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The Black Sea Region
The Black Sea Region covers approximately 18 percent of the land in Turkey, with a surface area of 141,000 km2. The Black Sea Region, which gets its name and characteristics from the adjacent sea, extends from the border of Georgia in the east to the eastern edge of the Adapazari Plain in the west. All of the provinces of Artvin, Rize, Trabzon, Gumushane, Bayburt, Giresun, Ordu, Sinop, Samsun, Amasya, Kastamonu, Zonguldak, Bartin, Bolu, and almost all of Tokat, are in the Black Sea Region. Artova County of Tokat Province is in the Central Anatolia Region. One half of Corum Province is in the Central Anatolia Region and the other half is in the Black Sea Region. The region is divided into the three sections: east, central and west, based on their geographical characteristics.
The great majority of the people in the region earn their living from the land. The most important feature of the agriculture in this region is that corn is grown in the coastal parts of this region rather than wheat, which is the main grain type in the other regions. In fact, more than one-third of corn production in Turkey is realized in the Black Sea Region. Wheat is sown mostly on the plains beyond the coastal mountains. Barley is also an important crop in the region. Rice is cultivated in the Kizilirmak and Yesilirmak deltas, and at the Boyabat section of the Gokirmak Valley and at the Tosya section of the Devrez Valley. Beans lead in leguminous plants production and sugar beets lead in the production of industrial plants. Other important crops in the region are potatoes, onions, sunflowers and hemp. Tea which is grown only in the Eastern Black Sea Region in Turkey, is also among the most important crops in the region.
Hazelnuts are the main fruit of the Black Sea Region, especially, in the eastern sections. The Black Sea coastal strip is covered with hazelnut trees. The hazelnut trees, which are sparse in the Rize section, become denser in the Trabzon section and are the densest in Giresun and Ordu Provinces. Apple growing is also considerable in the region, and in recent years, fruits such as kiwi and avocado have started to be grown.
The main industrial organizations in the Black Sea Region are the iron-steel facilities at Karabuk and Eregli, the Catalagzi Thermal Power Plant, the coal regions in the surroundings of Zonguldak, the Murgul copper production facility and the factories for the production of sugar, paper, sulfuric acid, vegetable oil, tea, hazelnut shelling and hazelnut products, fish flour and cigarettes in various parts of the region.
Bolu - The Western Black Sea Region
Bolu is a charming Western Black Sea town, with its high mountains, dense forests, blue lakes and abundant streams. The marshes, the expansive pastures and dense forests of the province have ensured the development in the fields of cropland agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry. The surroundings of Bolu are also rich in flora. More than one half of the existing 7,000 plant species in Turkey are grown here.
Abant Lake, which is 32 km to the southwest of Bolu, has an elevation of 1,325 meters above sea level. Abant, which is a tourist center in itself, attracts thousands of people in the summer, with the lake's clean water and air fragrant with the pine forests, and in the winter it also becomes a beautiful ski center. The Kartalkaya Ski Center, which was opened in the winter of 1978, enlivened Bolu even more. The Karacasu Thermal Springs, to the south of the city, are famous for their therapeutic waters and have been used since the Ottoman Period.
Mudurnu and Goynuk, located to the southwest of Bolu, are among the important centers of Turkish cultural history. The Aksemsettin Tomb, which is one of the most beautiful works of art of the Ottoman period, is located at Goynuk. Goynuk is also worth seeing, with its houses which are unique examples of Turkish architecture. The Yildirim Beyazit Mosque, one of the most beautiful mosques in the surroundings of Bolu, is at Mudurnu. The adornments in its interior are very valuable. The carved stonework covering the apertures of the partially enclosed bathing cubicles at the Yildirim Baths are a masterpiece. Mengen County in Bolu Province, is known throughout Turkey for its cuisine and the famous chefs it has trained. There is a school of culinary arts here and a Culinary Arts Festival is organized every year.
Coal Region of Turkey
Sinop Province, a large portion of which is in the Western Black Sea Region with a small portion in the Central Black Sea Region, was founded on a peninsula extending into the sea. The natural flora is rich, due to the regular rains. Sinop has a moderate climate and due to the regular and abundant rainfall its natural plant cover is rich.
This situation has resulted in making the forest products in the province abundant. The best forests in Turkey are in the Cangal Mountains. Furthermore, Sinop is one of the most beautiful holiday places on the Black Sea, with its natural coves protected against the wind. In particular, Hamsaroz and Akliman Coves are as beautiful as the coves in the Southern Aegean. The city which took its name from the Amazon queen Sinope, was founded by the colonists of Miletus. The famous philosopher Diogenes, who was known for his expression, "don't cast a shadow on my sunlight, I don't want any other favors", lived in Sinop in the fourth century B.C. Sinop Citadel, Alaeddin Mosque, Alaiye Madrasah, Serapis Temple and the Archaeological Museum with its famous icons, are the main places of interest.
Central Black Sea Region
Tokat Province, located to the east of Amasya, preserves the natural beauty of the Black Sea Region and is rich in historical and cultural assets. Copperworking, hand painted scarves, leatherwork and weaving are highly developed in the city. Its hand painted scarves are particularly famous. The plains of Tokat which have very fertile lands are well-watered. There are many fruit orchards and vineyards in the surroundings. Diren wines, one of the most delicious wines in Turkey, are produced here.
Many scientists, poets, calligraphers and statesmen were educated in Tokat during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and this is the reason why Tokat is called "the Home of the Scientists, the Cradle of the Virtuous and the Place of Congregation of the Poets". Tokat, where Turkish culture and art are reflected profusely in the streets, is a province where the unique beauty of the works of Turkish architecture are found everywhere. The Pervane Bey Hospital, the Vezir Ahmet Pasha Small Mosque and Tomb, the Pervane Baths, remaining from the thirteenth century, the Sentimur Tomb from the fourteenth century, the Pir Ahmet Bey Tomb from the fifteenth century and the Ali Pasha Baths from the sixteenth century, are only a few of these structures.
Eastern Black Sea Region
Ordu is a typical Black Sea town covered with hazelnut groves which extend for kilometers within the greenery. It is known for its holiday towns on the shores and the high plateaus in the mountains. The Cambasi High Plateau, with an altitude of 1250 meters, and the Keyfalan Plateau, with an altitude of 2000 meters, are situated to the south of the city. A "Golden Hazelnut" Festival is organized in Ordu every year in the autumn. Unye, Fatsa, Bolaman, Yalikoy and Persembe, which are to the east of the city, are holiday towns famous for their natural beauties and beaches. The Yason Church remaining from the Byzantine Period, is located at Cape Cam (Cape Yason), which is situated between Persembe and Yalikoy.
There are museum-churches in Artvin and the surroundings, which were constructed by the Georgians and are of interest with their architectural attributes. Among these, the Ishan with extremely beautiful stone carved workmanship, the Barhal, that is a basilica with its interesting facade, the Dort, which consists of four different structures and the Rabat, which has secret passages, are the most important of the museum-churches. These churches were generally constructed in the ninth or tenth centuries.
The Coruh River, the most important river in the province, is ideal for rafting because it is the fastest running river in Turkey.