Province: Amasya

Despite technically being a Black Sea Province, Amasya has far more in common with its Central Turkey neighbours to the south. Thanks to the Pontic Alps, which block the rain and humidity of the Black Sea, Amasya experiences hot, dry summers and cold winters. Home to a number of major rivers, the valleys and lowlands of Amasya are well watered and fruitful and famous for the Amasya (Amassia) Apple, a small pinkish-red variety, named for the region.
Once a part of the land of Hatti, the home of the Hittites, Amasya’s history also reflects the history of Central Turkey. After the fall of the Hittites in the 13th century BC, Phrygian culture came into the area. Eventually this too was replaced by the Kingdom of Pontus, a dynasty of Persian Kings and a Greek speaking population whose capital was in the city of Amasya, then known as Amaseia.
During this time one of Amasya’s most famous inhabitants was born. Known as the father of Geography, Strabo traveled throughout the Roman Empire and the surrounding lands making record of the cities, lands, and histories of its inhabitants. His work, Geographica, was designed for politicians and rulers to better understand the lands over which they presided and interacted with.
The population of Amasya remained mostly Greek under the Romans and Byzantines. Rulership of Amasya then passed to the Seljuks, Mongol Ilkhanids (their mummies are on display at the Amasya Archaeological Museum), Danishmendids, and eventually the Ottomans.
Under the Ottoman Turks Amasya gained special importance when Mehmet I took shelter in Amasya Castle after his father, Sultan Beyazid I, was captured by Tamerlane at the Battle of Ankara. In the absence of the Sultan a civil war broke out among the Ottoman princes. When Mehmet I gained the throne he continued to give Amasya special importance by sending his son, Murad II, to Amasya during childhood and giving him the governorship of the province. Murad continued this tradition and many princes and future sultans spent their childhoods in Amasya, gaining experience in rulership as governors of the province. Home to generations of rulers, the city was filled with grand mosques, and fine houses, giving it a distinctly Ottoman flavour.