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Pontos, Black Sea Region Turkey travel guide

A travel guide of Turkey Black Sea Region (Antique Pontus Πόντος of Anatolia)

Turkey Travel guide, Turkey travel tips and photos

Turkey Travel tips, guide, photos

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World travel tips, guide, info, photo galleries




Sinop city travel
Sinop travel
situated on a narrow peninsula at Turkey’s northernmost point, Sinop is like a Black Sea island with its good-natured people and streets where time passes slowly.

pontian greek Development of the Pontic Greek Dialect
Development of the Pontic Greek Dialect
Will Pontic Greek continue to be spoken? Bortone (2009) believes Pontic Greek spoken in the Pontos in Asia Minor today will probably disappear. The challenge is to keep the Pontic Greek dialect alive. The more recent work of researchers like Emeritus Professor Peter Mackridge, Assistant Professor Pietro Bortone, Dr Theofanis Malkidis, Ömer Asan, Dr Anthi Revithiadou and Dr Vassilios Spyropoulos have increased our knowledge of the dialect.

Time For to Discover the Black Sea Highlands

Time For to Discover the Black Sea Highlands

Discover the Black Sea highlands in September when time is suddenly rent by a blanket of fog or the cry of a vulture, and make the acquaintance of nature in its most beautiful aspect.

Greek settlements pontos map
Formation of the First Greek Settlements in the Pontos

According to Liddell and Scott’s An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, the word Pontos stands for the sea, especially the open sea. In time, the word Pontos became associated with the north-eastern portion of Asia Minor that borders the Black Sea (see Map 1).1 The Greeks first called the Black Sea, Aξεινος πóντος (inhospitable, unfriendly pontos), but later it was called Εϋξεινος πóντος (hospitable pontos) when they became aware of its wealth in the lands around it ...

Chrypto-christians Trabzon Pontos Matsouka

Crypto-Christians of the Trabzon Region of Pontos

The crypto-Christians (also called cryphi, klosti, Stavriotes, Kromledes) were Christian Greeks who due to the Muslim persecution against Christians publicly declared themselves Muslims. However, in secret, they upheld their Greek language, customs and Christian religious practices...

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Ayder. From the Ardeşen fork on, the Firtina River

 Kackars Wonderland in the clouds

Glacier lakes on one side, yellow rhododendrons on the other, the Kaçkars offer an inviting natural environment. Leaving Rize behind, we start our adventure through the Ayder, Lower Kavron and Upper Kavron Highlands 

Ilgaz National Park ski center travel Turkey *for winter vacation

Even if you like it, snow in the city wears a person out. And if it catches the city unawares, it can mean some pretty tense and annoying days. Dense snowfall in a virgin, unspoiled natural environment in contrast, white as far as the eye can see, is not an ordeal but a pleasure. And Ilgaz, with its natural beauty and texture, can afford you that pleasure.

Gorele Kerasus Pontos images

 Gorele - Modern Coralla Kerasus Giresun

A misty green plateau recedes into the distance. The tinkle of goat bells mingles with the strains of a 'kemençe'. The local folk sway back and forth in native costume. This is Black Sea Giresun's 'Görele' and, as its name indicates, it's well worth seeing.

Imagine a lake secluded amidst pine trees in the foothills of the mountains... Another of the Black Sea's hidden treasures confronts me at Borçka. From there I head first to Macahel on the Georgian border with its natural beauty and beautiful people, and then to the endless valleys of Şavşat
 Smoky mountains and secluded lakes Borcka Savsat
Imagine a lake secluded amidst pine trees in the foothills of the mountains... Another of the Black Sea's hidden treasures confronts me at Borçka. From there I head first to Macahel on the Georgian border with its natural beauty and beautiful people, and then to the endless valleys of Şavşat 
turkey travel guide travel tips turkey

Travel Turkey

Turkey considered as the gateway between Europe and Asia is an Eurasian country located on the Mediterranean stretching across the Anatolian peninsula in southwest Asia and the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. It is bordered by the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea, the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea.  Turkey is a fascinating country where many important civilizations have flourished since 9,000 BC. Turkey was home from the ancient Hittites, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines to the Ottomans which have left behind them superb architectural, archaeological and historical heritage. Modern Turkey is a secular and democratic Moslem country, founded in 1920 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and from that time, Turkey has been suffering big changes and one of the most notable is its rapidly economic development. Despite of its traditional and Islam roots, Turkey is decidedly western oriented country and today is considered as a candidate to be part of the European Union, which will permit to the country grow up more.

Read More Travel Turkey

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Istanbul is often described as "the crossroads of Europe and Asia"...
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Ankara is a huge university town and you'll find the streets of Kizilay...
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The third largest, and one of the most beautiful provinces is Izmir...


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Artvin travel 

Autumn in the south Rize province on the eastern Black Sea


A Laz tradition: Hawking in Turkey’s East Black Sea region

Black Sea Cuisine, Pontos culinary and recipes

Pontic Mountains of Turkey: The Kaçkars travel tips and photos

Borçka – Şavşat, Macahel on the Georgian border

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Artvin city

ARTVIN city, northeastern Turkey, on the Çoruh River near the Georgian border. A local market for agricultural and animal products, it is linked by road with its port of Hopa to the northwest, which is on the Black Sea, and with Erzurum to the south. The population includes many Georgians, Kurds, and Lazes. Together with the neighbouring region of Kars, Artvin was ceded to Russia at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. It was returned to Turkey by a treaty between Turkey and Soviet Russia signed at Brest-Litovsk in 1918. The small provincial capital of Artvin with its population of (1990) 20,306. is located on a hill above the road linking Kars and Hopa. Artvin is a charming small town with old Ottoman houses and a spectacular mountain setting. Also the ride to Artvin from Kars and further onwards to Hopa and Rize offers a wonderful scenery

Artvin map

Artvin Geography

Artvin Geography

Artvin is an attractive area of steep valleys carved by the Çoruh River system, surrounded by high mountains (up to 3900 m) and forest with much national parkland including the Karagöl-Sahara, which contains the Şavşat and Borçka lakes. The weather in Artvin is very wet, and the forest is every shade of green imaginable. This greenery runs from the top all the way down to the Black Sea coast. The rain turns to snow at higher altitudes, and the peaks are very cold in winter. The forests are home to brown bears.  The Çoruh is now being dammed in 11 places for hydro-electric power, including the 207 m Deriner dam and others at Borçka and Muratlı.
In addition to ethnic Turks, the province is home to communities of Laz people, and Hamsheni Armenians. In particular, there is a prominent community of Chveneburi Georgians many of them descendants of Muslim families from Georgia who migrated during the struggles between the Ottoman Turks and Russia during the 19th century. With such diverse peoples, Artvin has a rich variety of folk song and dance (see Arifana and Kochari for examples of folk culture). Local industries include bee-keeping.



(Georgian: ართვინი; Armenian: Արդվին; Russian: Ардвин, Laz:Art'vini). Artvin < Artavani "fertile town" < Armenian Arta, arda "arable field" + vani "district, village, town, church."[
Özhan Öztürk. Karadeniz Ansiklopedik Sözlük.İstanbul. 2005]
Artvin had been called Coroksi, Corok, Kollhis or Livane and the area of Artvin today was once part of the larger Ottoman Empire district of Livane.

Artvin 1905-1910

Artvin History

The area has a rich history but has not been studied extensively by archaeologists in recent decades. Artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age and even earlier have been found. The Hurri settled in the Artvin area in 2000 BC and were succeeded by the Urartu civilisation, based in Lake Van. Later, the area was part of the kingdom of Colchis but was always vulnerable to invasions, first the Scythians from across the Caucasus, then the Arab armies of Islam, who controlled the area from 853 AD to 1023 when it was recovered by the Byzantines.
The Seljuk Turks of Alparslan conquered the area in 1064 AD; it was briefly recaptured by the king of Georgia with the help of the Byzantines, but by 1081 was in Turkish hands again. With the collapse of the Seljuks, the Artvin area came under the control of the Ildeniz tribe of the Anatolian Turkish Beyliks. Fighting for control between various Turkish clans continued until the Safavid Persians, taking advantage of this infighting, were able to conquer the area in 1502.
Eventually the Ottomans of Mehmed II were able to defeat the Greek state of Pontus on the Black Sea coast and thus control the mountain hinterland too. Subsequent expeditions into the mountains by Selim I gave them control of a number of castles and thus the whole district. By 1627, Artvin was securely in Ottoman hands, part of the sancak of Lazistan

Artvin gezi rehberi

This lasted 250 years until the area was ceded to the Russians by the Ottoman Empire following the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829), and recovered and again ceded at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. This to and fro-ing from Russia to Turkey continued with the Treaties of Brest-Litovsk, Moscow, and Kars. All this fighting and uncertainty between Russia and Turkey in the late 19th century caused the people of Artvin to suffer terribly, with much of the population moving westwards away from the Russian-controlled zones.

Artvin peoples

Like most towns in Turkey since the 1970s Artvin has seen uncontrolled building of concrete apartment blocks and ugly government office buildings and has lost some of its attractive historical feel. But on this clifftop Artvin can never be a huge city, it's a quiet provincial town.
Before World War I there were many Armenians living in Artvin, today the population of Artvin is highly mixed, consisting of Turks, Georgians, Lazes and Hamshenis.

* 2000 23.157
* 1997 20.073
* 1990 20.306
* 1985 18.720

Artvin old bridge
Places of interest

* The city of Artvin has an ancient castle and a number of Ottoman Empire period houses, mosques, and fountains.
* Every June, there is a "bull-wrestling" festival in the high plateau of Kafkasör

Artvin Georgian Armenian church in Parhal

Popular places for walking and outdoor expeditions.

* The Kaçkar Mountains are among the most-popular venues for trekking holidays in Turkey.
* Macahel Valley on the Georgian border, is another popular location for walking holidays.
* Papart forest in Şavşat
* Genciyan Hill in Şavşat, overlooks the border and the Binboğa lakes.
* The lakes of Şavşat and Borçka and the crater lake of Kuyruklu.
* The Çoruh River is excellent for rafting and championships have been held here (although this must be affected by the hydro-electric projects on the river???)
* There are a number of Georgian churches in the valleys of Yusufeli.
* Bilbilan Yaylası - a typical Turkish high meadow.
* Savangin pre-historical cave with a an inscription written unknown or unsolved alphabetartvin castle georgian castle Turkey

Arvin traditional clothes
Well-known residents

* The singer and politician Zülfü Livaneli was born into a family from Yusufeli.
* Folk rock singer, guitarist and composer Kazım Koyuncu was born in Artvin's Black Sea town of Hopa.
* The bard of Artvin, poet Turgut Çelik
* Folk singer Şükriye Tutkun
* The father of TV personality Beyaz was from a village in Ardanuç.
* Yakov Zarobyan, 1st Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia, was born in Artvin in 1908.


Trabzon Karayolları Haritası

Artvin,Turkey Road Map - click to enlarge

Usefull links

Black Lakes of Artvin province Turkey 
Colchis, Armenia, Iberia, Albania
East of Trabzon - Trebizond Travel guide

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