon in early 1919 (see Trabzon during the Armenian Genocide). Among others, Cemal Azmi was sentenced to death in absentia.
During the Turkish War of Independence several Christian Pontic Greek communities in the Trebizond vilajet rebelled against the new army of Mustafa Kemal (notably in Bafra and Santa), but when nationalist Greeks came to Trabzon to proclaim revolution, they were not received with open arms by the local Pontic Greek population of the city. At the same time the Muslim population of the city, remembering their protection under Greek mayor Crhysantos, protested the arrest of prominent Christians. Liberal delegates of Trabzon opposed the election of Mustafa Kemal as the leader of the Turkish revolution at the Erzurum Congress. The governor and mayor of Trabzon were appalled by the violence against Ottoman Greek subjects, and the government of Trabzon thus refused arms to Mustafa Kemal's henchman Topal Osman, who was responsible for mass murders in the western Pontus. Osman was forced out of the city by armed Turkish port-workers. Following the war and the annulment of the Treaty of Sèvres (1920), which was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), Trabzon became part of the new Turkish republic. The efforts of the pro-Ottoman, anti-nationalist population of Trabzon only postponed the inevitable, because the national governments of Turkey and Greece agreed to a mutual forced population exchange. This exchange included well over one hundred thousand Greeks from Trabzon and the vicinity, to the relatively new Greek state. During the war Trabzon parliamentarian Ali Şükrü Bey was one of the leading figures of the first Turkish opposition party. Through his newspaper Tan, Şükrü and his colleges publicized their critiques of the Kemalist government, such as its violence towards Greeks during the population exchange.
Topal Osman would eventually murder parliamentarian Şükrü for his criticism of the nationalist government of Mustafa Kemal. Ali Şükrü Bey, who had studied in the United Kingdom, is seen as a hero by the people of Trabzon, while in neighboring Giresun there is a statue of his murderer Topal Osman.
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 to the western and the southwestern parts of Turkey.
The city still has a sizable community of Greek-speaking Muslims, most of whom are originally from the vicinities of Tonya, Sürmene and Çaykara. However, the Pontic Greek language (known as Romeiaka or Ποντιακά, Pontiaka) is spoken mostly by the older generations.
|Source: TurkStat (Turkish Statistical Institute)|
Trabzon Province has a total area of 4,685 square kilometres (1,809 sq mi) and is bordered by the provinces of Rize, Giresun and Gümüşhane. The total area is 22.4% plateau and 77.6% hills. The Pontic Mountains pass through the Trabzon Province.
Trabzon used to be an important reference point for navigators in the Black Sea during harsh weather conditions. The popular expression "perdere la Trebisonda" (losing Trebizond) is still commonly used in the Italian language to describe situations in which the sense of direction is lost. The Italian maritime republics such as Venice and in particular Genoa were active in the Black Sea trade for centuries.
Trabzon has four lakes: Uzungöl, Çakırgöl, Sera and Haldizen Lakes. There are several streams, but no rivers in Trabzon.
Trabzon has a climate typical of the Black Sea region with plentiful precipitation. Under the Köppen climate classification, it has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa) Summers are warm and humid, and the average maximum temperature is around 26.7 °C (80 °F) in August. Winters are cool and damp, and the lowest average minimum temperature is around 5 °C (41 °F) in January. Trabzon's summers are warmer than oceanic classifications, but the narrow fluctuations in temperature renders a significant influence from the sea. As with other major cities on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, Trabzon is situated right on the waterfront, thus allowing for the additional 1–2 degrees Celsius enough to surpass the threshold to be classified as subtropical. In comparison, only 1 or 2 percent of the province is classified as subtropical, the majority being oceanic (Köppen: Cfb) followed by humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb), due to the immediate elevation increase starting from the coast, a typical characteristic of the Black Sea coast of Turkey. Trabzon's weather station also sees tendencies of a Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa), but with only one month below 40 mm rainfall in summer it just fails to qualify.
Precipitation is heaviest in autumn and winter, with a marked reduction in the summer months, a microclimatic condition of the city center compared to the rest of the region. 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.
As of 1920, the port at Trabzon was considered "the most important of the Turkish Black Sea ports" by the British. It traded as far as Tabriz and Mosul. As of 1911, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey signed an agreement to develop a harbor at the port. When the Russians occupied Trabzon, a mole was built. They built a breakwater and were responsible for creating an extended pier, making loading and unloading easier. In 1920, Trabzon produced linen cloth, silver filagree, tanning and small amounts of cotton, silk and wool. Tobacco and hazelnuts were exported. The tobacco produced in Trabzon was called Trebizond-Platana. It was described as having "large leaves and a bright colour." Trabzon was known for producing poor quality cereals, most which were grown for local use.
Trabzon produced a white green bean, which was sold in Europe. It was, as of 1920, the only vegetable exported out of the province. Poultry farming was also popular in Trabzon. Sericulture was seen in the area before 1914. The area produced copper, silver, zinc, iron and manganese. Copper was kept for local use by coppersmiths. During the Balkan Wars production ceased due to poor exportation and fuel supplies.
Trabzon Airport opened in 1957.
The current ethnic background of the people of Trabzon is mostly Turkish. There are also descendants of Circassian muhajiris in the city, as well as smaller number of Laz people, Muslim Greeks (Romeyka-speakers) and Armenians (Hemshin). Local Turks are mostly of Chepni Turkmen origin. The main language of these ethnic groups is Turkish. Modern migration since the dissolution of the Soviet Union has brought a significant number of Russians, Ukrainians and people from the Caucasus (mostly Georgia) into the city. Russian language shops and facilities can be found in the town.
Pontic Greek has been spoken in the region since early antiquity. The local dialect developed along its own lines and is today partly intelligible to speakers of Standard Greek. It was spoken mainly by a Greek Orthodox multi-ethnic population up to the population exchange; nearly all speakers of this local variant of Pontic Greek are now Muslims. A very similar dialect is spoken by a community of about 400 speakers, descendants of Christians from the Of valley now living in Greece in the village of Nea Trapezounta (New Trebizond), today part of Katerini, Central Macedonia.
Laz people, who are aboriginal to this area, also live in Trabzon. Numerous villages inside and out of Trabzon of the Laz date back as early as the period of Queen Tamar's rule (Georgian: თამარი, also transliterated as T'amar or Thamar; c. 1160 – 18 January 1213) in the newly unified Kingdom of Georgia. During the Queen's rule, sizeable groups of immigrating Georgians moved to Trabzon where they continue to preserve their native tongue. There was an Armenian community in Trebizond as early as the 7th century.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, numerous Armenian families migrated there from Ani. Robert W. Edwards published part of an early 15th-century diary from the Castilian ambassador who visited Trabzon and compared the churches of the Greek and Armenian communities. It was stated by the ambassador that the Armenians, who were not well like by the Greeks, had a population large enough to support a resident bishop. According to Ronald C. Jennings, in the early 16th century, Armenians made up approximately 13 percent of the city's population. At present, Trabzon does not have an Armenian-speaking community.
The Chepni people, a tribe of Oghuz Turks who played an important role in the history of the eastern Black Sea area in the 13th and 14th centuries, live in the Şalpazarı (Ağasar valley) region of the Trabzon Province. Very little has been written on the Turkification of the area. There are no historical records of any considerable Turkish-speaking groups in the Trabzon area until the late 15th century, with the exception of the Chepnis. The original Greek (and in some regions Armenian) speakers imposed features from their mother language into the Turkish spoken in the region. Heath W. Lowry's work with Halil İnalcık on Ottoman tax books (Tahrir Defteri) provides detailed demographic statistics for the city of Trabzon and its surrounding areas during the Ottoman period.
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.
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.
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 kilometres (31 miles) south of the city. Uzungöl is known for its natural environment and scenery. Other sites of interest in the broader region include:
Folk dancing is still very much in evidence in the Black Sea region. The "Horon" is a famous dance which is indigenous to the city and its surrounding area. It is performed by men, women, the young and elderly alike; in festivities, local weddings and harvest times. While similar to Russian Cossack dances in terms of vividness, the Trabzon folk dance is probably indigenous to the eastern Black Sea region, which has an impressive variety of folk music .
The people of Trabzon have a reputation for being religiously conservative and nationalist. Many Trabzonites generally show a strong sense of loyalty to their family, friends, religion and country. Atatürk selected his presidential guards from Trabzon and the neighbouring city of Giresun because of their fierce fighting ability and their loyalty.
Outside of the relatively urban space of Trabzon proper, and within parts of it as well, rural traditions from the Black Sea village life are still thriving. These include traditional gender roles, social conservatism, hospitality and a willingness to help strangers; and all aspects, both positive and negative, of an agrarian lifestyle, such as hard work, poverty, strong family ties, and a closeness to nature.
The people of the eastern Black Sea region are also known for their wit and sense of humour; many jokes in Turkey are told about the natives of the Black Sea region Karadeniz fıkraları (Black Sea jokes). The character Temel, a universal buffoon figure found in many cultures, forms an important part of the Turkish oral tradition.
Historically the city was a center of Greek culture and education and from 1683 to 1921, a teachers' college operated known as Phrontisterion of Trapezous, which provided a major impetus for the rapid expansion of Greek education throughout the region. The building of this institution (built in 1902) still remains the most impressive Pontic Greek monument in the city and today hosts the Turkish school Anadolu Lisesi.
Trabzon's regional cuisine is traditionally reliant on fish, especially hamsi (fresh European Anchovy similar to the British Sprat or American Smelt). Trabzon meets 20% of the total fish production in Turkey. Regional dishes include the Akçaabat köfte (spicy lamb meatball from the Akçaabat district), Karadeniz pidesi (canoe shaped pita bread, often filled with ground beef, cheese and eggs), kuymak (a Turkish fondue made with cornmeal, fresh butter and cheese), Vakfıkebir ekmeği (large country-style bread), Tonya tereyağı (Tonya butter), tava mısır ekmeği (deep-dish corn bread) and kara lahana çorbası (bean and cabbage soup). Taflan kavurması is a cherry laurel dish served with onions and olive oil. Trabzon is also famous for its hazelnuts. The Black Sea region of Turkey is the world's largest producer of cherry and hazelnut; and a large production area of tea; all of which play an important role in the local cuisine.
Football is the most popular sport in Trabzon. The city's top sports club, Trabzonspor, was until 2010 the only Turkish football club in Anatolia to win the Süper Lig (six times), which was previously (until Trabzonspor's first championship title in the 1975–76 season) won only by the "Big Three" clubs of Istanbul, namely Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. Due to Trabzonspor's success, the decades-old term "Big Three" which defined the most successful football clubs in Turkey had to be modified into the "Big Four". Trabzonspor is also one of the most successful Turkish clubs in the European Cups, managing to beat numerous prominent teams such as Barcelona, Inter, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Olympique Lyonnais. Renowned former players of Trabzonspor include Şenol Güneş, Lars Olsen and Shota Arveladze.
Trabzon is twinned with:
Trebizond was occupied as a missionary station in 1835... The following is a list of missionaries who have been connected with the station for at least one year: ... Rev. G. W. Wood, 1842 - 1843"
1461 Trabzon is a professional Turkish football club located in the city of Trabzon. Formed in 1998 as Değirmenderespor, the club changed its name to Trabzon Karadenizspor in 2008. The club colours are maroon, blue and white, and they play their home matches at Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium.2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup
The 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup was the nineteenth edition of the U-20 World Cup, since its inception in 1977 as the FIFA World Youth Championship. The 2013 series ran from 21 June 2013, through 13 July 2013. At the FIFA Executive Meeting in Zürich on 3 March 2011, Turkey beat other bids to host the series games, from host competition by the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. In its bid, Turkey suggested the use of 13 stadiums in 10 of its cities, before deciding in February 2012, that seven cities would play host to games.This tournament marks the first time in its history that neither Argentina nor Brazil (the most successful teams in the competition) qualified. It is also the second time that Brazil has not taken part (the first time was the 1979 edition).
France won the tournament and their first U-20 World Cup, and thus became the first nation to win all five FIFA 11-a-side men's titles (FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup, and Olympic gold medal).Akçaabat Sebatspor
Akçaabat Sebatspor, also known as A. Sebatspor is a Turkish football club located in the Akçaabat district of Trabzon Province. They play their home games in the Akçaabat Fatih Stadyumu. The club was founded in 1923.Atasu Dam
Atasu Dam is a concrete-face rock-fill dam on the Gaylan River, 16 km (10 mi) south of Trabzon in Trabzon Province, Turkey. It was built between 1998 and 2010 for the primary purpose of drinking water supply but also has a 5 MW hydroelectric power station.Avrasya University
Avrasya University (Turkish: Avrasya Üniversitesi), is the first private university in Trabzon, Turkey. Established in 2010, it is a young university in Turkey.Empire of Trebizond
The Empire of Trebizond or the Trapezuntine Empire was a monarchy and one of three successor rump states of the Byzantine Empire that flourished during the 13th through 15th centuries, consisting of the far northeastern corner of Anatolia (the Pontus) and the southern Crimea. The empire was formed in 1204 after the Georgian expedition in Chaldia, commanded by Alexios Komnenos a few weeks before the sack of Constantinople. Alexios later declared himself Emperor and established himself in Trebizond (modern day Trabzon, Turkey). Alexios and David Komnenos, grandsons and last male descendants of deposed Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos, pressed their claims as "Roman Emperors" against Byzantine Emperor Alexios V Doukas. The later Byzantine emperors, as well as Byzantine authors, such as George Pachymeres, Nicephorus Gregoras and to some extent Trapezuntines such as John Lazaropoulos and Basilios Bessarion, regarded the emperors of Trebizond as the “princes of the Lazes”, while the possession of these "princes" was also called Lazica, in other words, their state was known as the Principality of the Lazes. Thus from the point of view of the Byzantine writers connected with the Laskaris and later with the Palaiologos dynasties, the rulers of Trebizond were not emperors.After the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade overthrew Alexios V and established the Latin Empire, the Empire of Trebizond became one of three Byzantine successor states to claim the imperial throne, alongside the Empire of Nicaea under the Laskaris family and the Despotate of Epirus under a branch of the Angelos family. The ensuing wars would see the Empire of Thessalonica, the imperial government that sprung from Epirus, collapse following conflicts with Nicaea and Bulgaria and the final recapture of Constantinople by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261. Despite the Nicaean reconquest of Constantinople, the Emperors of Trebizond would continue to style themselves as "Roman Emperors" for decades and continued to press their claim on the Imperial throne. Emperor John II of Trebizond officially gave up the Trapezuntine claim to the Roman imperial title and Constantinople itself 11 years after the Nicaeans recaptured the city, altering his imperial title from "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans" to "Emperor and Autocrat of all the East, Iberia (i.e. Lazica) and Perateia".The Trapezuntine monarchy would survive the longest among the Byzantine successor states. The Despotate of Epirus had ceased to contest the Byzantine throne even before the Nicaean reconquest and was briefly occupied by the restored Byzantine Empire c. 1340, thereafter becoming a Serbian dependency later inherited by Italians, ultimately falling to the Ottoman Empire in 1479. Whilst the Empire of Nicaea had restored the Byzantine Empire through restoring control of the capital, it ended in 1453 with the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Trebizond would last until 1461 when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered it after a month-long siege and took its ruler and his family into captivity, marking the final end of the Roman imperial tradition initiated by Augustus 1,488 years previously. The Crimean Principality of Theodoro, an offshoot of Trebizond, lasted another 14 years, falling to the Ottomans in 1475.Fatih Mosque, Trabzon
The Fatih Mosque is a mosque in Ortahisar district of Trabzon Province, Turkey. It was originally built in Byzantine times as the Panagia Chrysokephalos Church (Greek: Παναγία Χρυσοκέφαλος, "Panagia the Golden-Headed"), serving as both the catholicon for the see of Trebizond, and a church for a monastery until the Ottoman conquest of the city in 1461. The Fatih Mosque also displays the most beautiful samples of the Ottoman writing arts.Gümüşhane Province
Gümüşhane Province (Turkish: Gümüşhane ili) is a province in northern Turkey, bordering Bayburt to the east, Trabzon to the north, Giresun and Erzincan to the west. It covers an area of 6,575 km² and has a population of 129,618 in 2010. The population was 186,953 in 2000. The name Gümüşhane means silver house. The city has a rich mining (silver and bronze) history and was the source of exports for Trabzon.Hagia Sophia, Trabzon
Hagia Sophia (Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, meaning "Holy Wisdom" Turkish: Ayasofya) is a museum, formerly Greek Orthodox church which was converted into a mosque in 1584, and located in Trabzon, in the north-eastern part of Turkey. It dates back to the thirteenth century when Trabzon was the capital of the Empire of Trebizond. It is located near the seashore and two miles west of the medieval town's limits. It is one of a few dozen Byzantine sites still extant in the area. It has been described as being "regarded as one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture."Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium
Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium (Turkish: Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadyumu) is the previous home ground of the Turkish football (soccer) club Trabzonspor. The stadium was built in 1951 with a capacity of 2,500 seats. After several renovations, the capacity was increased to 20,750 in 2008.Trabzon Airport
Trabzon Airport (IATA: TZX, ICAO: LTCG) is an airport near the city of Trabzon in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. The airport opened in 1957. In 2009, it served 1,596,905 passengers, of which most (95%) were on domestic routes. In 2009, Trabzon Airport ranked 9th for total passenger traffic, and 7th for domestic traffic among airports in Turkey.Trabzon Cup
The Trabzon Cup was a tournament for professional female tennis players played on outdoor hard courts in Trabzon, Turkey. The event was classified as a $50,000 ITF Women's Circuit tournament which took place in 2013. In 2013 there were two Trabzon Cup events, the second event came one week after the first.Trabzon Football League
Trabzon Football League (Turkish: Trabzon Futbol Ligi) was founded as a regional league for Trabzon based clubs in 1923.
In Trabzon, football game was played at 1910s. İdman Ocağı and İdman Gücü hold the record with 12 titles.Trabzon Museum
The Trabzon Museum (Turkish: Trabzon Müzesi), also known as Kostaki Mansion (Kostaki Konağı), is a historic house museum with archeological and ethnographic exhibitions located in Trabzon, Turkey.Trabzon Province
Trabzon Province (Turkish: Trabzon ili) 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, Gümüşhane 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 Turks, but the province is also home to a minority of Muslim Pontic Greek speakers, though younger speakers are not always fluent in this language.Trabzonspor
Trabzonspor are a professional Turkish sports club located in the city of Trabzon, Turkey. Formed in 1967 through a merger of several local clubs, the men's football department of Trabzonspor have won six Süper Lig championship titles. Trabzonspor also have a women's football team and a men's basketball team.
Trabzonspor are one of the most decorated clubs in Turkey. They have won six Süper Lig titles and were the first non Istanbul-based club to win the league. They also have won eight Federation Cup (Turkish Cup) titles. The club won their first championship title in 1975–76, and won three championship titles in a row in the 1978–79, 1979–80, and 1980–81 seasons.
From 1976 to 1984, Trabzonspor have won a total of 30 trophies: Süper Lig (6), Federation (Turkish) Cup (8), Süper Kupa (Super Cup) (8), the Başbakanlık Kupası (Chancellor Cup) (5), Red Group Championship Second Division (İkinci Lig Kırmızı Grup Şampiyonası) (1) and Cyprus Peace Cup (Kıbrıs Barış Kupası) (1).The club colours are claret and blue, and they have maroon and blue kits. Trabzonspor play at the Şenol Güneş Stadium which replaced the Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium as their home ground during the 2016–17 season.Trebizond Campaign
The Trebizond Campaign, also known as the Battle of Trebizond, was a series of successful Russian naval and land operations that resulted in the capture of Trabzon. It was the logistical step after the Erzerum Campaign. Operations began on February 5 and concluded when the Ottoman troops abandoned Trabzon on the night of April 15, 1916.Trebizond Eyalet
Trebizond Eyalet (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت طربزون; Eyālet-i Ṭrabzōn) or Trabzon Beylerbeyliği was an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire.
Established in 1598, it remained a primarily Christian region into the 17th century, well after the rest of Anatolia had been converted to Islam. Its reported area in the 19th century was 10,507 square miles (27,210 km2).Trebizond Vilayet
The Vilayet of Trebizond or Trabzon was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) in the north-eastern part of the Ottoman Empire and corresponding to the area along the eastern Black Sea coastline and the interior highland region of the Pontic Alps. The region was populated mainly by ethnic Turks in the western half and Laz-speaking Muslims in the eastern half, although throughout the period of Ottoman rule there was a history of conversion to Turkish Islam of many of the region's Pontic Greeks - with even Gulbahar Hatun, the mother of sultan Selim the Grim said to be of Pontic Greek origin.
At the beginning of the 20th century it reportedly had an area of 12,082 square miles (31,290 km2), while the preliminary results of the first Ottoman census of 1885 (published in 1908) gave the population as 1,047,700. The accuracy of the population figures ranges from "approximate" to "merely conjectural" depending on the region from which they were gathered.After the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878, the sanjak of Lazistan was established. Rize became the center of the district due to the cession of Batumi, the former centre of the sanjak, to Russia.
|Climate data for Trabzon (1929–2017)|
|Record high °C (°F)||25.9
|Average high °C (°F)||10.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||7.3
|Average low °C (°F)||4.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−7.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||82.0
|Average precipitation days||11.5||11.8||12.6||12.4||12.1||10.3||7.5||8.3||10.6||11.9||11.4||12.1||132.5|
|Average relative humidity (%)||69||69||73||75||77||75||73||73||74||73||70||68||72|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||83.7||90.4||105.4||126.0||170.5||210.0||182.9||173.6||147.0||139.5||108.0||83.7||1,620.7|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||2.7||3.2||3.4||4.2||5.5||7.0||5.9||5.6||4.9||4.5||3.6||2.7||4.4|
|Source #1: Turkish State Meteorological Service|
|Source #2: Weatherbase|
Places adjacent to Trabzon
Metropolitan municipalities are bolded.