Location of Fındıklı within Turkey
|• Mayor||Adnan Özbalaban (AKP)|
|• District||394.96 km2 (152.49 sq mi)|
|• District density||40/km2 (100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||(0090)+ 464|
The town was formerly known as Vitze (Laz and Georgian: Vi3'e), which some claim means "twig" or "branch" in the Laz language and was renamed Fındıklı ("place with hazelnuts" in Turkish) after the hazelnuts grown in the town, although these have now mostly been replaced with tea.
Scholar Özhan Öztürk claims that the town's former and native name comes from the word vis, meaning "town" in the now-extinct Thracian language and other Indo-European languages (Old Persian vith, Avesta visa, Sanskrit vesah, Gothic weihs, etc.). Öztürk claims that Istanbul's old name Byzantion; the town of Vize in Kırklareli Province in western Thracian region of Turkey; the towns of Viçe, Visir, Aşağı Viçe, Arhavi (Arkeo + Vice, "old town"), Visera, and Vizera in the Pontus region of Turkey (where Fındıklı is also located); the towns of Bizirne and Bizeri in the Paphlagonia region of Turkey; the towns of Visa, Visani, Viziru, and Vizireni in Romania; and the town of Vis in Bulgaria derive their names from the same origin.
There is little flat land in Fındıklı and most of the population lives in two large valleys, the Çağlayan (Laz: აბუ Abu) and the Arılı (ფიცხალა Pi3xala). The climate is typical of the Black Sea coast, 6 months of dark cloud, 4 months overcast, six weeks of light cloud and 19 days of sunshine, with light rain at some point during every one of the 365 days of the year. These conditions are ideal for the crops that drive the local economy, namely tea, hazelnuts, and some other fruits. The town currently produces around 32,000 tons of tea and 750 tons of hazelnuts each year. Other produce include milk, meat, eggs, honey and fish, and the new development is the planting of kiwi fruit.
Fındıklı itself is a small market town of 9,980 people. There is little developed industry, and the younger generations regularly migrate away to jobs in larger cities.
The people are mostly ethnic Laz.
See Rize Province for the history the area, once part of the Colchis i.e. Lazica, Roman Empire, Kingdom of Georgia and the Empire of Trebizond, brought into the Ottoman Empire in 1509, and briefly occupied by Russia at the end of World War I.
Fındıklı is twinned with:
- "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- Özhan Öztürk. Pontus: Antik Çağ’dan Günümüze Karadeniz’in Etnik ve Siyasi Tarihi. Genesis Yayınları. Ankara, 2011. 2. Baskı p. 247-348. ISBN 978-605-54-1017-9
- District governor's official website (Turkish)