Tokat is a culturally rich center in Anatolia, with traces of history all over the land. It lies in the amidst of the Black Sea region. The rivers Yesilirmak, Kelkit and Cekerek have fertilize these lands for centuries which drew attention of many settlements. The city of Tokat is also the province capital of Tokat region.
The historical sites of this city lie near the Tokat castle. The new industrialized city extends along with the banks of Yeşilırmak.
History of Tokat Region
The city is said to have established in the Hittite era. During the time of King Mithradates VI, it stood as a stronghold in Asia Minor region. The region of Tokat remained an important site for the Roman city of Comana of Pontus.
Later, it became a part of west Byzantine Greek Empire, known as Evdokia. After the Battle of Manzikert, the Seljuk Turks conquered the city. Although the city was under Seljuk Muslim rule, it remained a center of Pontic Greek culture and the Greek Orthodox Church.
In 1086, the Seljuk momentarily lost control over the city to the Emir, Danish mend Gazi. Many decades later, the Seljuks conquered that region again, in the reign of Kilij Arslan II.
After the Battle of Köse Dağ, Seljuk lost hold over the region. The rise of the Ottoman rule begin.
Tokat was an important part of the Ottomans Empire. The voyagers of that period wrote about the city that: “Tokat is the second beautiful place and appropriate for settlement after Bursa. Due to its mild climate and geographical position the area became archaeologically one of the richest places in the world.”
The renowed Anglican priest and famous Bible translator, Henry Martyn died 1812 in Tokat.
Important Monuments and Landmarks
The most important landmark in Toket is the Tokat Castle, which is an Ottoman citadel. It lies on a rocky hill overlooking the town. According to the records, in one of its dungeons Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula) was imprisoned.
The remains of several Greek Orthodox churches and a cathedral are still seen within the city boundaries.
Many ottoman artichecture such as the Garipler Mosque dating to the 12th century, the Ali Paşa Mosque and the Hatuniye Külliyesi, of the 16th century are still present for sightseeing.
The famous Gök Medrese (Pervane Bey Darussifasi), constructed in 1270 is also a part of this historically rich city. It was founded as a school of theology. Later on, it converted into a museum. Two other distinguished memorials in this region, are the Hatuniye Medrese of the 15th century, built by Sultan Beyazid II. The second monument being the Seljuk Bridge across the Yesilirmak River, of the 12th century. This monument is famous as the Yeşilırmak or Hıdırlık Bridge. A traditional recently stored Turkish house of the 19th century, known as the Latifoglu Mansion yet stands another piece of history.
Tokat holds the record as the first place in Anatolia conquered by the Turks. The Yagibasan medresses of Niksar and Tokat, the Ulu mosque of Niksar, and the Garipler mosque of Tokat are the chief architectural works of the Turkish period.
Districts and their Tourist Attractions
One of the most historically prominent city of Tokat province is the district of Sulusaray. In Antiquity, this district was famous as Sebastopolis or Heracleopolis. The Directorate of the Tokat Museum Architectural recovered proof of many settlements in 1987. A circular shape temple also lies at the northeast side of the city. During excavations, many statues and statuettes, friezes, columns, grave steles and epitaphs have been found.
Niksar, another city in Tokat Province, known as “Çukurova of the North-Anatolia” due to its production of many kinds of fruits. The most notable feature of traditional Tokat-Niksar houses is the kitchen. The Aşevi is usually the largest room of the house and it serves as a lounge for the family. In addition, Dolma exists as famous local food of Niksar, made by wallnut, tomato paste and grape leaves.
West of Tokat is the small town of Pazar. It holds the Ballıca Mağarası, one of Turkey’s finest show caves. Due to its typical Selçuk structures, the entrance to the caravanserai has elaborate kitabe (inscription plate) over the door.
Cuisine and Local Products in Tokat
The cuisine of this province is quite homely and heartwarming. Few of the major dishes cooked in this region are; Bacaklı Çorba (Lentil And Noodle Soup), Gendüme Çorbasi (Hulled Wheat Soup), Mercimekli Hamur Çorbası (Noodles Soup With Lentils), Alaca Patlican (“Variegated” Eggplant), Cevizli Bat (Lentils With Walnuts) and Cizlak. A perfect cuisine for bonding with your friends and family.
Moreover, there are factories of many famous brands in the city and employment is quite high. With its developing architecture and urban structure, it has managed to become one of the most popular cities.