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Trabzon is one of the major cities of Turkey and the biggest one in the Eastern Black Sea region. Its population is over 770 thousand (2015) and has an area of 4,664 km2. Due to the rainy climate even in the summer months, it has lots of green forests and mountains with many rivers and highlands. There are major roads connecting Trabzon to other cities, a big harbor for international shipping traffic in the Black Sea, and an international airport. The city is famous for its fish, football (soccer) team, and the Sumela Monastery.


When the Roman Empire was divided into two at the end of the 4th century, Trabzon remained under the sovereignty of the Eastern Roman Empire which later on was called as Byzantine Empire. When relations and wars between the Byzantines and the Arabs started, the Arabs called the people under the Roman Sovereignty as Rum, and the areas under the Roman sovereignty as Diyar-i Rum or Memleket-ul Rum (land of Rums).

Anatolia, as it was under the Roman sovereignty at that time, was mentioned as Diyar-i Rum. Later, since the Turks also accepted to use the word Rum, the Province of Anatolia was called Eyalet-i Rum, the Anatolia Sultan, Sultan-i Rum, and Mevlana of Anatolia as Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi.

The Byzantines gave special importance to Trabzon from the military point of view. During the reign of Emperor Justinian in the 6th century the city walls were thoroughly repaired and enlarged. A road from Trabzon to Persia was opened. Huts for defense were built at bends and effort was given to establish Christianity so that the tribe Can, the dwellers along the road would be obedient. Aqueducts of Saint Eugenius were built.

In the 8th century the Moslem Arab armies entered Anatolia and came down to Trabzon, invading the area around the citadel. They saw hazel nuts for the first time.

In the 9th century the Moslem Turkish armies started coming to the Trabzon area and outer part of the citadel went under the sovereignty of the Moslem Turks. Inside the citadel there were still the Greek colonists. It is in this period that construction of the Saint Ann Church in the Ayvasil district completed.

In the 10th century Islamism outside the citadel speeded up and the Turks around became Moslems. Two of the four routes of the Seljuk raids which began in the 11th century passed through the Eastern Black Sea region and Trabzon was then the native country Moslem Turks. Canik was one of the eight provinces of the country conquered by the Moslem Turks in Anatolia and the name Turkey was given for the first time in 1081. Its principal city was Trabzon (the name Canik derived from the word Canika, the place where the Can Tribe lived near Macka area in the south of Trabzon) and moved to the west, and the name Samsun as time passed by derived from it. In the second half of the 11th century there were two Trabzon’s: The outer part of the citadel was under the sovereignty of the Danismeds; The inner part of the citadel was under the sovereignty of the Byzantines.