Samsun’s surface are: 9.579 km²
Samsun’s population: 1,335,716
Samsun’s districts: İlkadım, Canik, Atakum, Tekkeköy, Alaçam, Asarcık, Ayvacık, Bafra, Çarşamba, Havza, Kavak, Ladik, Ondokuzmayıs, Salıpazarı, Terme, Vezirköprü, Yakakent
It is the biggest city in Black Sea Region being 9.579 km² in size. Samsung, which is formerly known as Amisos in the Ancient ages, is the trading port of the region. All of the products that were produced in the region are imported from Samsun to all over the world. For this reason, the city of Samsung has a critical role for Turkish nation. With its population of 1.3 million, it is the most crowded city of Black Sea Region and 1th most crowded city in Turkey. Being the most advanced city in the region in terms of health services, industry, trading, transportation and economy, Samsun also has a critical history for Turkey. Since Turkish nation’s War of Independence started from the Samsun, people call the city as “City of Mustafa Kemal”.
Etymology of the name Samsun
There are two legends about where the name Samsun comes from. According to one legend, the name comes from Hebrew. A Hebrew leader named Samson, came until Black Sea coasts and founded a city with his name. The other legend says that one of Noah’s sons, Sam, derived the name Samsun from his own name. But neither of these legends are proven to be true.
The history of Samsun
First settlements in Samsun goes back until Old Stone Age. A layer, found in Tekkeköy Caves which is thought to be from BC 60.000, is the oldest proves of life in Black Sea Region that have been found until today. Also, it is the 3rd oldest settlement in Turkey and 8th one in the world according to studies.
After the dark ages, around BC 3500, a tribe called Kaskians built a small site near Mert River. Later on, the city was conquered by Hittites, Frygians and Lydians in time. In BC 7th century, Phocaeans colonized the region.
In BC 63, Roman general Lucius Licinius Lucullus captured nearly all of the Black Sea Region. About BC 47, thanks to people of Samsun’s loyalty to Roman Empire, Julius Caesar announced Samsun as a free city.
Being a historical Greek city, Samsun took heavy Armenian migration when Turks came to Small Asia in 11th century. In 1178, Samsun was conquered by II. Kılıç Arslan and joined Anatolian Seljuq Empire. 200 years later, Samsun became a part of Ottoman Empire and the population became Turkish in time.
In 19 May 1919, Mustafa Kemal landed in Samsun, as an army inspector to investigate region.
Places to visit in Samsun
Samsun Atatürk Monument
Samsun Atatürk Monument is the most special icon of the city. It is located in the place where Mustafa Kemal stepped into Samsun from his boat for the first time, today known as Atatürk Park. There are many different figures that were made in the memory of War of Independence. Being 8 meters tall, it was made by Austrian sculptor Heinrich Krippel. In front the monument there is text saying “Ghazi stepped into Samsun in 19 May 1919 to start the War of Independence in the nation”.
It is located 4 kilometers away from the city center. Since this is the first settlement in the region, it is very interesting and many people visit the hill every year. In Turkish, Amisos Hill is also known as Baruthane. You will have the chance to see Samsun panorama in the hill which you will climb with lift. You can have a rest while enjoying the view of both blue sea and green land of Samsun.
Bandırma Boat Museum
It went public in 2003, after 3 years of construction. It’s theme is to show how Mustafa Kemal came to Samsun with Bandırma boat in 1919. It’s designed to be exactly the same as the original one. You can see Mustafa Kemal’s handwriting letters and some objects about naval. You can visit Bandırma Boat Museum in the city center, at the coast if you want to learn about Samsun’s and Turkey’s near history.
First archeological studies has been done in 1941 in Tekkeköy Caves, which is 14 kilometers away from the city center. According to the studies, traces have been found from Paleolithic Age, Mesolithic Age and Bronze Age. Tekkeköy Caves is one of the oldest settlements where the city’s history was discovered. Some statues around the caves are also very interesting. Additionaly, there is an ancient Greek village which was restorated in near time that you can visit and shoot great photos.
Known as a warrior women’s settlement in some time, Amazon Village is located in Gölyazı district of Samsun. According to a legend, women have one of their breasts cut to aim better while using bow, used to fight using bow, axe, sword etc. You can see some proves about their living in Amazon Village. You can visit this village in which you can find wax statues of Amazon women that Greek mythology also mentions.
Akdağ Ski Resort
It is one of the best places to keep alive winter tourism in Samsun, located only 7 kilometers away from city center. If you are planning a trip in winter to Samsun, you must visit Akdağ Ski Resort definitely. With an unmatched skiing ground, Akdağ Ski Resort has 6 different tracks. Since it is not as crowded as some other ski resorts in Turkey, you can enjoy to the fullest while skiing. It is especially known as the best starting resort for the beginners.
Yakakent is a small, cute and peaceful village in the coast. Especially in the summer, thousands of local and foreign visitors come to have chill holiday. Since the village covered with forest on the one side and the sea on the other side, it is a magnificent experience to spend some quality time in Samsun. It is also highly advised to make a picnic in the Çamgölü forests.
Even though it was first used as a hotel, the museum became a museum in 1940 and went public. This is the hotel when Mustafa Kemal stayed in his arrival at Samsun in 1919. After Atatürk’s death, the hotel was turned into the Ghazi Museum. It is a location where you can feel the National Fight spirit to the fullest, since Samsun is the city where the fire of freedom set on fire. The most important thing about the muesum is that the original text of Atatürk’s 10th Year Anniversary Speech is kep here.
Being located in the coast, it was built to protect the city from any possible siege. It was built in 1192 by Danishmends, a Turkish state. In 1640, Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi mentioned about the castle’s sizes. It also houses a bazaar as well as a mosque, bedesten and Turkish bath. Since all of the castle hasn’t come to light yet, archeological studies is still being made in the area.
It is one of the natural beauties worth seeing in Samsun. Trekking is available in the water the waterfall saves which spills from 60 meters high. Kabaceviz Waterfall is one of the best places for photography enthusiasts in Samsun.