Sivas (Latin and Greek: Sebastia, Sebastea, Σεβάστεια, Σεβαστή,[2] Armenian: Սեբաստիա, romanizedSebastia[3]) is a city in central Turkey. It is the seat of Sivas Province and Sivas District.[4] Its population is 365,274 (2022).[1]

Clockwise from top: Governorship Building, Historical Gendarmerie Barracks, Republic Monument, Sivas Congress and Ethnography Museum, Gök Medrese, Bent Bridge
Sivas is located in Turkey
Location in Turkey
Sivas is located in Turkey Central Anatolia
Sivas (Turkey Central Anatolia)
Coordinates: 39°45′N 37°01′E / 39.750°N 37.017°E / 39.750; 37.017
 • MayorAdem Uzun (BBP)
1,285 m (4,216 ft)
Time zoneUTC+3 (TRT)
Postal code
Area code0346

The city, which lies at an elevation of 1,278 metres (4,193 ft) in the broad valley of the Kızılırmak river, is a moderately-sized trade centre and industrial city, although the economy has traditionally been based on agriculture. Rail repair shops and a thriving manufacturing industry of rugs, bricks, cement, and cotton and woolen textiles form the mainstays of the city's economy. The surrounding region is a cereal-producing area with large deposits of iron ore which are worked at Divriği.

Sivas is also a communications hub for the north–south and east–west trade routes to Iraq and Iran, respectively. With the development of railways, the city gained new economic importance as junction of important rail lines linking the cities of Ankara, Kayseri, Samsun, and Erzurum. The city is linked by air to Istanbul and İzmir. The popular name Sebastian derives from Sebastianòs, Σεβαστιανός, meaning someone from the city.[2][5]

Name edit

The name of the city is a truncated form of its Byzantine Greek name Sivasteia[6] from the Koine Greek name Sebasteia (Σεβάστεια), meaning that it was named in honour of an emperor using the title Sebastos, the Greek equivalent of Augustus.[2][additional citation(s) needed] In Kurdish it is called Sêwas.[7]

History edit

Ancient and medieval edit

Hittite Artifacts in Sivas Archeology Museum

Little is known of Sivas' history prior to its emergence in the Roman period. In 64 BC, as part of his reorganization of Asia Minor after the Third Mithridatic War, Pompey the Great founded a city on the site called "Megalopolis".[8] Numismatic evidence suggests that Megalopolis changed its name in the last years of the 1st century BC to "Sebaste", the feminine form of Sebastos, the Greek equivalent of Augustus. The name "Sivas" is the Turkish version deriving from the name Sebasteia, as the city was known during the late Roman (Byzantine) empire. Sebasteia became the capital of the province of Armenia Minor under the emperor Diocletian, was a town of some importance in the early history of the Christian Church; in the 4th century it was the home of Saint Blaise and Saint Peter of Sebaste, bishops of the town, and of Eustathius, one of the early founders of monasticism in Asia Minor. It was also the place of martyrdom of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, also 4th century. Justinian I had a fortified wall around it rebuilt in the 6th century. In the early 1020s, Basil II delivered the region around Sebasteia in exchange for Vaspurakan to King Seneqerim Ardzruni, who settled in Sebasteia with thousands of his Armenian followers.[9]

Sebasteia was the first important city to be plundered by Turkish tribes in 1059.[10] In August of that year the troops of various emirs gathered before the unwalled city. Initially they hesitated to sack it, mistaking the domes of the city's several Christian churches for tents of military camps. As soon as they realized that the city was defenceless they burned it for eight days, slaughtered a large part of its population and took many prisoners.[11] The city came under the domain of Turkmen Danishmend dynasty (1071–1174) after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. After the death of Danişmend Gazi, Sivas passed to Nizamettin Yağıbasan who won it after a struggle with Danişmend Gazi's successors. In 1174, the city was captured by Seljuk ruler Kilij Arslan II and periodically served as capital of the Seljuk empire along with Konya. Under Seljuk rule, Sivas was an important center of trade along the silk road and site of a citadel, along with mosques and madrasas (Islamic educational institutions), four of which survive today and one of which houses the Sivas Museum. Then it passed to the Ilkhanids, Eretna and Kadı Burhanettin.

Ottoman period edit

Tomb of Izz al-Din Kayka'us I in the Şifaiye Medrese (1217–1218)[12]

The city was acquired by Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I (1389–1402). In 1398, Tamerlane swept into the area and his forces destroyed the city in 1400, after which it was recaptured by the Ottomans in 1408.[13] Under the Ottomans, Sivas served as the administrative center of the Eyalet of Rum[9] until about the late 19th century. The Armenian Apostolic Church maintained six Armenian churches in Sivas, being the Meryemana, Surp Sarkis, Surp Minas, Surp Prgitsh, Surp Hagop, and Surp Kevork; four monasteries, Surp Nschan, Surp Hreshdagabed, Surp Anabad, and Surp Hntragadar; an Armenian Apostolic orphanage, and several schools. The Armenian Catholic Church and the Latins also had one church and a metropolitan of Sebastea, as did the Greek Orthodox Church.[14] Two Protestant churches and eight, mostly German- and American-staffed, schools. During the genocide against Armenians as well as during the genocide against Greek Christians from July 5, 1915 onward, the Christian community of Sivas was exterminated during deportations and mass executions.[15]

Turkish Republic period edit

The Sivas Congress (Heyet-i Temsiliye) was held in this city 4–11 September 1919.[16] With the arrival of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder of the Turkish Republic, from Amasya, the Congress of Sivas is considered a turning point in the formation of the Turkish Republic. It was at this congress that Atatürk's position as chair of the executive committee of the national resistance was confirmed (see Turkish War of Independence). Sivas was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 500 lira banknote of 1927–1939.[17]

Historical Sivas Gendarmerie Barracks

On 2 July 1993, 37 participants in an Alevi cultural and literary festival were killed when a mob of demonstrators set fire to the Madımak hotel in Sivas during a violent protest by some 15,000 members of various radical Islamist groups against the presence of Aziz Nesin. The deaths resulted in the Turkish government taking a harder stance against religious fanaticism, militant Islam, and antisecularism. In late 2006, there was a campaign by the Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Institute to convert the former hotel into a museum to commemorate the tragedy, now known as the Sivas massacre.

Demographics edit

In the mid 19th century, Sivas had 17,000 inhabitants, with a majority of Muslim Turks.[18] In 1914, Sivas had 45,000 inhabitants: a third were Armenians, the rest Turks and 1,500 Greeks.[18] In July 1915, Armenian families were deported as part of the Armenian genocide.[18] Greeks were removed as part of the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey.[18] In 1925, there were 3,000 Armenians left around Sivas.[18] By 1929, Armenians numbered 1,200. In 1939 the total population was 35,000, including 2000 Armenians.[18] In the 1970s, there were 300 Armenians.[18] In the 1990s, there were 50 Armenians.[18]

Climate edit

Sivas has a continental climate (Köppen: Dsb, Trewartha: Dc), with warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. The driest months are July and August and the wettest are April and May.

Climate data for Sivas (1991–2020, extremes 1930–2021)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.6
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 1.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.7
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −6.2
Record low °C (°F) −31.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.6
Average precipitation days 10.13 9.27 11.90 14.37 15.17 9.30 2.57 2.73 5.13 8.97 8.63 10.40 108.6
Average relative humidity (%) 76.8 74.1 67.2 61.6 62.4 60.2 55.8 55.3 56.6 63.5 70.5 76.7 65.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 83.7 104.5 155.0 198.0 248.0 303.0 356.5 353.4 282.0 195.3 129.0 74.4 2,482.8
Mean daily sunshine hours 2.7 3.7 5.0 6.6 8.0 10.1 11.5 11.4 9.4 6.3 4.3 2.4 6.8
Source 1: Turkish State Meteorological Service[19]
Source 2: NOAA (humidity)[20]

Economy edit

Buruciye Madrasah is an example of Anatolian Seljuks.

Historically, Sivas was known for producing cereal.

Sights edit

Gök Medrese built by the Seljuk Empire in 1271

A cultural hub as well as an industrial one, Sivas contains many examples of 12th and 13th-century Seljuk architecture. The Great Mosque (Ulu Cami) of Sivas was first built in 1197.[12] The Sifaiye Medresesi was completed in 1217–1218 and served as a darüşşifa (hospital and medical school). It has a four-iwan layout typical of Seljuk madrasas and is fronted by an elaborately-carved entrance portal. It also contains the tomb of its founder, the Seljuk sultan Izz al-Din Kayka'us I (d. 1220).[12] In 1271–1272, when the city was under Ilkhanid influence, three different madrasas were built by competing patrons: the Buruciye Medrese, the Çifte Minare Medresesi, and the Gök Medrese ("Blue Madrasa"; depicted on the obverse of the Turkish 500 lira banknote of 1927–1939[17]). All three have elaborate entrance portals.[12][21]

The city also contains some fine examples of the Ottoman architectural style. The most prominent example of Ottoman architecture in the city is the Kale Camii ("Citadel Mosque"), built in 1580 by Mehmet Pasha, an Ottoman vizier.[22] Kurşunlu Hamamı ("Leaden Bath") which was completed in 1576, is the largest historic bathhouse in the city and it contains many details from the classical Ottoman bath building. Behrampaşa Hanı (a caravanserai), was completed in 1573 and it is famous for the lion motifs around its windows.

Sivas Congress was held in the Ethnography Museum building between 4-11 September 1919

Atatürk Congress and Ethnography Museum (Atatürk Kongre ve Etnografya Müzesi) is a museum with two sections. One is a dedicated to the Ottoman heritage of Sivas. The other is to the Sivas Congress, one of the pivotal moments in the Turkish national movement. Other museums include the Sivas Congress and Ethnography Museum and the Sivas Archaeology Museum. The Madımak Science and Culture Centre is housed in the former Madımak Hotel.[23]

The modern heart of the city is Hükümet Square (Hükümet Meydanı, also called Konak Meydanı) located just next to the Governor's mansion. This area is also home to many of the city's high end hotels and restaurants. The city's shoppers usually head to Atatürk Avenue.

Sivas is also famous for its thermal springs which have a respectable percentage in the city's income. People believe that the water of these thermal springs can cure many illnesses. The most famous thermal areas are, Sıcak Çermik, Soğuk Çermik and Kangal Balıklı Kaplıca.

Sport edit

New Sivas 4 Eylül Stadium

Football is the most popular sport: in the older districts above the city centre children often kick balls around in the evenings in the smallest streets. The city's football club is Sivasspor, which plays its games at the New Sivas 4 Eylül Stadium. The club currently plays in Süper Lig.

Cuisine edit

Specialties of Sivas are tarhana (a soup made using sour yogurt), kelecos (a sour potato soup made with yoghurt) and katmer, a flaky pastry-bread which can be consumed on its own. One distinct feature of Sivas cooking is the use of madimak, which is a local herb used similarly to spinach. Sivas kebabı is a variety of kebab originating from Sivas.

Sivas Airport

Municipality of Sivas mayors edit

International relations edit

Sivas is twinned with:[24]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Address-based population registration system (ADNKS) results dated 31 December 2022, Favorite Reports" (XLS). TÜİK. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Julia Cresswell (5 November 2007). Naming Your Baby: The Definitive Dictionary of First Names. A&C Black. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-7136-8313-4.
  3. ^ Marsoobian, Armen T. (2015). Fragments of a Lost Homeland: Remembering Armenia. London: I. B. Taurus. p. 56. ISBN 9781784532116.
  4. ^ İl Belediyesi, Turkey Civil Administration Departments Inventory. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  5. ^ Davis, J. Madison (1995). The Shakespeare Name and Place Dictionary. Routledge. p. 444. ISBN 978-1-884964-17-6.
  6. ^ Lindsey, James E.; Mourad, Suleiman A., eds. (2021-10-06). Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period: An Anthology. Hackett Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-62466-997-2.
  7. ^ Avcıkıran, Dr. Adem (ed.). "Kürtçe Anamnez, Anamneza bi Kurmancî" (PDF). Tirsik. p. 57. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  8. ^ A.H.M. Jones, The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 1971), 159.
  9. ^ a b Krikorian, Mesrob K. (1977-01-01). Armenians in the Service of the Ottoman Empire, 1860-1908. Routledge and Kegan Paul. p. 53. ISBN 9781138492073.
  10. ^ Rosser, John H. (2012). Historical dictionary of Byzantium (2nd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 425. ISBN 9780810875678.
  11. ^ Speros Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century (University of California Press, 1971), p. 155
  12. ^ a b c d M. Bloom, Jonathan; S. Blair, Sheila, eds. (2009). "Sivas". The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195309911.
  13. ^ Henry Hoyle Howorth: History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century, 2008, p. 166
  14. ^ Pars Tuğlacı: Tarih boyunca Batı Ermenileri tarihi. Cilt 3. (1891 – 1922), Pars Yayın ve Tic., Istanbul und Ankara 2004 ISBN 975-7423-06-8, p. 43
  15. ^ Raymond Kévorkian: Le Génocide des Arméniens; Odile Jacob, Paris 2006, p. 542
  16. ^ Halil Gülbeyaz: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Vom Staatsgründer zum Mythos, Parthas, Berlin 2003, p. 87
  17. ^ a b Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey Archived 2009-06-15 at the Wayback Machine. Banknote Museum: 1. Emission Group - Five Hundred Turkish Lira - I. Series. – Retrieved on 20 April 2009.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kaza Sivas / Σεβάστεια – Sebastaia / Սեբաստիա – Sebastia / Սվաս – Svas / Սրվազ - Srvaz". Virtual Genocide Memorial. Retrieved 2023-09-20.
  19. ^ "Resmi İstatistikler: İllerimize Ait Mevism Normalleri (1991–2020)" (in Turkish). Turkish State Meteorological Service. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  20. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991-2020 — Sivas". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  21. ^ Blessing, Patricia (2014). "A capital of learning: Three madrasas in Sivas (1271–1272)". Rebuilding Anatolia after the Mongol Conquest: Islamic Architecture in the Lands of Rūm, 1240–1330. Routledge. pp. 69–122. ISBN 978-1-4724-2406-8.
  22. ^ Sinclair, T. A. (1989). Eastern Turkey: An Architectural & Archaeological Survey, Volume II. Pindar Press. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-907132-33-2.
  23. ^ sitesi, Türkiye'nin lider haber. "Madımak oteli Bilim ve Kültür Merkezi oldu". MİLLİYET HABER - TÜRKİYE'NİN HABER SİTESİ. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Uzaklar Yakinlaşti - Sivas Twin Towns Archived 2013-12-27 at the Wayback Machine(in Turkish)
  25. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l'Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-12-26.

External links edit