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Sinop, Turkey.
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Sinop, Turkey.

Sinop, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Town in northern Turkey with 40,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate), situated on the Black Sea. It lies geographically isolated from the rest of Turkey by the high Isfendiyar Mountains, but has good sea connections all around the Black Sea. It is the capital of Sinop province with 230,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
The most important activity for the region where Sinop is the centre is agriculture. The main produce include maize, flax and tobacco. The main activity for the inhabitants of Sinop is however fishing.
Sinop is linked by road with Bafra and Samsun and by sea with Istanbul.
Today's Sinop is a charming little town, little touched by modern developments, and with short distance between the landmarks. The main monuments is a ruined ancient citadel rebuilt during Byzantine and Seljuq periods, some isolated columns and inscribed stones from the early Greek and Roman periods. From its Muslim history, the Alaeddin mosque built in 1214 by the Seljuq rulers and the Alaiye religouious school from the 1260's are the main points of interest.
Because it has the only safe natural port on the Anatolian Black Sea coast, Sinop was a regionally very important city in antiquity. It lost this position as the need for good inland connections became more important, and other port cities, like Samsun and Inebolu, were developed.

There are two legende telling about the foundation of Sinope (as it is spelled for the ancient period). One tells that is was the Amazon queen Sinova who founded it, while the other tells that it was founded by Autolycus, a companion of Hercules.
Around 690 BCE: Sinope is destroyed by the Cimmerians.
End of 7th century: Sinope is refounded as a colony of the Milesians. Over the centuries it would develop into becoming the richest Greek settlement on the Black Sea, or Euxine Sea as it was known then. Sinope would become the centre of a colony system, with several settlements on the Euxine Sea, commanding much of the maritime trade in the region.
183: Conquered by King Pharnaces 1, and becomes the capital of the Pontic kings.
70: Is captured by the Romans, and almost all of the city is burned down.
1204 CE: Becomes part of the new Trebizond Empire, ruled from Trabzon.
1214: Conquered by the Rum Seljuqs. Many churches were converted into mosques.
1243: With the fall of the Rum Seljuqs, Sinop passes over to the control of the Isfendiyaroglu emirs of Kastamonu.
1458: Sinop is annexed into the Ottoman Empire.
1853: Attacked by the Russian navy. The stationed Ottoman fleet is destroyed, as well as large parts of the city.
1919 May 18: Large parts of Sinop is destroyed when the troops of Mustafa Kemal passes through the city on their way to Samsun.

By Tore Kjeilen