Pasinler or Basean (Turkish: Pasinler from Armenian: Բասեն, Pasen; formerly Hasankale and Hesenqele, meaning "the fortress of Hasan"), is a town in Erzurum Province, Turkey on the Aras River. It is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of the city of Erzurum and is the site of Hasankale Castle (sometimes called Pasinler Castle). It was the birthplace of the Ottoman poet Nef'i. The old name "Hasankale" could be based upon the Aq Qoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan or upon Hasan the governor of the region in the 1330s or after Küçük Hasan, grandson of Coban, who attacked the town in 1340.
These areas were contested by the Arabs and Byzantines between the 7th and 9th century and local Armenian nobles played an important role in these events. After the 11th century, various Islamic dynasties ruled the area till the Ottoman Empire took definitive control in the 16th. century. The Ottomans made Hasankale the centre of a sanjak and entirely rebuild the citadel. They also built several mosques such as Ulucami (1554 repaired in 1836), Sivasli (1388 rebuild in 1912) Yeni (16th century rebuild in 1810) and baths. Other sights are the Coban bridge likely built in 1297 by a notable Ilkhanid Mongol named Coban and which was later restored several times. There are also two Islamic tombs nearby the town, Ferrah Hatun built in 1324 and the other likely in the thirteenth century. The nearby location of Avnik, has a ruined citadel with an old Muslim cemetery and mosque. After the 11th century, Turks and Kurds settled in these areas next to the local Armenians and in time the Turks became the most numerous group.
During the 19th century, several Russo-Ottoman wars took place in this region and had as a consequence that many Armenians emigrated from this region towards Russian held territory in Transcaucasia. When World War broke out the Russians advanced to the plain of Pasinler but quickly retreated together with many of the local Armenian population, some 4,000 remained and were deported. Between 1915 and 1917 it was occupied by Russia and then held by the Armenians, who committed anti-Muslim atrocities in the region. During World War I some Armenians apparently broke the headstones of some old Islamic graves in Avnik. The Turkish army regained control of the town in 13 March 1918.
- "When thc historic sources mention Basean, they do not always mean Pasinler or the Pasinler region. Despite its prominent position, the early historical identity of Pasinler [historic Hasankale], highlights the problems dealing with ancient toponyms. Various scholars have tentatively Identified modern Pasinler as Faunitis, Ügümü, Gymnias, Vagharšakert (Armenian: Վաղարշակերտ), and Boghberd (Armenian: Բողբերդ). The arguments for its ancient identity are greatly influenced by the surviving castle on the southern spur of the Hasanbaba Mountain overlooking the modern town of Pasinler. This castle, Hasankale, takcs its current name from one of the Hasans, Ottoman governors of the region in the 1300s, though it is uncertain who is meant." Sagona, Antonio G. and Sagona, Claudia (2004) An historical geography and a field survey of the Bayburt province (in the series: Archaeology at the north-east Anatolian frontier) Peeters Press, Louvain, Belgium, page 57, ISBN 90-429-1390-8
- Miller, Louis (1988) "Nef'i (Ömer)" Ottoman Turkish Writers: a bibliographical dictionary of significant figures in pre-Republican Turkish literature P. Lang, New York, page 108, ISBN 0-8204-0633-3
- Sinclair, T.A. (1989). Eastern Turkey: An Architectural & Archaeological Survey, Volume I. Pindar Press. pp. 228–231–232–233. ISBN 9780907132325.
- Sagona, Antonio G. and Sagona, Claudia (2004) An historical geography and a field survey of the Bayburt province (in the series: Archaeology at the north-east Anatolian frontier) Peeters Press, Louvain, Belgium, page 58, ISBN 90-429-1390-8
- "Pasinler Thermal Resort" Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism
- Map of Pasinler area from MapWizard
- Map of Pasinler area from Bugday TaTuTa
- MSN Map
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