Trabzon City

Trabzon (see other names, Turkish pronunciation: [ˈtrabzon]) is a city on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road, became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Iran in the southeast and the Caucasus to the northeast. The Venetian and Genoese merchants paid visits to Trebizond during the medieval period and sold silk, linen and woolen fabric; with the Republic of Genoa having an important merchant colony within the city called Leonkastron that was similar to Galata near Constantinople (north across the Golden Horn) in present-day Istanbul. Trabzon formed the basis of several states in its long history and was the capital city of the Empire of Trebizond between 1204 and 1461. During the Ottoman period, Trabzon, because of the importance of its port, became a focal point of trade to Iran and the Caucasus. The population of the center urban is 230,399 (2009 census).

Ancient and medieval

The oldest area associated with the Kartvelians was northeastern Anatolia, including the ancient ancient monarchy of early-Georgians of Diauehi, later known as the culturally important region of T’ao-Klarjeti (part of Turkey since 1921), where they pre-dated the Hittites.
A silver Greek drachma Trapezus coin from the 4th century BC
The city was founded as Τραπεζοῦς (Trapezous) by Milesian traders (756 BC). It was one of a number (about ten) of Milesian emporia or trading colonies along the shores of the Black Sea. Others include Sinope, Abydos and Cyzicus (in the Dardanelles). Like most Greek colonies, the city was a small enclave of Greek life, and not an empire unto its own, in the later European sense of the word. Early banking (money-changing) activity is suggested occurring in the city according to a silver drachma coin from Trapezus in the British Museum, London.
Trebizond's trade partners included the Mossynoeci. When Xenophon and the Ten Thousand mercenaries were fighting their way out of Persia, the first Greek city they reached was Trebizond (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.
The city was added to the kingdom of Pontus by Mithridates VI Eupator and it became home port for the Pontic fleet.

Walls of Trabzon

When the kingdom was annexed to the Roman province of Galatia in 64–65, the fleet passed to new commanders, becoming the Classis Pontica. Trebizond gained importance under Roman rule in the 1st century 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, and Hadrian commissioned improvements to give the city a more structured harbor. A mithraeum now serves as a crypt for the church of Panaghia Theoskepastos in nearby Kizlara, east of the citadel and south of the modern harbor. The city was pillaged by the Goths in 258, and, although it was afterwards re-built, Trebizond did not recover until 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. In Byzantine times, the city was the capital of the theme of Chaldia. It was also ruled by Danishmendids between 1080 and 1098.
A fourteenth-century miniature Greek manuscript depicting Byzantine Greek soldiers from the Empire of Trebizond.
After the Fourth Crusade in 1204, a Byzantine successor state was founded there with support of Queen Tamar of Georgia, the Empire of Trebizond, which ruled part of the Black Sea coast from Trebizond until 1461, when its ruler, David, surrendered to Mehmed II, ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Following this takeover, Mehmed sent many Turkish settlers into the area, but the old ethnic Laz, Armenian, and Greek communities remained. During the late Ottoman period, the city had a great Christian influence in terms of culture, and a wealthy merchant class who created several Western consulates.

Ottoman era

See also: Trebizond Eyalet and Trebizond Vilayet
The city became part of the Ottoman Empire after 1461. During Bayezid II's reign, his son, Prince Selim was the sancakbeyi of Trabzon, and his son Suleiman I of the Ottoman Empire was born in Trabzon in 1495. Trabzon became the capital of the Vilayet of Trebizond, that was a vilayet of the north-eastern part of the Ottoman Empire. According to the Ottoman defter, the population of the city in 1523 was a total of 1,473 adult males. Of the total population, 85% was Christian, 1,252 adult males, 13% of the total population was Armenian, 197 adult males and 15% of the total population was Muslim, 221 adult males.
During Ottoman era, Local Chepni and Laz beys were appointed as beylerbey. It is recorded that even some Bosniak beys appointed by Sublime Porte ruled Trabzon as beylerbey. During Ottoman campaign in Europe (16th-17th century), "beylerbeylik" of Trabzon had always sent troops.

Visit in Tarbzon:

 Uzungol, Sumela Monastery, Ayder Plateau