Trabzon Province is a province of Turkey on the Black Sea coast. Located in a strategically important region, Trabzon is one of the oldest trade port cities in Anatolia. Neighbouring provinces are Giresun to the west, Gümüşhane to the southwest, Bayburt to the southeast and Rize to the east. The provincial capital is Trabzon city, and the traffic code is 61. The major ethnic groups are Chepni Turks and Lazes. The province is home to a small community of Muslim Romeika-speakers, though younger speakers are not fluent in this language.
Remarkably attractive throughout its history, Trabzon was the subject of hundreds of travel books by western travellers, some of whom had named it "city of in the East" The capital city Trabzon was founded, as Trapezus, by Greek colonists from Sinope, modern Sinop, Turkey. Starting from the 9th century BC, the city had also been mentioned by historians such as Homeros, Herodotus, Hesiodos. The first written source regarding Trabzon is Anabasis, authored by Xenophon. An important Roman and Byzantine centre, it was the capital of the Empire of Trebizond from 1204 to 1461. Trabzon was subsequently made part of the Ottoman Empire by Mehmet the Conqueror. It was initially a sanjak before gaining the status of eyalet, and finally became a vilayet in 1868. After the region was conquered in 1461, the Fatih Medrese (1462), Hatuniye Medrese (1515), İskender Pasha Medrese (1529) and Hamza Pasha Medrese (1543) were established as important medreses (educational centers; some of them within külliye complexes) of the period.
The province was a site of major fighting between Ottoman and Russian forces during the Caucasus Campaign of World War I, which resulted in the capture of the city of Trabzon by the Russian army under command of Grand Duke Nicholas and Nikolai Yudenich in April 1916. The province was restored to Turkish control in early 1918 following Russia's exit from WWI with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.