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Amasya and Yeşilırmak River
Amasya is located in Turkey
Location of Amasya within Turkey.
Coordinates: 40°39′N 35°50′E
Region Black Sea
Mayor Cafer Özdemir (AKP)
Urban 99,905 Elevation = 411 m
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
Summer (DST) EEST (UTC)
Amasya (Turkish pronunciation: [aˈmasja]), the Amaseia of antiquity, is the capital of the administrative district of Amasya Province in northern Turkey. The population of the province is 334,786 and the population of the city is 99 905. The mayor is Cafer Özdemir (AKP).
Amasya stands in the mountains above the Black Sea coast, in a narrow valley along the banks of the Yeşilırmak River. Although near the Black Sea, this area is high above the coast and has an inland climate, well-suited to growing apples, for which the province of Amasya is famed. As for natural beauty, Amasya is set apart from the rest of Anatolia in its tight mountain valley and hides its own secret beauty. Amasya is one of the provinces in North - Central Anatolia Turkey which is distinct both with its natural setup and historical values it holds. It was the homeland of the famous geographer Strabo. Located in a narrow cleft of the Yesilirmak (Iris) river, it has a past of 7500 years during which many civilizations left priceless remains of their times.
In antiquity, Amaseia (Αμάσεια) was a fortified city high on the cliffs above the river. It has a long history as provincial capital, a wealthy city producing kings and princes, artists, scientists, poets and thinkers, from the kings of Pontus, through Strabo the geographer, to many generations of the Ottoman imperial dynasty, and up to being the location of an important moment in the life of Ataturk. With its Ottoman period wooden houses and the tombs of the Pontus kings carved into the cliffs overhead, Amasya is attractive to visitors.
In recent years, investments in tourism started to increase and provided that city started to attract more foreign and domestic tourists. Restoration of the traditional Ottoman houses near the Yeşilirmak and other main historical buildings caused to that and these traditional Yalıboyu houses started to use as cafe, bar, restaurant, pub, hotel etc. This is the another point of how city attracted tourists. Ottoman wooden houses and on the background of these houses, you can see King Rock Tombs from Pontus Greeks. This view feels like an open-air museum. In 2011, half million foreign and domestic tourist visited that city. It indicated us tourism is developing as an industry, until june 2012, visitors of the city was nearly 350.000. In related with that many hotels, especially butique hotels are opening to service. Mostly the traditional Ottoman wooden houses was restored and now they are using as butique hotels, cafes, bars.
According to Strabo the Greek name Ἀμάσεια comes from Amasis, the queen of the Amazons, who were said to have lived here. The name has changed little throughout history, Ἀμάσεια, Amaseia, Amassia and Amasia all being found in ancient Greek and Roman coinage, and continuing to be used through modern times by Greeks. In Armenian, it is written Armenian: Ամասիա, in Ottoman "أماصيا", and in modern Turkish "Amasya", all representing the same sound.
Situated between the Black Sea and inner Anatolia in a region of fertile plains irrigated by the Tersakan, Çekerek and Yeşilırmak rivers, Amasya lies in a naturally beautiful narrow river valley, bounded by almost vertical cliffs and high peaks of the Canik and Pontus mountains. Despite the region become mountainous, location of city is not really high from the sea level. The city of Amasya is a city does not have sea on its borders and it is not so high from sea level according to other Anatolian cities. It makes its climate more temperate.
Five bridges cross the river, and most of the town lies on the southern bank, spread along the river. The climb up to the higher ground is very steep, making the valley walls uninhabitable. The town is therefore shaped like a letter 'v' as it follows a sharp bend in the river.
Amasya features a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cold, rainy winters. In addition, Amasya is not cold like central Anatolia and its weather is not so soft in winter terms. It is kind of transition climate between Black Sea climate and Continental Mediterranean climate. However this narrow valley provided to Amasya a temperate climate. This effect is originated from river of Yeşilirmak. It made softer its climate.
Ottoman houses and a Pontic tomb in Amasya
Amasia, Ottoman era
Historically Amaseia or Amasia, capital of Amasya (province), northern Turkey, on the Yesil River, also called the Iris River. Capital of the kings of Pontus until about 183 BC, it was made a free city and the administrative center of a large territory by Pompey in 65 BC. In the 2nd century AD, it received the titles "metropolis" and "first city" under the Romans. It was the capital of the Turkmen Danismend emirs until annexed by the Seljuk ruler Kilic Arslan a century later. Amasia called this era "Darül-izz" till the Ottoman Conquest. It became a major center of learning in Anatolia after being incorporated into the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Bayezid I (reigned 13891402)
Its location in this steep valley makes the city a mountain stronghold, easy to defend, and thus Amasya has had a long and prominent history. Amasya was hosted to Hittite, Frig, Kimmer, Lydia, Persia, Rome, Byzantine, Danismend, Selcuklu, Ilhanli and Ottoman civilisations at history between Antic Age to present days At the year of 1386 Amasya included to Ottoman Empire Reign, province was famous as "şehzadeler (sons of sultan) province" by the special concern of Ottoman Sultans and their sons Turks take control of Amasya, by the conquest of Melik Ahmet Danişmend Gazi at the year of 1075 At the year of 1285 Ilhanli State take control, than at the year of 1381 Eretna Governmental take control, at last Şehzade (prince) Yıldırım Bayazıd conquest province to Ottoman Reign at the year of 1386.
Archaeological research shows that Amasya was first settled in 5500 BC by the Hittites and subsequently by Phrygians, Cimmerians, Lydians, Persians, Armenians.
By 183 BC the city was settled by Hellenistic people, eventually becoming the capital of the kings of Pontus from 333 BC to 26 BC. Today there are prominent ruins including the royal tombs of Pontus in the rocks above the riverbank in the centre of the city. Ancient district in northeastern Anatolia adjoining the Black Sea. In the 1st century BC it briefly contested Rome's hegemony in Anatolia. An independent Pontic kingdom with its capital at Amaseia (modern Amasya) was established at the end of the 4th century BC in the wake of Alexander's conquests. Superficially Hellenized, the kingdom retained its Persian social structure, with temple priests and Persianized feudal nobles ruling over a heterogeneous village population.
Amaseia was captured by the Roman Lucullus in 70 BC from Armenia and was quickly made a free city and administrative center of his new province of Bithynia and Pontus by Pompey. By this time Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers and poets, and one of them, Strabo, left a full description of Amaseia as it was between 60 BC and 19 AD. Around 2 or 3 BC, it was incorporated into the Roman province of Galatia, in the district of Pontus Galaticus. Around the year 112, the emperor Trajan designated it a part of the province of Cappadocia. Later in the 2nd century it gained the titles 'metropolis' and 'first city'. After the division of the Roman Empire by emperor Diocletian the city became part of the East Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire). At this time it had a predominantly Greek-speaking population.
Early Turkish rulers
In 1075 following 700 years of Byzantine rule Amasya was conquered by the Turkmen Danishmend emirs. It became their capital until it was annexed by the Seljuk ruler Kiliç Arslan II. Under the Seljuks and the Ilkhan the city became a centre of Islamic culture. Schools, mosques, tombs and other architecture of this period still remain.
After being incorporated into the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Bayezid I Amasya grew in importance as a centre of learning; the children of the Ottoman rulers being sent here for their education. As part of their preparation for future rule they were given the position and responsibility of governor of Amasya. Future sultans from Beyazid I in the late 14th century through to Murat III in the 16th were schooled here and held the position of governor in their youth.
The population of Amasya at this time was very different from that of most other cities in the Ottoman Empire; as it was part of their the training for the future sultans to learn about every nation of the Empire. Every millet of the Empire was represented in Amasya in a particular villagesuch as a pontic village, an Armenian village, a Bosnian village, a Tatar village, a Turkish village etc. (see: 1927 Population count data by DİE.)
The Turkish War of Independence
In 1919 Amasya was the location of the final planning meetings held by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for the building of a Turkish army to establish the Turkish republic following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War. It was here that Mustafa Kemal made the announcement of the Turkish War of Independence in the Amasya Circular. This circular is considered as the first written document putting the Turkish War of Independence in motion. The circular, distributed across Anatolia, declared Turkey's independence and integrity to be in danger and called for a national conference to be held in Sivas (Sivas Congress) and before that, for a preparatory congress comprising representatives from the eastern provinces of Anatolia to be held in Erzurum in July (Erzurum Congress).
The Republic of Turkey
Beginning of the 1900s, demography of Amasya was totally different from today.In Amasya province and in city center, many Armenians and Greeks were living. Armenians forced from the city with the Armenian Genocide. Greeks also left from Amasya because of the population exchange between Greek and Turkish states. The Greeks and Armenians of Amasya were replaced by Turks and city lost its diversity in that sense but still Greek and Armenian cultural effects can be found on local culture as cuisine, crafts, craftmanship etc.
Amaseia became the seat of a Christian bishop and archbishop in Roman times; there is a list of bishops from the third century. The bishopric eventually lapsed, probably, like so many others, after the Turkish conquest of Anatolia. In 1687 the title of Archbishop of Amaseia was conferred as a titular distinction on Ferdinando d'Adda, the papal representative to King James II of England. The Catholic titular bishopric has been conferred a dozen times since. Amasia remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic church.
The province of Amasya is known for producing high-quality, small but well-flavoured apples. Region(Amasya-Tokat) is in fore fronts about the fruit production. This aspect comes from region's valley structure and this valley structure provide a very special climate for many fruits growing. City has many agricultural production.Flour, egg, and beet are the main agricultural products and these agricultural products have also industries. Furthermore, city has several yeast factories. Other crops include tobacco and poppy seeds. Other economic activities in the region include mining, textiles and cement manufacture. City is not so developed city on industrial term. It is however an attractive, well-preserved city, especially when sitting by the river, which has a particular mystique on a winter evening when fog fılls the valley. Tourists (and also soldiers from the local base) contribute valuable income to the shopkeepers of the city. The railway line from Sivas to Samsun runs through Amasya, and there is an attractive Ottoman period railway station.
The city of Amasya has some nightlife, mainly bars and cafes for visitors, and some basic restaurants. It is not very conservative city differently from other central and eastern Anatolian cities. Tourism and people from Amasya who is travelling to metropolitan cities made it more open city. Social life in this city wakes up especially during the summer period. Many international circus groups visit this city. June 12 is festival date for Amasya during this time many cultural and sporting activities organize.
The cuisine includes the local specialty toyga çorbası, a soup containing yoghurt, drunk hot or cold. Other delights include pastries with poppy seeds and tea by the riverbank.
In addition, city has an airport in Merzifon district of Amasya. Flight time is just one hour from/to Istanbul. It opened in 2008 for civilian air flights before it was using only for militarily. There are daily flights from/to Istanbul. It made easy to reach to Amasya for domestic and international tourists.
The ruins of the citadel on the rock face of the cleft shelters 2000 year old water-channels, 1000 year old bridges, a mental hospital, an OttomanPontus kings, which contribute very much to the attractiveness of the city. At night, when they are illuminated, the view is unforgettable. Palace and a secret underground passageway. On the rock faces there are impressive rock tombs. The city also has many historically and architecturally precious buildings; the Ferhat water channel, the 13th century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the 15th century Yildirim Beyazit Mosque and Complex; the 14th century Ilhanli Bimarhane Mental Hospital with lovely relieves around its portal, the extraordinary octagonal Kapi Aga Medrese (theological school), the Torumtay Mausoleum and the Gök Medrese. There are traditional Turkish mansions which have been well-preserved showing the best examples of Turkish architecture. The 19th century Hazeranlar Mansion has been restored perfectly and now it is of great interest with an art gallery on its first floor and an ethnographical museum on the second. The Archaeological Museum of Amasya has an interesting collection including the mummies of the Ilhanli rulers of Amasya.
Yalıboyu houses in Amasya
Tombs of the kings of Pontus
On the rock of Harşena above the town is the terraced site of the royal palace and the tombs of the kings of Pontus (illuminated at night) which, although not kept in the best condition, are an impressive sight from the town. There are 5 unit tombs placed at slope of Amasya Castle that all are engraved on the lime stone rocks which rocks extended like a straight wall With the construction and location properties they take attention at the first sight Their surroundings engraved till they completely separated from the main rock, than they reunite to the main rock with stairs There are some ones large and some ones small totally 18 rock tomb units present The famous geographer Strabon (BC 63 - AC 5) whom born at Amasya, delivers an information that Rock tombs was belonged to Pontus Kings.
AynalıCave (Rock Tomb) is approximately three kilometres away from city centre, and on the way of Ziyaret district which way separated to the right from surrounding high way towards Samsun It is the best - decorated and completed tomb among other King Rock Tombs At the vault section there are 6 pictures on each right and left walls, which figure out 12 disciple And there are some figures that include men and women on the west and east walls, although there is a composition figure contains the Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Disciple on east wall.
Harsene Kalesi A fortification, mentioned by Strabo and largely rebuilt in medieval times also lies in ruins on a rocky outcrop above the town. And in the district of Nerkis lies some remainsN of another castle, Enderun Kalesi. It is placed on precious rocks named Harşane mountain at the west of Yeşilırmak river and city centre There are 4 main gates in castle, which are named Belkıs, Saray (palace), Maydonos and Meydan (Puublic Square), there is an water well named Cilanbolu in castle too, moreover water hole and dungeon present in castle A laddered under ground way from the castle that reach to 70 meter below river towards the kings tombs dated to 3rd century BC.
The town itself has many historically and architecturally valuable buildings, including the Ferhat aqueduct, the 13th century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the 14th century Ilkhan Bimarhane Mental Hospital with lovely reliefs around its portal, the tomb of 15th century scholar Pir Ilyas and the 15th century mosque of Yildirim Beyazit. Unfortunately, Amasya is vulnerable to earthquakes which have damaged many monuments (most recently in 1939).
There are a number of well-preserved traditional Ottoman Turkish mansions, some of the best examples of Turkish domestic architecture. The 19th century Hazeranlar Konağı has been carefully restored and includes a small art gallery and ethnographical museum. Other wooden houses are being restored as hotels and guest houses. Hazeranlar Mansion Hazeranlar mansion is the most beautiful mansion at Yalı boyu (across the waterside residence) houses series Mansion is one of the most elegant civil architecture samples of Ottoman period Mansion built by Defterdar Hasan Talat Efendi for the name of his sister Hazeran Hanım at the year of 1872.
The Archaeological Museum of Amasya has a large and interesting collection, of artefacts from many eras of antiquity, including the mummies of the Ilkhanli rulers of Amasya.
Saraydüzü Casern, this building reconstructed in 2009 and opened. The importance of Saraydüzü Casern is that, Amasya Circular(genelge) was signed in that historical building in 12 June 1919. Atatürk wrote here about Amasya Circular. Building was destroyed. Today, Saraydüzü Casern is war of liberation museum and using for conferences, meetings, speeches etc. Basically, it is used as a congress center.
A number of tombs of Muslim saints, yatır, said to emanate healing powers. The sick and dying come to breathe the air and drink the waters of nearby springs.
FerhatWaterCanal canal was built at the Hellenistic Period to fulfil city's water necessity, it has approximately 75 width and 18 kilometers long It was built with processes of digging canals based on the balance system, carving some tunnels and bounding brick walls at some places.
Sultan Bayezıt II Kulliye (Center): Kulliye constructed in the name of Sultan Bayezit II in 1485 - 86; is composed of mosque, theology school, charitable establishment, monument and şadırvan (water tank with a fountain). It is the advanced final sample of the mosque with side place (L planned) architecture, constructed during the last quarter of the 15th century. There are two minarets of the mosque There are theology school at west and charitable establishment and guest - house at east Old plane tress at the level of both minarets, are estimated to be as old as kulliye.
Lake Borabay (65 km northeast of Amasya in the district of Taşova) is a crater lake with an impressive view and fresh air. It is a perfect area for fishing (especially trout), picnicking and sports. Other excursion sites from Amasya include Yedikir reservoir and Omarca National Park.
Terziköy thermal spring is one of the most important springs of the province Gözlek thermal spring, Hamamözü (Arkut Bey) thermal spring and Ilısu thermal spring are the other thermal springs of Amasya.
Amasya was also one of the Turkish cities which had the best viewing location for the last total solar eclipse of the 20th century which happened on 11 August 1999. Many visitors came to the city to witness this spectacular event. On 29 March 2006, another total solar eclipse was seen in this city at 14:06pm local time.
Strabo, ancient geographer and historian (died in 23 AD)
Amirdovlat of Amasia, 15th century Armenian physician and writer
Selim I, Ottoman sultan
Uğur Dağdelen, footballer
Mahmut Demir, World, Olympic and European champion sports wrestler
Serkan Erdoğan, basketball player
Hamit Kaplan, World and Olympic champion sports wrestler
Adem Ören, basketball player
Erdem Türetken, basketball player
Ahmet Yıldırım, footballer
Amasyalı Bayezid Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
The legend of Ferhat and Shirin
In its Turkish version, this classic tale of oriental folklore is held to have taken place in Amasya. The nearby mountain Ferhat is named for Farhad (Turkish spelling Ferhat), the hero of the legend, who for love of the princess Shirin (Turkish spelling Şirin) tried to win her father's favour and permission by tunnelling through the mountain to bring spring water to his palace. Sadly, while he was working he was sent the false information that Shirin had died; upon which he threw himself onto the rocks in his grief. And his beloved princess died soon after. The story has since become a play by Nazim Hikmet, a novel by Talip Apaydın, and an opera by Arif Melikov.