Tokat Tourist Attractions
Central South PontusSituation and ImportanceThe main road from Sivas to Samsun passes through the town of Tokat, which is dominated by a small medieval castle and lies at the eastern end of the fertile Tokat-Turhal Ovasi close to the confluence of the Tokay Suyu and the upper reaches of the Yeilirmak.
Since the Middle Ages Tokat has benefited from its situation at the junction of two trade routes: one from Mesopotamia to the Black Sea and the other from Persia, and India (silk!), to Izmir (Smyrna) on the Aegean Sea, from where goods were shipped to Europe. Although several of the town's historic buildings have been destroyed or have disappeared, many still remain and a few have been splendidly restored. Most of the old buildings are located on the two main axes: the north-south through route from Sivas to Amasya by the Meydan (main square, near the Museum) and on the east-west Sulu Sokak either side of Cumhuriyet Meydani (Republic Square near the Town Hall) and further to the east.Since the 17th century the town's principal trades have included copper beating, batik printing, weaving and silkworm rearing. The textile printers use traditional skills to produce attractive hand-printed linens with patterns based on old motifs. Over 1000 families, mainly in the rural communities of Niksar, AlMus and Cat, make silk and wool carpets under state control using the famous Hereke method. Since 1982 Afghan refugees have been producing wool and silk carpets using traditional patterns from their homeland.HistoryUnlike the nearby ancient Commana Pontica (see Gümenek), Tokat developed from the medieval town of Eugocia (Dazimon) after the earlier heathen Hittite settlements declined as Christianity spread. In 1631 there were twelve churches in the town, one of which was said to have been built by Justinian (527-565). After Arab incursions ca. 1071 the region fell to the founder of the Rum Seljuk dynasty, QutulMusch Sultan Süleyman I. In 1074 the castle was captured by the Danishmend Melik Ahmet Gazi. The Ottomans took the town temporarily in 1380 but only gained full control in the late 15th century Before the days of the republic there was a large contingent of Armenian Christians in the town but they were expelled after 1923.
Ali Pasa (Külliyesi)
The complex around the Cumhuriyet Meydani in Tokat was built by Ali Pasa between 1565 and 1572 during the reign of Selim II. It consists of a mosque, a Koran school and a bath (to the east on the other side of the road). The prayer niche and heavenly staircase are made from yellow and blue marble. The founder's mausoleum lies to the east of the mosque in the cemetery garden.
The covered bazaar in Tokat was built in the 15th/16th century on the north side of the Sulu Sokak and modeled on similar bazaars in Aleppo and Bursa. It is currently being used as a store and is slowly decaying.
To the east of the Latifoglu Konagi in Tokat and behind the clock tower on the other side of the Tokat Çayi (immediately to the right of the small bridge), Bey Sokagi ascends into the old quarter. Over recent years the whole street has been fully restored. The houses are not museums but are occupied and in daily use - one as a school for the blind. In the upper section of the street on the right stands an original timber-framed mosque, Yolbasi Camii (1922), which has an unusual minaret.Some other fine 19th century town houses can be seen in the Müftü Mahallesi (Madgagin Celel'in Evi) and Aksu Mahallesi (Maaz Gürkan Evi) quarters.
Also known as Yagibasan Medresesi, the theological school on the south side of Sulu Sokak in Tokat dates from Danishmend times (1152) and was later restored by the Seljuk sultan Izzettin Kaikâ'ïs.
Sometimes known as the Ali Tusi Türbesi, this mausoleum on the north side of the Sulu Sokak in Tokat contains the remains of Ebulkasim Bin Ali El Tusi Kendisi, a Sultan vizier.
One of Tokat's oldest mosques, the Garipler Camii in the Pazarcik quarter of the town, was built in 1074 by the Danishmends.
Probably of Armenian origin, this caravanserai in Tokat with a large inner courtyard was sometimes called Vergilioglu Hani. It was built in the 19th century and is situated in Boya Hane Sokagi north of the Sulu Sokak, beneath the castle. It is now used as a center for batik printing and may be visited.
In use now as an archeological museum, this so-called Blue Koran School in Tokat with a fine doorway was built between 1271 and 1277 as a hospital (Muhineddin Pervane Sifanesi) but was converted into a theological college in 1811. The restored building houses a small but significant collection of icons which date from the town's Armenian period. Archeological finds and exhibits of ethnographic interest are on display in the former scholar's cells which surround the arcaded courtyard with its decoration of blue tiles.
Haci Turhan Mesçidi
The small mosque of Haci Turhan (1478) in Tokat can be found in a road which runs parallel to the Sulu Sokak opposite the Sultan Hamami.
Halef Gazi Tekkesi
This small dervish monastery in Tokat in a side alley north of the Meydan dates from 1292. Features of interest include a vaulted prayer room, two mausoleums and seven visitors' rooms.
This complex of domed mosque (Meydan Camii) and medrese to the east of the Meydan in Tokat was founded in 1485 by Sultan Bayazit II in honor of his mother Gülbahar Hatun. The ancient columns and some other building materials were plundered from Commana Pontica.
The Latifoglu Konagi, an early Ottoman home in Tokat is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. The two-story building has been restored and converted into a small Museum. It is well worth a visit as much of the furniture in the kitchen, study, visitors' rooms with bath and toilet, bedroom, master's room and harem is original.
Nureddin Ibn (Sentimur Türbesi)
This mausoleum (1314) in Tokat is situated to the west of the road to Amasya just north of the Meydan.
The "General's Bath" at the southwestern end of Sulu Sokak is said to date from 1425 and it was thought to have been built by Yürgüc Pasa a vizier of Mehmet I.
This caravanserai situated in the district of Ivaz Pasa in Tokat on the Sulu Sokak was built about 1752. The main doorway is decorated with a relief of animals and cypresses. Only the facade side remains. A dwelling and a large, productive fruit orchard can be found inside.
Tokat's clock tower was built in 1902. The tapering octagonal tower on a square base comprises four storys separated by ledges.
This mausoleum, Sentimur Türbesi, on Gazi Osman Pasa Caddesi in Tokat is one of the most important structures of the Ilkhan period (1314).
Sünbül Baba Zaviyesi
Situated just north of the Gök Medrese in Tokat on the road to Amasya this dervish monastery and mausoleum date from Seljuk times (1292).
When precisely this caravanserai north of the Sulu Sokak in Tokat was built is not known, but the open courtyard is similar to Ottoman style. The two-story building has been faithfully restored.
The castle, remains of the wall and the 28 towers were built on Hittite foundations probably during Byzantine times by the former inhabitants of Commana Pontica when they moved to Tokat. It was captured by the Danishmend Gümüstekin in 1074, extended during the Seljuk period and has been restored on a number of occasions subsequently. The castle contains a small mosque, store-rooms, a governor's residence and accommodation for soldiers. 362 steps hewn from the rock link the town with the castle site.
Sometimes known as Tas Hani, this two-story caravanserai (1630/31) situated by the Meydan near Gök Medrese in Tokat consists of 32 rooms, a small prayer room and an extensive inner courtyard.
Map of Tokat Attractions