The Historic Talazan Bridge
/ By Josh
Built some 800-1000 years ago the Historic Talazan Bridge is an eight-span peaked bridge of bright limestone in the traditional style of the Seljuks.
The bulk of Tokat province is typical of the Central Anatolian region of Turkey with a continental climate of hot, dry summers and cold winters. However, the northern edge of the province is made up of the foothills of the Pontic alps, with high mountains where the dusty pines of the lower hills give way to thick deciduous woodlands and lush green pastures.
Tokat Province sits squarely in the ancient land of Hatti, the home of the Hattian and Hittite peoples who dominated much of Turkey for centuries during the Bronze Age. Many of the earliest cities and fortresses of Tokat can be dated back to the powerful Hittites and their border forts intended to keep out the Gasga (Kaska) who lived in the Black Sea region and would raid the Hittite cities.
In the political rearrangement of the region after the arrival of Alexander the Great and the end of Persian rule, Tokat became a part of the Kingdom of Pontus, which ruled until it was annexed by the Roman Empire. Under the Romans the region became a part of the Roman province of Cappadocia.
In the Middle Ages Roman rule gave way to Byzantine until the Seljuk victory at Manzikert in 1071 which opened up nearly all of what is now Turkey to various Turkic tribes. The Tokat area was ruled by the Danishmendids who had their capital in Niksar, now a town in the west of Tokat Province. After just under a century the Danishmendids gave way to the Seljuk Turks who then came to rule the majority of Anatolia. Following a period of Mongol Ilkhanid rule and the breakup of the Seljuk of Rum, the Tokat region was ruled by the Eretnid Beylik, a Turkic kingdom founded by Eretna, a Uighur officer of the Ilkhanid governors. The Beylik period came to an end in the late 14th century with the rise of the Ottomans out of the west.
Apart from a diverse landscape and Turkish history, Tokat is famous for something rather unique. Tokat is the homeland of the tellak. A tellak is the person who works at a Turkish Bath giving massages, scrubbing, and washing the visitors. For inexplicable reasons the vast majority of Tellaks are from Tokat, with some coming from the other Danishmendid city of Sivas. If you’re a real connoisseur of all thing Turkish Bath, then Tokat is a chance to visit the heart of its culture.