A GUIDE TO LIFE AND HISTORY ALONG THE CENTRAL BLACK SEA

EXPLORING THE CENTRAL BLACK SEA ALONG THE COAST MEANS GETTING TO KNOW CLOSELY MANY BLESSINGS OF THE REGION.

Once upon a time Amazons with long blond hair lived on this land. Because their enemies pulled their hair to knock them from their horses in wars, they cut and buried their hair. Over time, tobacco sprouted from the soil where they buried their hair.

Exploring the Central Black Sea along the coast means getting to know many blessings of the region closely. As you get closer to Bafra, you see sheets of tobacco let out to dry under the sun in front of the houses along the road. A 13 km long dirt road begins beside the Çetinkaya Bridge and stretches along the Kızılırmak Delta.

Free areas of birds
Kızılırmak is the longest river that starts and spills into the sea in Turkey. It flows for 1182 km, creating a delta plain for 56 thousand hectares where it reaches to the sea. Its coastline is 60 km long. Wetlands, marshes, lakes, swamps, forests, and coastal dunes are alive with wild life. 420 species of birds are known to live in Turkey; in the delta, 316 bird species are identified so far.

Memories from Atatürk
Samsun is a city that is 50 km from Bafra. Other than, some streets and buildings named in memory of Atatürk’s arrival here on May 19, 1919, there is not much sign of the city’s important past. The Austrian sculptor Heinrich Krippel made the Atatürk statue, located in the middle of the park on Cumhuriyet Street, in 1932. Mıntıka Palace, the first hotel that Atatürk stayed when he came to Samsun, is today’s Gazi Museum. At the museum, you can see Atatürk’s desk, writing sets, bath sets, meeting table, bed, comforter, what he wrote while waiting for İsmet Pasha on September 16, 1928, a photocopy of the handwritten 10th Year Speech of him, a model of The Bandırma Ferry, and the pictures of him and his 18 comrades. Wax statues of his 18 comrades are also on display as well as his pictures, photos, and personal belongings at the museum.

Çarşamba was taken by the flood
Bafra, in other words the Kızılırmak Delta, in the west and Çarşamba, in other words the Yeşilırmak Delta, in the east, surround Samsun. The song made after Çarşamba, which is 35 km to the east where the Yeşilırmak crosses in the middle, is now history: “Çarşamba was taken by a flood, I loved someone, and my beloved was taken by a stranger.” Çarşamba has not been taken by any floods, since the dams had been built. Alluvial deposits that were carried by the Yesilirmak River formed the Çarşamba Plaine, where marshes, swamps, and canals are located. The plain has fertile grounds; however, it cannot be explored as easy as the Kızılırmak Delta can. The Delta can be explored by a canoe or a boat. Consulting with the anglers would be the best. The cemetery that surrounds the Göğçeli Mezarlıkiçi Mosque is 3 centuries old. The mosque is constructed without the use of a single nail. It is an 800-year-old work of wooden architecture made with interlocking woods of valonia, elm, and oak. Interior is full of engravings. Its wooden minaret had been standing until 1985, but later collapsed. The Simenlik Lake that was formed in the Yeşilırmak Delta is in Gölyazı Village located at Terme, which is 20 km away.

Unusual herbs in Çarşamba’s market
Ordu border begins with Terme. Ünye, which is 33 km away from it, is assertive at tourism with its beautiful beaches. Uzunkum is the most favorite one among all. While approaching from the west, hotels and guesthouses are lined up. Çakırtepe is 2 km away from the bottom of the walls of the burnt palace that overlooks the sea. Ünye’s Governor Süleyman Pasha had ordered the construction of the palace in the 19th century. Among Ünye’s old structures that are left from the 18th century, which was when the place was the port of the region during the reign of the Byzantine, you can see the Byzantine church which is used as a Hammam today, and the most beautiful houses of Ünye, right behind the church towards up the street on the Kadınlar Hill. It is well known that the most kadıs (Islamic judges) of the Ottoman Empire were raised and spread to the Empire from here. It had been a traditional profession in Ünye, passed on generations. The stately mansion of Haznedaroğlu Süleyman Pasha was destroyed by a fire in 1830, which does not exist today. You can arrive to the Ünye Castle (Çaleoğlu Castle), which is 7 km away from the center, by passing through the hazelnut gardens. A rock tomb that belongs to the 3rd century BC, during the reign of the Pontus Empire, takes place at the entrance of the old castle, which is in ruins now. At the top, you will see an extraordinary fertile valley on one side, and coast of Ünye on the other. The Asarkaya National Park, which is 6 km east of the center, is suitable for hiking. Ünye becomes the most vibrant on Wednesdays when the farmers’ market is set. Women who set their stands at the bottom of the city walls explain in detail what to do with the herbs that they sell.

Mansion over the Byzantine castle
Fatsa is 20 km away. It has been thought that the name of the place comes from Fadisanen, the daughter of the Pontus King Farnakes. 10 km ahead of the Fatsa, Gölbaşı Yenipazar Mosque and a pink house with a garden will catch your attention. Some catch fish with nets at the Balaman Creek on the way. The most valid reason to stop here is the 18th-century wooden Haznedaroğlu mansion in Bolaman. In fact, Bolaman is the old name of Fatsa. The mansion that was built on the ruins of the Byzantine or the Genoese castle used to be called the Bolaman castle or the Bolaman mansion. The city’s name changed but the small settlement around the castle, has remained as Bolaman. When you advance towards Bolaman fishing shelter, you first see the Haznedaroğlu Mansion, and later, when you continue to the sea, you see the restored mansions. They used to belong to the Haznedaroğlu Family who used to be the landlord of the area. The Bolaman beach is located in front of the mansions. From Bolaman, bays and coastal settlements are namely: Yalıköy-Belicesu-Medreseönü-Çaka Tunnel-Yason Cape-Mersin village-Çam Cape-Perşembe-Ordu. Seeing the dolphins in the vast sea, walking on the cliffs that are beaten by the waves, drinking tea from legendary Uzun Saçlı or eating famous Black Sea pita at Medreseönü can be done only if you take the 42 km road slowly.

Chasing the Golden Fleece
Cape Yason, which is 12 km away from Bolaman towards east, is among the most mysterious coves of the Black Sea Region. It takes its name from the ancient mythology, from the legendary leader of the heroes, Jason, who chased the Golden Fleece by a ship named Argo in the Black Sea. Xenophon also names this place in Anabasis as Cape Jason. There is nothing left from the temple that was dedicated in memory of Jason. The medieval castle replacing it is among the few churches in the coast of the Black Sea. It is the only one standing among the 11 churches that were told to be around until 1924. At least two tour buses from Greece come here weekly in summers. You can see the landscape of Cape Yason from Çaytepe. Also, another cove called Fake Yason is right next to it. Ordu is 30 km away.   

DON’T MISS
Roman mosaics representing the portraits of Amisos Treasury and seasons are worth seeing at the Samsun Archaeological Museum.

TASTE STOP
Under the landscape of Ünye and pine trees, stop at the Çakırtepe Sami Soysal Park’s restaurant to taste Ünye’s pitas, among the bests of the Black Sea.

TASTE SPOT
Make your pick among the hundreds of pickles of the legendary Vonalı Celal at the Çaka Tunnel.