I try to visit my home town Trabzonas often as possible. In my last visit (end of May, beginning of June) it was cross between spring to summer time. The most beautiful time for countryside, sea side and mountains.
At this time of the year, everything in nature becomes alive again, many shades of green meets with crisp shades of blue in the Black Sea. Flowers of all kinds are all over, smell of sea, various kinds of trees, flowers and grass has magical effects on us. It is refreshing and soul healing to be with the nature at this time.
Trabzon changed beyond recognition within last decade. First it was a road which crossed the city, then followed by seaside main road. It has three big modern shopping centres, supermarkets and more or less everything that big cities have.
Trabzon has one of the biggest universities, Karadeniz Teknik Universitesi (Black Sea Technical University)in Turkey . I was told by my friend Dean of Education Faculty that only they had more then 10000 students in their campus which is separate from main university.
Last year Trabzon hosted European Youth Olympics Festival very successfully. This event itself gained the city many sports halls and venues of various types.
Trabzon is on the silk road and an important business link in the region. If you search on the net, they will give many names and will point that it was a none Turkish town till the great Turkish Ottoman Empire. This is far from reality as it is that Turks came to today’s Turkish land in 1072 AC.
In recent years, Turkish researchersKazim Mirsan, Haluk Tarcan and some others found out that the writings on many stones in many countries from Asia to EU as well as Ayasofya Museum in Trabzon were Turkish (Ön-Türk / Fore-Turk) and the town started to be under the influence of Byzantine after 395 AC and the ceremonies were done in Turkish language until 800 AC.
What the western historians wrote about Turkish history not really reflects the truth. In fact there are solid and more then enough evidences now that Turkish history goes back 35000 years. Everything western countries trying very hard to impose on Turks in this sense are pure nonsense and false. Some ignorant so called Turkish historians also take these with no questions. But more and more serious scientific researches uncover the truth.
Turks were not barbarians, nomads as such. Turks are the one of the most civilized people on earth. They were living in Europe and Turkey not only Asia far more earlier then what biased and none factual western history writes. No one can go as far back as Turkish findings yet.
Trabzon as other north east black sea region cities has many “Yayla” (table lands) where people used to go to, in old times, summer time with their cattle etc. to grass them and make butter, cheese for winter time eating. In modern days, young generation visit for picnic, natural food and scenery, old generation try to spend some time there for quite time and healthy living.
I like my hut for both reasons. Even though not very good road to travel there, once in there, a sunny day is worth a lot.
Most “Yaylas” due to high altitude (our table land place is 2700 meter above sea level ), usually very cold and most of the year covered with snow. Very few countryside villages with very few people live nearby throughout the year in those places or surrounding areas.
Most original local people in Trabzon have also countryside places. My countryside place (Koy) is only 45 minutes drive from the city. This may sound odd but if you look at the city pictures, cities in this region are lined up on the seaside. Because mountains start sharply from sea level. It is a beautiful and wonderful scenery. In one of Trabzon district Surmene, we even have pine trees growing right into the sea.
Trabzon is famous for it’s special food. Some of the famous ones are; “Hamsi” (anchovy), various Bread, Peynirli, Kiymali, Ramadan Pide, Kuymak, Kara Lahana Soup, Akçaabat Köftesi, Kara Lahana Dolmasi, Laz Boregi, Hamsikoy Sutlaci, Kaygana and of course our famous Turkish Tea from neighbour town Rize.
I won’t get into translation of these food but will give you pictures with names on them here. They taste delicious and are very nutritious as well as heavy food for long run.
Trabzon also has one of the biggest football teams in Turkiye, Trabzonspor. When people talk about football (which is widely done so) they talk about four big teams, mainly three from istanbul (Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Besiktas) and Trabzonspor.
Our local people are very hospitable and friendly. Unlike some countries in EU, when you ask a direction, they will go extra mile to help you out, be it a tourist, local or other Turkish people.
Our famous folk dance “Horon” which is also my company name and brand which demands exceptional speed, agility and skills in the dancers. And of course it is done with our special musical instrument Kemence.
In recent years, a different dance emerged and became famous called “Kolbasti”. It is also dynamic and has no usual form, mimics some real life gestures and lets young people express themselves.
Of course this is not all can be said about Trabzon, but no word can describe a place better then seeing and experiencing it.
It is a fast phased continuously changing town while protecting it’s original personality. Unlike many different names used, Trabzon is a truly Turkish town with a character.
By Isa Alemdag
15 July 2012