Place:Amasya, Amasya, Turkey

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NameAmasya
Alt namesAmaseasource: ARLIS/NA: Ancient Site Names (1995); Orbis Latinus (1971) p 16
Amaseiasource: GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 8350; Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1979)
Amasiasource: NIMA, GEOnet Names Server (1996-1998); Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 336
Pontussource: ARLIS/NA: Ancient Site Names (1995)
TypeCity
Coordinates40.65°N 35.85°E
Located inAmasya, Turkey
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Amasya is a city in northern Turkey and is the capital of Amasya Province, in the Black Sea Region. Tokat from east, Tokat and Yozgat from south, Çorum from west, Samsun from north.

The city of Amasya, the Amaseia or Amasia of antiquity, stands in the mountains above the Black Sea coast, set apart from the rest of Anatolia in a narrow valley along the banks of the Yeşilırmak River. Although near the Black Sea, this area is high above the coast and has an inland climate, well-suited to growing apples, for which Amasya province, one of the provinces in north-central Anatolia Turkey, is famed. It was the home of the geographer Strabo and the birthplace of the 15th century scholar and physician Amirdovlat Amasiatsi. Located in a narrow cleft of the Yeşilırmak (Iris) river, it has a history of 7,500 years which has left many traces still evident today.

In antiquity, Amaseia was a fortified city high on the cliffs above the river. It has a long history as a wealthy provincial capital, producing kings and princes, artists, scientists, poets and thinkers, from the kings of Pontus, through Strabo the geographer, to many generations of the Ottoman imperial dynasty. With its Ottoman-period wooden houses and the tombs of the Pontus kings carved into the cliffs overhead, Amasya is attractive to visitors. In recent years there has been a lot of investment in tourism and more foreign and Turkish tourists visit the city.

During the early Ottoman rule, it was customary for young Ottoman princes to be sent to Amasya to govern and gain experience. Amasya was also the birthplace of the Ottoman sultans Murad I and Selim I. It is thus of great importance in terms of Ottoman history. Traditional Ottoman houses near the Yeşilırmak and the other main historical buildings have been restored; these traditional Yalıboyu houses are now used as cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels. Behind the Ottoman wooden houses one can see the rock tombs of the Pontic kings.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Antiquity

Archaeological research shows that Amasya was first settled by the Hittites and subsequently by Phrygians, Cimmerians, Lydians, Persians, and Armenians.

Hellenistic period

An independent Pontic kingdom with its capital at Amaseia was established by the Persian Mithridatic dynasty at the end of the 4th century BC, in the wake of Alexander's conquests. In the 1st century BC, it briefly contested Rome's hegemony in Anatolia. By 183 BC, the city was settled by Hellenistic people, eventually becoming the capital of the kings of Pontus from 333 BC to 26 BC. Today, there are prominent ruins including the royal tombs of Pontus in the rocks above the riverbank in the centre of the city. Ancient district in northeastern Anatolia adjoining the Black Sea.

Roman-Byzantine period

Amaseia was captured by the Roman Lucullus in 70 BC from Armenia and was quickly made a free city and administrative center of his new province of Bithynia and Pontus by Pompey. By this time, Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers and poets, and one of them, Strabo, left a full description of Amaseia as it was between 60 BC and 19 AD. Around 2 or 3 BC, it was incorporated into the Roman province of Galatia, in the district of Pontus Galaticus. Around the year 112, the emperor Trajan designated it a part of the province of Cappadocia. Later in the 2nd century it gained the titles 'metropolis' and 'first city'. After the division of the Roman Empire by emperor Diocletian the city became part of the East Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire). At this time it had a predominantly Greek-speaking population.

Saints Theodore of Amasea (died by 319), a warrior saint, and the local bishop Asterius of Amasea (died c. 410), some of whose polished sermons survive, are notable Christian figures from the period.

Early Turkish rulers

In 1075, ending 700 years of Byzantine rule, Amasya was conquered by the Turkmen Danishmend emirs. It served as their capital until it was annexed by the Seljuk ruler Kiliç Arslan II.

Under the Seljuks and the Ilkhan, the city became a centre of Islamic culture and produced some notable individuals such as Yaqut al-Musta'simi (1221-1298) calligrapher and secretary of the last Abbasid caliph who was a Greek native of Amasya. Schools, mosques, tombs and other architecture of this period still remain.

Ottoman era

After being incorporated into the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Bayezid I, Amasya grew in importance as a centre of learning, the children of the Ottoman rulers being sent here for their education. As part of their preparation for future rule they were given the position and responsibility of governor of Amasya. Future sultans from Bayezid I in the late 14th century through to Murat III in the 16th were schooled here and held the position of governor in their youth.

Between 1530 and 1545, several travelers documented a blood libel against some of the town's Jews. After the disappearance of a local Christian, several Jews living in town were blamed for killing him for ritual reasons. The Jews confessed under torture and hanged. When the supposed victim was discovered to still be alive, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent ordered that all accusations regarding religious rituals should be judged under "royal" and not local court.[1] In 1555, Amasya was also the location for the signing of the Peace of Amasya with the Safavid dynasty of Persia.

The population of Amasya at this time was very different from that of most other cities in the Ottoman Empire, as it was part of their training for the future sultans to learn about every nation of the Empire. Every millet of the Empire was represented in Amasya in a particular village—such as a Greek village, an Armenian village, a Bosnian village, a Tatar village, a Turkish village etc. (see: 1927 Population count data by DİE)


World War I and the Turkish War of Independence

In 1919 Amasya was the location of the final planning meetings held by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for the building of a Turkish army to establish the Turkish republic following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War. It was here that Mustafa Kemal made the announcement of the Turkish War of Independence in the Amasya Circular. This circular is considered as the first written document putting the Turkish War of Independence in motion. The circular, distributed across Anatolia, declared Turkey's independence and integrity to be in danger and called for a national conference to be held in Sivas (Sivas Congress) and before that, for a preparatory congress comprising representatives from the eastern provinces of Anatolia to be held in Erzurum in July (Erzurum Congress).

During the years of World War I and the Turkish War of Independence, the Christian inhabitants of Amasya (Armenian and Greek) suffered from atrocities. Many Armenian civilians fleeing the attacks sought refuge at the American missionary school Anatolia College, located in Merzifon outside Amasya. In 1921, Turkish troops closed down the school, and the local population relocated to Thessaloniki after the population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Also, in 1921 there was the Amasya trials which were special ad hoc trials, organized by the Turkish National Movement, with the purpose to kill the Greek representatives of Pontus region under a legal pretext.

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