Province: Ordu

The Province of Ordu on Turkey’s Black Sea coast is home to some of the region’s finest beaches and idyllic sheltered bays. The beautiful coast is backdropped by high mountains, clad in thick leafy forests. The well watered mountains are full of deep river valleys while the slopes are covered in dense deciduous forests and groves of hazelnuts: one of Ordu Province’s most important exports.
Above the thick forests are the Yayla, the summer grazing grounds in the alpine heights of the mountains. In the Yayla flocks of sheep wander the open swaths of green grassland while shepherds keep watch.
The history of Ordu is closely tied to the classical epic of Jason and the Argonauts who set out in search of the golden fleece. The Golden fleece was said to be in Colchis, an ancient kingdom of Georgia that spread along the Black Sea coast. During Jason’s journey to Colchis storms forced them ashore in Ordu. Later peoples had a temple built at the site which is now known as Cape Jason (Yason Burnu). When the city of Ordu was first founded by Greek colonists, the city was named, Kotyora, meaning “a place where pottery is made” in the language of the people of Colchis.
Under the various powers that came and went afterwards the area continued to be inhabited by Greeks. The Persians, Kingdom of Pontus, Romans, Georgians, and eventually Byzantines took their turns ruling until the arrival of the of the Seljuks after which time demographics began to shift. By the Ottoman period many areas were predominantly Turkish.
The modern name of “Ordu” meaning “Army” or “Army Camp” in Ottoman Turkish came as a result of an Ottoman military outpost near the city.
Today the cities and towns of Ordu hold a blend of old Ottoman neighbourhoods and Greek Churches, but Ordu’s greatest attraction is its stunning natural beauty.