Samsun located on the coast of central part of Black Sea Region is one of the cities, which has the highest capacity in tourism due to its natural, historical and cultural resources, and convenience of highway, seaway, airway, railway transportation. Ataturk landed the city on 19 May 1919 in order to give a start to Turkish Independence War in occupied Anatolia; therefore the city took on an important role during the War and has preserved this all the time.
On the coast side of Samsun, climate peculiar to the region is the warm Black Sea type. However the territorial climate becomes affective on the non-coastal part of the city. Compared to Eastern Black Sea Region the amount of annual rain fall and the temperatures are higher in Samsun. On the coastal part of the city, winters are warm, springs are foggy and chilly, and summers are dry. Moreover the downfall is generally in the form of rain.
Samsun, originally called Amisus, it was ruled by the Greeks in the seventh century BCE and later came under Persian, Makedonia, Roman, Byzantine, Danışmentoğulları, Seljukia and Ottoman influence.
After Seljuk Empire had concurred Anatolia, Danismentogulları Sultanate tried to raid Amisus. However they couldn’t gained any victory over Seljuks. The Seljuks gained the control of the city in the 11th century AD by the Sultan Kılıçarslan the Second. After that the city was began to be called as “Samsun” in the Islamic sources and as “Sampson” in the western sources.
After the break up of the Seljuk Empire, the muslim part of the city fell to Ilhanid Mongols. On the other side of the city, there was a district where the Christians were living.
Kubanogullari was ruling the Muslim city, Samsun, but the city and its district was captured by Yildirim Bayezidin, the Ottoman Sultan, in the year 1389.
On the other hand, the western part of the city called “Black Samsun” where the Christians were living was concurred by the Celebi Mehmed Sultan in 1419. A few years after the occupation of the city by ottomans, the Christians living there burned down the city rather than leave it to the Ottomans and left the city by their ships. Under the rule of Ottoman Empire, the city was no more a prominent trade center and remained as a small port during the 19th century. In that period, Samsun port was in the shadow of Sinop Harbor. So that it didn’t have a chance to develop its commercial capacity.
Amazons are the legend warrior women who lived in Thermiskyra city - lay on the bank of the Thermedon (Terme) stream- founded in 1200 BC by Amazons.
They called themselves as “Amazon” means breastless as they cut off their right breasts in the childhood to facilitate archery.
Amazons are the symbols of matriarchy with their great fighting abilities in Anatolia. They worshipped the Goddess Kybele as it represents the significance of femininity.
The interesting living philosophy of Amazons was mentioned in different sources throughout the history repeatedly. It is told that Amazons treat men as workers and servants in the daily life and have sex with the men have been captivated in the wars in order to last their breeds and then they kill them off. According to their customs, they have to murder at least 3 men to sleep with one man. The male children who are the result of that sexual relation are either put death or send back to their fathers while the females are kept and feed with koumiss and manna to bring up as powerful warriors. Furthermore, they don’t use any saddle while riding the horse; instead they put a piece of cloth so that they shoot arrows and spears perfectly.
Exciting and interesting warrior women, Amazons, of the ancient history become both the source of inspiration and subject for the fine arts.
THE TOWNS OF SAMSUN
The followings are the names of the towns: Alacam, Asarcik, Ayvacik, Bafra, Carsamba, Havza, Kavak, Ladik, Ondokuzmayis, Salipazari, Tekkekoy, Terme, Vezirkopru ve Yakakent.
It is a coastal district and lies on eastern side, 78 km far from Samsun. With its fair Geyikkosan shore and the wood lot consists of poplar and cherry laurel trees, it is an ideal place for swimming.
It is on the south part and 44 km far from the city center. Gokgol mosque (1180) at the town is one of the greatest models for wooden mosque style of architecture.
Its distance from the city center is 51 km. The stone graves, mosques, Turkish baths and the fountains are the historical artifacts that the visitors should see.
It is only 37 km far from the center. Tepecik, Kilise Tepe, Tunbu Tepe tumuluses are found as the Bronze Age settlements on the area. The Gogceli Mosque built in 1206 is one the finest models for architecture of woodwork. The interesting fact about that mosque is that no nails were used to build it.
The distance of the town from the city center is 86 kms. The district has great thermal centers. As a result of the excavations, a number of tumulus and mounds were found.
Its distant from Samsun is 82 kms. Hamamayagı Thermal spring located 10kms far from the town center has a special priority and importance among other thermal springs.
Its distance from the city center is 33 kms. Nebyan Forest and its district provide location for plateau festivals besides its scenic beauty. Moreover Yorukler Site of the town has the cleanest sea and beach of the district.
Its distance is 116kms from the center. Fazil Ahmet Pasha Mosque and covered bazaar and Taskale Mosque are the most important architecture works in the province.
The town is 84kms far from Samsun. The town stands out with its scenic beauty. The pine forests coming down the hills reach into the deep blue sea. On he shore of Yakakent, ideal for swimming, the non-artificial beaches lies within the forests.
MUSEUMS AND RUIN SITES
Samsun Ataturk Museum
The museum constructed with colorful marbles was established in 1968. Its face was ornamented with cushion, sculptures and embossed with figures. Some of Ataturk’s stuffs such as guns, books and photographs are exhibited in the museum.
Archeology and Ethnography Museum
The museum located next to the Ataturk Museum, is opened in 1981. The historical artifacts belong to the Kalkolitic, first Bronze, Hittite, Hellenistic and Roman periods and the works that has ethnographical features are exhibited here. Among the valuable works Amisios Treasure Room ruins has importance. In the district of Amisos antique city, a tomb room built by carving a soft rock; puddled with khorrasan in 5x5 m width and 2,30 m height, and also containing 5 tombs inside was found in 1995. It is stated that the tomb is a family cemetery and three rooms inside were used while the others are vacant. In the first excavation of the tomb, skeletons and their precious jewelries, pots and pans, some marble art crafts and some presents from gold were found. So that it is estimated that one of the tombs belongs to a top-level executive of Ponthus Kingdom and the others are his wife and daughter. Those antiques found in the tomb presumably belong to beginning of 4 BC or ending of 3 BC. Moreover the art of golden throne, earrings, bracelets etc. found in the tomb is sparkling.
The Mintika Palas Hotel where Ataturk stayed in May 19, 1919 was turned into a museum in which the stuff Ataturk used and the photographs are exhibited.
Havza Ataturk House
Between the dates of May 25 and June 12, 1919 Ataturk worked on the Independence war on the 2nd floor of Mesudiye Hotel that has three floors and on the main street. Today Turism and Culture Ministery as a museum administer the hotel.
ANCIENT RUIN DISTRICTS
Dundartepe (Oksuruktepe) Ruin District
: It is located in 3 km far away southern of Samsun. There are three different culture levels- in the 15m height tumulus- belong to kalkholitic, old Bronze and Hittite ages. The top level of the tumulus belongs to early Bronze Age and on foots of it Hittite settlement ruins were found. In the first culture level, ruins of hand made ceramics; terracotta weights, flint knives etc. were excavated. The foots and the top of the second culture level date back to early Bronze Age that ends with a huge fire. In this level, a house with the shape of square and an oven, dark gray cups with red or brown inside, bone objects, soil disk crushers were found. In the foot of the tumulus aside from its top, three construction levels belongs to Hittite Age were discovered in the 3rd culture level. In the 1st structure level, mud-brick houses with stone building foundations (1500-1200 BC); in the 2nd, only the stone building foundations (1500 BC); in the 3rd, painted and oven-dried ceramics done by hand wheel, baked-soil seals, animal figurines, bone pins (before 1500 BC) were appeared.
Tekkekoy Ruin District
It is located 14 km south of Dundartepe. As a result of the archeological excavation in 1940, some ancient ruins that belong to early Bronze Age and Hittite were discovered. Among those ruins, camel and red colored ceramics are in the majority. Moreover, in the Early Bronze Age level, a number of graves, hand-made ceramic remains, the screwed, indented pots ornamented by white geometrical shapes on black background and face embossed vessels were removed from the excavation district.
Ikiztepe Ruin district
It lies on 7 km northeast of Bafra. On surface explorations, settlings dates back to Bronze and Early Hittite Ages were revealed. There are four historical-cultural levels that form Ikiztepe Hill. The 1st level was exposed to a dense settlement in 2 BC. In the 2nd level, building ruins from Bronze Age and sepulchers that date back to Hittite Age. Bronze ring, bracelets, spear pin, some metal stuff, bone needles were put down as presents for the death person. Those kinds of presents also consist of ceramics, red colored glasses, beak shaped pots and earrings. The most interesting founds date back to 2nd Bronze Age are pots made of sea shells and plants.
Bafra Asarkale and Stone Graves
It is located 30km southeast of Bafra, in the Kizilirmak valley and near to Altinkaya Dam. Asarkale Castle was built in Helenistic age for the purpose of defense. It is estimated that also the three graves carved in a huge rock belong to that age.
Early Bronze Age remains are discovered in the tumulus located in Kavak district as a result of the excavation between the years of 1940-42. Furthermore it is noticeable that the death bodies were laid on an even soil surface in the fetus position. The presents for death people in the tumulus consist of hand made black, red, brown and ribbed pots, flat hatchet, dagger, drilling stuffs and disk crushers.
Five tumuluses from Lerduge period were discovered in 21 km east of the Havza district. The remains found in the excavations in 1946 are exhibited in Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara. It is estimated that the tumulus number 4 was used between 1-2 BC because of the remains found there and architectural technique used. Through the stone cover entrance tidied with iron brackets, one can pass to arched roof gate and then to the grave through a small gate. The walls of the grave room were ornamented with human figures. The figures are bordered with plant shape and geometric patterns. Golden jewelries, bronze candles and bottles in different shapes are among the objects found in the tumulus.
Mosques and Shrines
Buyuk (the Great) Mosque
It is located near the Saathane square in Kale quarter. It is constructed by Hadji Ali in 1884. The marble niche and wooden pulpit are noticeable features of the mosque.
It lies on Gumruk and İskele Street in Bugday Bazaar Quarter and built by Mehmet Sadik Bin Abdullah. Its dome was covered with roofing tile and was placed on an octagon hoop. The mosque has a relatively short and square minaret.
It is on 100. Yil Boulevard in Pazar Quarter. In the year 1340 of Hegira, Mullah Fahrettin built it. It is in the shape of square and constructed with hewn stones. The entrance to the dome on an octagon hoop was provided by arches.
Haci Hatun Mosque
It is near of Saathane Squere in Kale Quarter. It was built by Hatice Hatun, the daughter of Ibrahim, as a charity foundation in 1694.
It is in Kuyumcular Bazaar. It was constructed for the memorial of Ilhanid governer of the province, Emir Timurtas Pasha.
It is an Ilhanid 14th century architecture work on Pazar Quarter and was renovated in 1819. It was planned in square shape and has a wooden roof.
The most noticeable shrines on the province are Seyh Seyyid Kudbettin, Kilicdede, Emir Mirzabey, Hizirbey and Mustafabey.
Charity houses and Turkish baths
Havza Charity House
The house in Imaret quarter is constructed by Mr. Yorguc Pasazade Mustafa in 1429. Between the years1938-40, it was renovated and opened to the public as Ataturk library. It is constructed with hewn stones and has a flat roof. On the eastern side of the building, there are two gates that open to main room and the rooms on the other sides. The Charity house consists of one rectangle main room and three gabled and vaulted square rooms that are connected to the main room.
Cifte Turkish Bath
It is located in Kaneoglu Quarter. The bath established by Ayse Sultan dates back to 17th century. Its architecture has a dome roof and fountain. The cooling room is divided into square parts with wide arch and the hot room consists of a square space and four cross-shaped terraces.
Sifa Turkish Bath
The bath Mehmet Pasha Quarter was built by Koprulu mehmet Pasha’s daughter in 17th century. Wooden dressing room was added to the building after wards. It consists of a cooling room with a fountain and dome roof, two hottest bath rooms and 1 squared hot room.
Kızgozu Thermal Bath
It is located in Imaret Quarter and also known as Buyuk Bath or Sadi Pascha Bath. It is built instead of a Byzantine structure by Seljuki Sultan II. Mesud. One can enter the bath including dressing, chilling and hot rooms through a low archer. The two-storey square shaped dressing room is roofed by an octagon beacon dome. The chilling room consists of one center-domed square place and two rectangle place and the hot room that has a big fountain consists of a domed roof square place and a terrace.
Kucuk Bath (Healing Thermal)
In 1429, it was built by Amasya governor Mustafa. From square shaped dressing room, one enters the hot room through a hall. In the center of the hot room, an octagon shaped pool exists. Around the pool, there are marble bath basins. From the hottest small room is after that part.
Road Hotels and Covered Bazaars
It is located on İskele (harbour) street in Pazar Quarter of Samsun. The road hotel built in later 17th century is two-stored and rectangle shaped.
Fazil Ahmed Pascha Covered Bazaar and Arasta
It is Vezirkopru town center and built in 17th century. Arasta part part was constructed around the bazaar.the covered bazaar is a squared place and roofed by four domes and there are low archer entrances in four sides of the bazaar.there are a number of shops in the north of the arasta part entered through curved shaped gates. The shops that have a side to the Covered bazaar are in the shape of triangle to gain room.
The monument built by an Austrian sculptor is near to city hall. The bronze sculpture was placed there in 1932. On the sides of the monument, the story about how Ataturk landed Samsun is described. Ataturk in his army clothes is described on a ramped horse. The figure of Ataturk is connected to the monument with the horse’s back legs and tail.
İlk Adim “the first Step” Monument
The monument in the Samsun harbour was opened in 1932. It symbolizes the public spirit and designed by Seckin Viter. Moreover “I stepped to Samsun on May 19, 1919-Gazi Mustafa Kemal” was carved on a stone block.
OTHER TOURISTIC, NATURAL, AND CULTURAL BEAUTIES
Kizilirmak Delta is the largest and the most important watery area in Turkey, which could preserve its natural characteristics and beauties on the Black Sea cost. It is located in Samsun where Kizilirmak River moulders into the sea, within the borders of Bafra, Alacam and 19 Mayis towns, on the north of the Samsun-Sinop highway. The delta’s watery area ecosystem is very rich in terms of biological variety. Flora and fauna have been indicated by scientific studies. Especially, birds’ existence and vegetation on sand dunes provide delta’s indispensability for animates.
Kizilirmak Delta (Fish Lakes)
There are also some Bafra Fish Lakes, which are some of the most important watery area ecosystems of Turkey in the fertile delta, which Kizilirmak created by sweeping the sediments from Anatolia throughout thousands of years. Kizilirmak Delta is one of the rare watery areas of our country, which is internationally famous because of the variety of different species that it nestles, the rich habitats that it provides for the species and its natural structure that has not been damaged. The variety and number of the bird species in the delta indicates how much the ecosystem is rich and healthy for the species. The delta is a quite important feeding and accommodation area not only for the small birds which pass over Karadeniz by face migration and water birds but also for raptors, storks, cranes and fish. “Ecotourism” opportunities are quite much in the region.
It can be seen that a stream, which flows into the sea nearby Terme, has formed nested lakes by expanding over a large area before it pours into the sea owing to the area’s flatness.
Haci Osman Forest The Area of Protecting Nature
Haci Osman Forest, which is located in Carsamba city Cınarlı village, is under the protection and possession of the Forest Exploitation Management. The forest is composed of ash-trees, oaks, hornbeams, and maples. It is located on the 8th km of the Samsun_Carsamba state highway. It is a unique alluvium forest ecosystem, which has a restricted dispersal area in Europe and is faced with an extinction treat. It provides accommodation for many animal species owing to the sufficient feeding opportunities it has.
Havza Thermal Waters
The thermal water center in the city center of Havza is located on the 1km west of the Samsun-Havza highway. In the location of thermal waters, there are five Turkish baths. Three of them are historical and two of them were built after 1986. Besides Turkish baths, there are also special spas, hotels, motels, and pensions. Thermal water has a positive effect in the treatment of rheumatism diseases, women illnesses, neural diseases, joint diseases, and calcification.
Ladik Thermal Tourism Center
Ladik “Hamamayagi” or “Hillaz” Thermal Water is on the east of Samsun-Ankara highway. It is 60km away from the Samsun city center. It can be used as drinking or bathing cures. It has a positive effect on the treatment of diseases such as rheumatism, nerve and muscle fatigue, joint and calcification, neural diseases, and fatigue after a surgical operation.
Yakakent and Cam Lake
Yakakent which is located in the 84km west of Samsun city center and Cam Lake which is located in the 7 km west of Yakakent have a unique natural beauty with their natural beaches, clean seas and hills covered with pine trees. There are camping areas and pensions in the town and on the coast of Cam Lake.
Alacam Geyikkosan Coast
It is the coastal area of Alacam town, which is located on the 78 km west of Samsun. There are large natural beaches. There are also pensions on the coast.
The city, which is 51 km away from Samsun, also has natural coasts covered with extensive beaches.
Also Tekkekoy, Carsamba and Terme which are located in the east of Samsun have natural coasts covered with extensive beaches. There are pavilions, beaches, and restaurants on the coastline.
Having a rich flora, favorable climate, being located between Kizilirmak and Yesilirmak Deltas, displaying four seasons in one day from time to time are the most important characteristics of the city. Atakum, Kocadağ Picnic Area, Forest Plantation, Kurupelit- İncesu, Çakırlar Grove and Hasköy are the natural areas for the natural trips.
Ladik Akdağ ve Ladik Tublelands, Dam Lakes surrounding, Yakakent Forest Institutions, Tekkeköy Hacı Osman Forest, Vezirköprü Kunduz Forest and plateauos ve Kocadağ are the places which are suitable for hiking and sightseeing.
Samsun with its long coastline, two rivers, four dams on those two rivers and various natural lakes has a big potential for the water sports.
Fishing is performed in the four dam lakes on Kızılırmak and Yeşilırmak rivers, the delta lakes formed in the areas where Kızılırmak, Yeşilırmak and Terme pours into the sea, Ladik Lake and city center along the long coastline.
On Kocadağ which has 1350 m altitude, there are suitable places and opportunities for paragliding and other air sports. In Samsun, there is also an air sports club. This clubs educates paragliders, pilots, sailing pilots and parachutists.
In Samsun kitchen, corn, bean and cabbage are mostly used and also the meals cooked with meat, dough and rice are common. Moreover fowl animals such as duck, goose, chicken has an important place in traditional food.
Some examples from the traditional meals of Samsun are: Tir (goose withthin sheet of dough), ground beet, corn soup, soup with yogurt, lentil soup with boiled wheet, Keskek, blackgabbage soup, breed with anchovy fish, Anchovy pilaf, Burma.
Hand Crafts the restaurants in Kurupelit locale, you can taste traditional foods such as Samsun pita, roasted pickle. Additionally the creamy Bafra delight is popular. It is suggested to taste pike and tripletail fish hunted in the Ladik Lake.
Today, weaving has been still a common hand craft in the province. The thick cloth board is used in producing harvest shirt, dress and cover cloth. In the mountain villages hand-made wool shirting weaving and in the villages of Havza District,cotton shirting and wood sweater weaving are among the known hand crafts of the province.www.samsun.bel.tr www.samsun.gov.tr