Top left: Statue of Kemal Atatürk in Belediye Park, top right: View of SS Bandırma museum ship, center: Ondokuz Mayıs University, bottom: View of Samsun and Black Sea from Balipaşa area.
|• Mayor||Yusuf Ziya Yılmaz (AKP)|
|• Metropolitan municipality||1,055 km2 (407 sq mi)|
|• Density||573/km2 (1,480/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||(+90) 362|
Samsun is a city with a population over half a million people on the north coast of Turkey. It is the provincial capital of Samsun Province and a major Black Sea port. The growing city has 2 universities, several hospitals, shopping malls, a lot of light manufacturing industry, sports facilities and an opera.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 People
- 4 Government
- 5 Geography
- 6 Architecture
- 7 Transport
- 8 Economy
- 9 Culture
- 10 Education
- 11 Media
- 12 Health
- 13 Parks and Nature Reserves
- 14 Sports
- 15 International relations
- 16 Notable people
- 17 See also
- 18 References
- 19 External links
The present name of the city may come from its former Greek name of Amisos by a shortening of Eis Amisos (meaning to Amisos) + ounta (Greek suffix for place names) to Sampsunda (Σαμψούντα) and then Samsun (pronounced [sɑmsun]).
The early Greek historian Hecataeus wrote that Amisos was formerly called Enete, the place mentioned in Homer's Iliad. It has also been known as Peiraieos by Athenian settlers and even briefly as Pompeiopolis by a Roman statesman who wanted it named after him.
The city was called Simisso by the Genoese and during the Ottoman Empire the present name was written in Ottoman Turkish: صامسون
Paleolithic artifacts found in the Tekkeköy Caves can be seen in Samsun Archaeology Museum.
Samsun (then known as Amisos, alternative spelling Amisus) was settled between the years of 760–750 BC by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. The city's ideal combination of fertile ground and shallow waters attracted numerous traders.
Tumuli, containing tombs dated between 300BC and 30BC, can be seen at Amisos Hill but unfortunately Toraman Tepe was mostly flattened during construction of the 20th century radar base.
Christian bishops of Amisus include Antonius, who took part in the Council of Chalcedon in 451; Erythraeus, a signatory of the letter that the bishops of Helenopontus wrote to Emperor Leo I the Thracian after the killing of Patriarch Proterius of Alexandria; the late 6th-century bishop Florus, venerated as a saint in the Greek menologion; and Tiberius, who attended the Third Council of Constantinople (680), Leo, the Second Council of Nicaea (787), and Basilius, the Council of Constantinople of 879. The diocese is no longer mentioned in the Greek Notitiae Episcopatuum after the 15th century and thereafter the city was considered part of the see of Amasea. However, some Greek bishops of the 18th and 19th centuries bore the title of Amisus as titular bishops. In the 13th century the Franciscans had a convent at Amisus, which became a Latin bishopric some time before 1345, when its bishop Paulus was transferred to the recently conquered city of Smyrna and was replaced by the Dominican Benedict, who was followed by an Italian Armenian called Thomas. No longer a residential diocese, it is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.
Samsun was part of the Seljuk Empire and was one of the Genoese colonies. After the breakup of the Seljuk Empire into small principalities (beyliks) in the late 13th century, the city was ruled by one of them, the Isfendiyarids. It was captured from the Isfendiyarids at the end of the 14th century by the rival Ottoman beylik (later the Ottoman Empire) under sultan Bayezid I, but was lost again shortly afterwards.
In the later Ottoman period, the land around the town mainly produced tobacco, with its own type being grown in Samsun, the Samsun-Bafra, which the British described as having "small but very aromatic leaves", and commanding a "high price." The town was connected to the railway system in the second half of the 19th century, and tobacco trade boomed. There was a British consulate in the town from 1837 to 1863.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established the Turkish liberation movement against the Allies in Samsun on May 19, 1919, the date which traditionally marks the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence. Atatürk, appointed by the Ottoman government as Inspector of the Ninth Army Troops Inspectorate of the Empire in eastern Anatolia, left Constantinople aboard the now-famous SS Bandırma May 16 for Samsun. Instead of obeying the orders of the Ottoman government, then under the control of the occupying Allies, he and a number of colleagues declared the beginning of the liberation movement. Later in the War of Independence, the city was bombarded by the Greek Navy and the United States Navy.
By 1920, Samsun's population totaled about 36,000.
A US Airforce listening post (USAFSS) TUSLOG DET 3-2 was based in Samsun from 1956 until closure in the early 70s.
During the Tanzimat some people were exiled from the Balkans  and in the mid-19th century Circassians expelled from the other side of the Black Sea. However the grandparents of many of the present inhabitants migrated to Samsun from further east on the Black Sea. In the 21st century some foreigners arrived, some for the universities and some as refugees e.g. from Syria.
Samsun is a long city which extends along the coast between two river deltas which jut into the Black Sea. It is located at the end of an ancient route from Cappadocia: the Amisos of antiquity lay on the headland northwest of the modern city center.
The city is growing fast: land has been reclaimed from the sea and many more apartment blocks and shopping malls are currently being built. Industry is tending to move (or be moved) east, further away from the city center and towards the airport.
To Samsun's west, lies the Kızılırmak ("Red River", the Halys of antiquity), one of the longest rivers in Anatolia and its fertile delta. To the east, lie the Yeşilırmak ("Green River", the Iris of antiquity) and its delta. The River Mert reaches the sea at the city.
Samsun has a borderline oceanic/humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb/Cfa); like most of the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey. Spring temperatures can vary dramatically from week to week. Summers are warm and humid, and the average maximum temperature is around 27 °C (81 °F) in August. Winters are cool and damp, and the lowest average minimum temperature is around 3 °C (37 °F) in January.
Precipitation is heaviest in late autumn and early winter. Snow sometimes occurs between the months of December and March, but never more than a few centimeters of snow falls in the city, and temperatures below the freezing point rarely last more than a couple of days.
There is not usually enough wind to fly kites in the parks.
The water temperature, like on the rest of the Black Sea coast of Turkey, fluctuates between 8–20 °C (46–68 °F) throughout the year.
|Climate data for Samsun|
|Record high °C (°F)||22
|Average high °C (°F)||10
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.6
|Average low °C (°F)||3.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||74
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||10||10||11||9||8||6||4||4||6||7||8||9||92|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||93||84||124||150||217||270||310||279||210||155||120||93||2,105|
|Source #1: BBC Weather for record temperatures, precipitation, rainy days, sunshine and humidity|
|Source #2: = Climate-Data.org[unreliable source?] for average temperatures|
- Pazar Mosque, Samsun's oldest surviving building, a mosque built by the Ilkhanate Mongols in the 13th century.
- Valide or Büyük Mosque was built by Batumlu Hacı Efendi in 1884. Its name "Valide" comes from the mother of Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz.
- Hacı Hatun Mosque dates from 1694.
Long distance buses: the bus station is outside the city centre, but most bus companies provide a free transfer there if you have a ticket.
Railway: Passenger and freight trains run to Sivas via Amasya. The train station is in the city center. Freight trains are taken by ferry to railways at Kavkaz in Russia, and will later see service to the port of Varna in Bulgaria and Poti in Georgia.
Light rail: Modern trams run between the train station and Ondokuz Mayıs University.
City buses 
Dolmuş: The routes are numbered 1 to 4 and each route has different color minibuses.
Airline: Samsun-Çarşamba Airport is 23 km (14 mi) east of the city center. It is possible to reach the airport by Havas service buses: they depart from the coach park close to Kultur Sarayi in the city center. 
Horse-drawn carriages (Turkish:fayton) run along the seafront.
Bike: There is automated bike rental along the seafront operated by Sambis, part of the city council.
Ports and shipbuilding
Samsun is a port city. In the early 20th century, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey funded the building of a harbor. Before the building of the harbor, ships had to anchor to deliver goods, approximately 1 mile or more from shore. Trade and transportation was focused around a road to and from Sivas. The privately operated port fronting the city centre handles freight, including RORO ferries to Novorossiysk, whereas fishing boats land their catches in a separate harbour slightly further east. A ship building yard is under construction at the eastern city limit. Road and rail freight connections with central Anatolia can be used to send inland both the agricultural produce of the surrounding well rained upon and fertile land, and also imports from overseas.
Manufacturing and Food Processing
There is a light industrial zone between the city and the airport. The main manufactured products are medical devices and products, furniture (wood is imported across the Black Sea), tobacco products (although tobacco farming is now limited by the government), chemicals and automobile spare parts.
Flour mills import wheat from Ukraine and export some of the flour.
Local government and services
Provincial government and services (e.g. courts, prisons and hospitals) support the surrounding region. Agricultural research establishments support provincial agriculture and food processing.
Most of the many new shopping malls are purpose built, but the former tobacco factory in the city center has been converted into a mall.
The Atatürk Culture Center
Atatürk Kültür Sarayı (AKM - Palace of Culture). Concerts and other performances are held at the Kultur Sarayi, which is shaped much like a ski jump. Samsun State Opera and Ballet performs in The Atatürk Culture Center. Founded in 2009 it is one of the six state opera houses in Turkey. The Samsun Opera have performed Die Entführung (W. A. Mozart) in the annual Istanbul Opera Festival. In collaboration with The Pekin Opera, The Samsun Opera performed Puccini's Madama Butterfly in the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival in 2012. Other performances include La bohème, La traviata, Don Quijote, Giselle. The current musical director is Lorenzo Castriota Skanderbeg.
- Archaeological and Atatürk Museum. The archaeological part of the museum displays ancient artifacts found in the Samsun area, including the Amisos treasure. The Atatürk section includes photographs of his life and some personal belongings.
- Atatürk (Gazi) Museum. It houses Atatürk's bedroom, his study and conference room as well as some personal belongings.
- Samsun City Museum. A new museum.
There is an annual international festival.
There are two universities in Samsun: the state run Ondokuz Mayıs University and the private sector Canik Başarı University. There is also a police training college  and many small private colleges.
There is a local newspaper called Haber Gazetesi and a local TV channel.
There are many public and private hospitals.
Parks and Nature Reserves
- Batı (west) Park is a large park on land reclaimed from the sea
- Doğu (east) Park
- Atatürk Park contains his statue by Austrian sculptor Heinrich Krippel, which was completed in 1931. The statue was depicted on the obverse of the Turkish 100,000 lira banknotes of 1991-2001.
- Çakırlar Korusu 
Tekkeköy Yaşar Doğu Arena opened in 2013.
Football is the most popular sport: in the older districts above the city center children often kick balls around in the evenings in the smallest streets. The city's football club is Samsunspor, which plays its games at the Samsun 19 Mayıs Stadium.
Basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, cable skiing (in summer), horse riding, go karting, paintballing, martial arts and many other sports are played. Cycling and jogging are only common along the sea front, where recreational fishing is also popular.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Samsun is twinned with:
- North Little Rock, Arkansas, United States (2006)
- Gorgan, Iran
- İskele, Northern Cyprus (2006)
- Novorossiysk, Russia (2007)
- Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2007)
- Kalmar, Sweden (2008)
- Bordeaux, France (2010)
- Kiel, Germany (2010)
- Tyrannion of Amisus - 1st century BCE grammarian
- Mustafa Dağıstanlı - two times Olympic gold medalist sports wrestler
- Yaşar Doğu - Gold medalist wrestler
- Orhan Gencebay - musician
- Tanju Çolak - 1987 European Golden Boot holder soccer player/striker
- Yıldıray Çınar - musician
- Mehmet Aslantuğ - actor
- Ece Erken – TV-hostess and actress
- Ahu Türkpençe - actress
- Deniz Kılıçlı, college basketball player at West Virginia University
- Şefik Avni Özüdoğru, military officer in the Ottoman and Turkish armies
- Özhan Öztürk. Karadeniz: Ansiklopedik Sözlük (Blacksea: Encyclopedic Dictionary). 2 Cilt (2 Volumes). Heyamola Publishing. Istanbul.2005 ISBN 975-6121-00-9
- "Samsun Guide".
- "Antik Amisos Kenti".
- "ESKİ SAMSUN' DA (AMİSOS) AYDINLANAN TARİH".
- Siméon Vailhé, v. Amisus, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XII, Paris 1953, coll. 1289-1290]
- Jean Richard, La Papauté et les missions d'Orient au Moyen Age (XIII-XV siècles), École Française de Rome, 1977, pp. 170–171 and 235-236
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 831
- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anatolia_1097_it.svg. Missing or empty
- Prothero, W.G. (1920). Armenia and Kurdistan. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 61.
- "Foreign Office: Consulate, Samsun, Ottoman Empire: Entry Books and Registers of Correspondence".
- Prothero, W.G. (1920). Armenia and Kurdistan. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 54.
- "The Exiles from Balkans to Black Sea Coast After the Tanzimat".
- "Report to the Board of Health of the Ottoman Empire, Samsun, May 20, 1864".
- "Climate: Samsun - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". 31 August 2013. Climate-Data.org.
- "BBC Weather - Samsun". BBC Weather. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- Samsun (tr)
- "Samsun-Kavkaz ferry line to link Turkey with Russia, Central Asia".
- "City buses".
- airport bus timetable
- "2023 Export Target 5 Billion Dollars".
- ""FESTİVALİ ANLAMAK" ve SAHİP".
- "Police college website (Turkish)".
- Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Banknote Museum: 7. Emission Group - One Hundred Thousand Turkish Lira - I. Series, II. Series & III. Series. – Retrieved on 20 April 2009.
- http://samsunsube.ormansu.gov.tr/Samsun/AnaSayfa/mesire.aspx?sflang=tr. Missing or empty
- "Tombstone for the gladiator Diodorus".
- "Samsun - Twin Towns". © Samsun-City.sk. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Samsun.|
- Samsun travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Samsun Governor's Office (Turkish)
- Samsun Metropolitan Municipality (Turkish)
- Official Tourist Information
- Port Authority
- Current port arrivals and departures
- Coins Amisus coins (click "Database" and search by state: Amisus)
- Amisos coins found on criminals
- Opera and Ballet
- A History of Amisos (Samsun)
- Samsun News Office (Turkish)
- Samsun Business (Turkish)
- Samsun Folk Dance Society (Turkish)