Niksar is a city in Tokat Province, Turkey. It has been settled by many empires over the centuries, and it was once the capital city of the province.
At 350 m. altitude and with a temperate climate, Niksar is known as "Cukurova of the North-Anatolia" due to its production of every kind of fruit and vegetable except citrus fruits.
Niksar in history
Niksar was settled by the Hittite, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Danishmend, Seljuk and Ottoman empires. It has always been an important place in Anatolia, because of its location, climate and productive lands.
It was known as Caberia in the Hellenistic period. In 72 BC a battle during the Third Mithridatic War took place at Niksar, and the city passed to the Romans.
Niksar was called Diaspolis, Sebaste, and Neocaeserea during the Roman period. "Niksar" is derived from Neocaesarea.
Niksar became part of the Eastern Roman Empire when the Roman Empire divided into two parts in AD 395. When the Turks raided Anatolia in 1067, it was conquered by Afin Bey, one of the commanders of Alparslan. The Byzantines retook the area in 1068. Conquered by Artuk Bey after the Battle of Manzikert, Niksar once again returned to Byzantium in 1073.
Melik Gumutekin Ahmet Gazi, founder of the Danishmend state and better known as Danishmend Gazi, was the real conqueror of Niksar. After the conquest the Gazi made it his capital city, and Niksar became a center of science and culture. The mausoleum of Danishmend Gazi stands in a large cemetery just outside the town.
By 1175, during the reign of Kilic Arslan II, Niksar was dependent on the Seljuks of Rum. After the Mongol invasion of the 13th century, Niksar was governed by the Eretna beylik and then the Tacettinogullari beylik and became the center of the latter principality.
After Kadi Burhanettin, who conquered Niksar in 1387, was killed in battle, the people of Niksar sought aid from the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I. The Sultan's son, Suleyman Celebi, took Niksar for the Ottomans. In the later Ottoman period, Niksar became part of Tokat Province. Fatih Mehmet launched a raid on Trabzon from Niksar, and Yavuz Sultan Selim and Suleiman the Magnificent raided the east from there.
In 1919, a meeting was organized in Niksar to protest against the Greek occupation of Izmir.
Niksar is approximately . It is located at 4035 north latitude and 3658 east longitude. Its average altitude is 350 m above sea level. It is surrounded by Erbaa on the northwest, Tokat on the southwest, Almus on the south, Baciftlik on the southeast and Akku on the north. It is one of the five largest counties of Tokat.
The Canik Mountains are to the north, Donek Mountain to the south, and the Niksar Lowland is situated between these mountains. The Niksar Lowland, which has become more fertile through irrigation and alluvial soil, is one of the most important lowlands of the Black Sea Region. The Canik Mountains are covered with plateaus that lie parallel to the Black Sea. Camici High Plateau is one of the most important high plateaus, not just of Niksar but also of Tokat.
Niksar lands are very rich in rivers, and have been irrigated by large and small tributaries of the Kelkit Stream.
Forests cover 53% of the plateau, and pasture 12%; 32% of the land is devoted to agriculture, and only 3% is unsuitable for farming.
Beech, pine, horn beech, and spruce trees can be found in the higher altitudes to the north of Niksar. In the lowlands there are poplar and willow trees, and fruit trees in the valleys.
Polecats, rabbits, wolves, foxes, lynxes, bears, and pigs are the main hunting animals that live in the mountains and forests. Partridges, quail and ducks are among the more important game birds found here.
Niksar has a transitional climate between the Middle Black Sea and Inner Anatolia. In general it is tepid and rainy in winter, hot in summer. The county averages an annual rainfall of 475.2 mm, and the annual heat average is 14.7 C.
Cuisine of Niksar
The most unusual and important feature of traditional Tokat-Niksar houses is the kitchen. Called Aevi or Agana in the local dialect, the kitchen is usually the largest room of the house and serves as a sort of lounge for the family.
The typical kitchen has a fireplace on one side used for cooking or washing and a storeroom on the other in which dried foods, preserves, sauces, cheese and grape leaves are kept. Beside the storeroom is a wooden granary with partitions for storing cereals and legumes.
In Turkey, it is common to eat meals around a low table. A typical meal might consist of some of the following dishes:
Tarhana, bacakli soup, hele soup, Gengirme toygasi, Maize toygasi, katikli wedding soup, Zogalli soup and Erikli soup, village toyga soup.
Tokat kebab, Yaprak sarmasi, cevizli bat, baklali yaprak dolmasi, kabak kabugu kavurmasi, madimak, beet, pehli.
Cokelekli, katmer, cizlak, yufka pie, cevizli bun, bii, stork giligi, muhacir pie, caraf pie.
Bulgur pilaf with lentil and bean, kekek.
Yufka dessert, kuburnu jam, kalburabasti, mulberry molasses, rice puding, baklava, revani, semolina dessert, lokma dessert.
Settled 13 kilometers from Niksar, Camici high plateau is worth seeing as a world wonder for its altitude (over 1000 m), its green pine forests, cool weather and abundant fresh air. Ayvaz Water and promenade area are very different. Gaining worldwide fame for its healing waters, Ayvaz Water is shipped in glass and plastic containers to multiple local and overseas markets.