Full text




HISTORY - - - -10








TOKAT MUSEUM - - - -33





TAfi HAN (INN) - - - -38



MEYDAN CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -39





AL‹ TUS‹ TÜRBES‹ (TOMB) - - - -48

SULU HAN (INN) - - - -49






ULU CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -52


PAfiA HAMAMI (HAMMAM) - - - -54

PAfiA HAN (INN) - - - -54


BEHZAT CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -55

CLOCK TOWER - - - -55













BEY SOKA⁄I (STREET) - - - -60



PAZAR - - - -63



HACI S‹NAN CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -66


LAKE KAZ - - - -67 ARTOVA - - - -69 SULUSARAY - - - -73 SEBASTOPOL‹S - - - -74 THE CHURCH - - - -75 ROMAN BATH - - - -76 CITY WALLS - - - -76




YEfi‹LYURT - - - -79

Z‹LE - - - -81



Z‹LE ULU CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -88


HOCA ‹SHAK CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -89

ELBAfiO⁄LU CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -90

TURHAL - - - -93


ERBAA - - - -97











N‹KSAR - - - -103

N‹KSAR KALES‹ (CASTLE) - - - -105





N‹KSAR ULU CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) - - - -110



MEL‹K GAZ‹ TÜRBES‹ (TOMB) - - - -113

HOUSES OF N‹KSAR - - - -113

ÇAM‹Ç‹ PLATEAU - - - -114

BAfiÇ‹FTL‹K - - - -115

ALMUS - - - -117

ALMUS DAM LAKE - - - -119

REfiAD‹YE - - - -121

CASTLES - - - -122

LAKE Z‹NAV - - - -123




HANDICRAFT - - - -129





CHRONOLOGY - - - -148














With the advantage of having been built on the fertile lands of Yeflil›rmak, Kelkit and Çeke-rek Basins, the city of Tokat, which carries the traces of the several civilizations it harbo-red throughout its 7500 years of history; has been molded by a very diverse and rich cul-tural structure and has hosted 14 states and several seignior states.

On every piece of land of To-kat it is possible to find histo-rical artifacts that belong to several periods throughout Hatti, Hittite, Roman, Byzanti-ne, Seljuk and Ottoman eras. Our historical and cultural tre-asures like Hittite settlement, Maflathöyük Mound, Comana ancient city, Sebastopolis, which carries the traces of Ro-man and Byzantine eras, Nik-sar the capital of the State of Danishmend in history, the Tokat Castle, Mahperihatun Caravansary, Taflhan (Inn), Be-desten (old bazaar), Mevlevi-hane (lodge used by Mevlevi dervishes), Bey Street, Ata-türk House and many more make our city even more beau-tiful. Our traditions, food

cul-ture, clothing culcul-ture, folkloric values, copper craftsmanship, kerchief making, rug, kilim and textile weaving that have been preserved for centuries, are still being carried out with the same discipline and ent-husiasm today.

As an alternative to the sea, sand and sun combination, the historical texture that is the basis of cultural tourism, handicrafts like kerchief ma-king, copper craftsmanship, a life style that stuck with tradi-tions, natural beauties like ca-ves, plains, lakes and plateaus has given our city an impor-tant privilege.

As the people of Tokat our pri-mary purpose will be to pro-mote and present this herita-ge we have to our tarherita-get visi-tors both nationally and inter-nationally. We hope you to vi-sit our city Tokat, “a city of history, culture and nature”, and experience the historical, touristic, cultural and natural beauties via this city guide.

fierif YILMAZ Governor of Tokat


This city where “peaceful, ho-nest people live” has mainly risen and developed on the plains that the medium size ri-vers like Kelkit, Tozanl›, and Çekerek formed.

Since it is at the same sea le-vel as the shortest mountains of the southern shores of Black Sea, the rain clouds can reach it and cause a very nice climate to form. For this rea-son Tokat is neither as rainy as neither the Black Sea regi-on nor it is as dry as Central Anatolia, it rather has a

clima-te in between with all seasons in balance. Since the 3 parallel valleys that the 3 separate arms of Yeflil›rmak formed are at different altitudes, there are different areas with diffe-rent characteristics like Kelkit Valley (220 m) with its closer to Mediterranean climate, a little cooler Kazova (650 m), Artova (1100 m) with its closer to Central Anatolian dry conti-nental climate. Therefore, it carries all the vegetation of Anatolia, besides the several endemic plants.

Kelkit Creek





Although Tokat which has sta-ged several settlements, has been given different names throughout history, “Tokat” has been the most accepted and used one. However there is no clear evidence as to whe-re the name ‘Tokat’ comes from. The origin of the name ‘Tokat’ has special

importan-ce, because the historians ha-ve put a lot of effort on it. Be-sides the assumption that the city’s name “comes from To-gay›t Turks” who are thought to have settled here, some historians like Âli Cevat and ‹. Hakk› Uzunçarfl›l› also stay close to the word “Toh-Kat” which means “the city with walls”. There are also sayings that come from metaphors li-ke “Tok-at” which means ‘full (fed) horse’ or the place where the horses are gathered. City has been called names like Dokat, Kah-cun, Sobaru, To-gat, Tokiye, Dokiye, Tukiye throughout history.

The oldest recorded names of the historical city Tokat that has existed since Persian, Hel-lenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras starting in the 4th cen-tury B.C. and of its surroun-dings are Komana Pontika, Ev-doxia, and Dokia.

Ramsay who is considered to be the source in regards to the roots of names of many cities in Anatolia said “Tokat is the ancient Byzantium castle of Dazimon”. However, H.

Grego-The Meeting Point of Yeflil›rmak and Kelkit Creek

Traditional Domicil Architecture


rie has pretty much proven that the mentioned place is “Dazmana in the southeast of Turhal”. Paul Wittek claims that Tokat is the city of Dokei-a of ByzDokei-antium. One of Wit-tek’s evidences is that the Byzantine historian Khoniates had recorded the government center of Seljuk as “Dokeia”. In ‹bn Bibi and ‹bn’ül Esir’s writings the name of the city is “Tokat”. One of the 13th cen-tury Arabic historians Muhyid-din bin Abduzzahir had written “They went to a castle called Tokat that is 4 days away from Kayseri “The name of the city which was mentioned as Tohi-ya, Toqia, Tokia, and Dokia in the two copies of the Tarih-i Al-i Danishmend, which was written in colloquial Turkish in 13th century had changed to Tokat in its 3rd copy.

Within the comments regar-ding the source of the name of the city, we come across some famous people. One of them is the Byzantium king Romanos Diogenes who was defeated at Malazgirt. The historian Mic-hael Attaliates who is also known for his thoughts regar-ding the earthquakes in Ana-tolia tells about the arrival of Romanos Diogenes, whom Alp Arslan released, at the castle as “He conquered the castle of Dokeia and he founded his army quarters there”. Ebu’l-Fereç refers to the same event without using the word “con-quer” by: “He went to the castle of Doqia and he settled in Doqia”. As per other histori-ans, we come across the event as “Emperor Diogones was imprisoned here”.Sargon Er-dem, at the conference that he




gave for the city said that “the name Dokeia was formed by adding the Greek suffix ‘ia’, used for place names, to the word doke: “In Greek doke or dohe which is also the root of the infinitive dekomai or de-homai (to contain, to hold) means ‘bowl, pan, water pan’. It can be claimed that the Do-keia might have meant ‘bowl country’. Since Tokat is surro-unded by mountains, its geog-raphical shape is like a bowl. Seljuks called the city Darü’n-Nusret. When the city was ta-ken by Y›ld›r›m Bayezid in 1392, its name was changed to Darü’n-nasr. City’s name set in the Arabic Language as Dokat and in Ottoman Turkish as Tokat. The area seen from the Castle, now quite narrowed by the modern buildings, is in fact the city’s historic square. We will go down to the most beautiful building there via K›rk Badallar (Forty Steps Sta-irway) from which we can see the city from a wide angle. The wide angle at the start will di-minish by every step. Before walking down the stairway, you can examine the mahaleb trees over the stairway. This is

where Tokat used to grow ma-haleb and grapes in small vi-neyard gardens. Besides its significant culinary culture To-kat is known for being the only city that makes mahaleb wine. The Pervane Darüflflifa (hospi-tal) on Gazi Osman Pafla Bul-var› also known as Gök Medre-se (Madrasah) is important both as regards to getting to know a Seljuk work of art and also since, in the building which is currently a museum, we can see cross sections from Tokat’s close to six thou-sand years of history.

Taflhan (Inn)



BRIEF HISTORY OF TOKAT It is known that Tokat has a history that goes back to 5500 B.C. The region that was under the Hittite rule around 2000 B.C. was then ruled by the kingdoms of Phrygia, Persia, Cappadocia and Macedonia. It was under the control of Pon-tus in the 4th century B.C. and Rome in the 1st century B.C. and was connected to Byzanti-um in 395. Tokat, being under Byzantium until the 11th cen-tury, started being raided by Turkomans after 11th century. It is said that the region beca-me part of Danishbeca-mend land after Malazgirt War and went under Seljuks in 1175. The city was ruled by ‹lhanl› after 1243 Köseda¤ War, Eretna after 1335, Qadi Burhaneddin in 1388 and became part of Otto-man land in 1392. After sepa-rating from Ottoman rule for a period after Ankara War, it went under Ottoman rule aga-in aga-in 1413. Tokat was highly damaged during the Celali in-surgencies in 16th and 17th centuries and was made a dis-trict of the State of Sivas in

1863, a governorship in 1878, independent shire in 1920 and a province in 1923.

Tokat was one of the most im-portant cities in Anatolia in 12th and 13th centuries. Espe-cially being on a region where the caravan roads (commerce route) lay helped Tokat deve-lop in a short time and with this economic progress the city was structured with buil-dings of religious and social functions majority of which stood till today.

It is understood that Tokat continued its development du-ring Ottoman era. As per the registries on census of Tokat dated 1455 there were 200 Muslim and 1000 Christian, a total of 3000 tax payers. The population of the city is esti-mated to be around 15.000. Numbers of neighborhood units were 56.

Due to the earthquakes in late 15th century and some upri-sings, Tokat declined econo-mically and its population was reduced. Its economy partly recovered in 16th century and by the end of the century the history



population went up to 15.000 again. Evliya Çelebi, who came to Tokat in 16th century, describes Tokat as “a city with mild weather and with vineyards and gardens all around. The fruits are tasty and nice. There is a villa, pool, fountain and several fruit trees in every vineyard. The mosques, palaces and alms houses are admired by the visitors”.

Tokat carried its 16th century progress into mid 17th cen-tury. As per Tournefort who stayed in Tokat in early 18th century, Tokat houses were very well built and most of them were two storey. Pave-ments were built to protect the basements of the houses from the rain. With the city ha-ving rich water supplies every house had its own tap. Again as per Tournefort the city had just had a fire and was under repair.

As per the register of the city of Tokat dated 1772 the city had 73 neighborhood units. According to an evaluation made in 1851, there were

2.271 Muslim and 1.685 non-Muslim households in Tokat. The population is estimated to be around 20.000. In mid 19th century there were 73 neigh-borhood units in the city. This number, being the same as the registry records of 1772, shows that there was an eco-nomic recession in the city. This recession is also verified by the records that show the number of businesses. While the total number of busines-ses consisting of shopkeepers and craftsmen was 1.478 in 1827, the number of store type businesses went down to 1.300 in 1883 and 1886-87. These numbers show that the urban production performan-ce has been at a decline. Whi-le earthquakes and Celali insurgencies affected the decline, it is understood that with the changing economic relationships in 19th century the economic progress that to-ok place in some port cities like Samsun also had a role. After the Republic its economy became dependent on agriculture.





Tokat with a surface area of 9958 km2covers 1.3% of

Tur-key’s land is in the Black Sea Region, in the inner part of Central Black Sea area. It has Samsun and Ordu at north, Si-vas and Yozgat at south, Amasya at west. Tokat is at la-titude 39° 51’-40° 55’ N, longi-tude 35° 27’- 37° 39’ E and 623 m altitude.

Tokat is in between the valleys formed between Akda¤ (1900 m) and Çaml›bel Mountains (2020 m). Deveci Mountain (1892 m), Dumanl› Mountain (2200 m), Canik Mountains

(1340 m), Bugal› Mountain (1945 m) and Mamu Mountain (1779 m) are Tokat’s other sig-nificant mountains. Kazova (20.000 hectares), Turhal in (4500 hectares), Erbaa in (6500 hectares), Niksar in (8000 hectares), Omala in (3200 hectares), Artova Pla-in (15.000 hectares) and Zile Plains (Total 10.000 hectares) are fertile agricultural lands and significant amount of vegetable and fruit are grown on them. The most important genetic supplies of cherry and sour cherry are in Tokat.


Kazova Plain



Cerasus inkana a kind of cher-ry is an endemic plant of Tokat.

The main plateaus are; Top-çam, Batmantafl, Muhat and Dumanl› in the center, Selemen in Refladiye, Bozçal› and K›z›lcaören, Almus Baba-köy and Çamiçi in Niksar. Tozanl› Creek, Kelkit Creek and Çekerek Creek run thro-ugh the city. Lake Zinav, Lake Göllü Köy, Lake Kaz and Lake Almus Dam are the largest la-kes and water basins of the city. Hosting many bird speci-es, Lake Kaz is put under pre-servation. Lake Almus Dam is

an ideal one for water sports. Tokat has hosted many civili-zations, has understood the vivid green, the cool and com-forting light of the endless fo-rests that rooted in soil for hundreds of years and plains that formed in millions of ye-ars, has developed by diges-ting the experiences of diffe-rent cultures.

When you look up from Tozan-l› Creek that gives the city a calm coolness with its flowing sound at the start of spring and summer, you will meet To-kat Castle sitting on steep cliffs.


Kelkit Creek


Since it is in between valleys surrounded by mountains and in the inner part of Cen-tral Black Sea Region, Tokat has the characteristics of both the Black Sea Region cli-mate and the steppe clicli-mate of Central Anatolia.

The city is hot and dry in the lower areas and cool and

partly rainy in the higher are-as in summer, it is cold and snowy in winter. The distance from the sea and the altitude has great effect on Tokat’s climate. For example, the win-ter gets more severe from north to south since the altitude increases in that direction.







The legendary hero of scary movies, namely Vlad the Im-paler! Vlad III the prince of the kingdom of Eflak (Romania) which was defeated by Otto-mans, aka Dracula, after being held under custody first in the Castle of Kütahya E¤rigöz then in Tokat Castle together with his brother, was sent to Edirne near Prince Mehmet (Fatih Sultan Mehmet), was provi-ded education for a period of time. Who knew he would drift away from Ottoman discipline and become a vampire. In the evening when you stand in the Hükümet Meydan› (Square) and look towards the west bastion of the Tokat Castle and move your eyes away ho-rizontally you will see Dracula with his crown on.

TOKAT KALES‹ (CASTLE) There is no certain information regarding the construction da-te and early days of use of To-kat Castle. However, taking in-to consideration; its position, plan, construction technique and some historical events in which it is referred to, it is concluded that the structure was built some time in 5th or 6th century A.D. Added to the-se findings are names like Ev-doksia, EnEv-doksia, Dokia that the castle was mentioned with.

The steep cliff that the castle sits on is actually a natural castle itself. It must be this fe-ature that had attracted the first settlers who we don’t know and some Christian gro-ups that migrated from Koma-na Pontika (Gümenek) to settle here.

Tokat Castle (The silhouette of Count Dracula)



This steep cliff 9 km west of Komana is a quite safe point since it controls the narrow K›-z›linifl Pass towards Sivas on one side and makes it possib-le to control the road to the castle via the steep G›j G›j Hill on the other. It should also be added that the cliff looks en-during against natural des-tructions. The castle carries the traces of Middle Age archi-tecture in many ways. Its walls made of ashlars and rubble stone cascade as inner and outer walls and sit on masses of rocks on the east and west sides. The layout was made in order to situate the natural rock on the north side as a ga-te. The pentagon shaped structure was supported by eighteen bastions and the cis-tern on the west named “Cey-lan Yolu” was made to meet

the water need during sieges. Its towers, bastions, crenels and part of its walls have ma-de it to today. There are a lot of sites inside it. While the va-ulted buildings can still be se-en today, only the foundations of the other buildings remain. The north and south walls are mostly damaged due to eart-hquakes and lack of repair. In this direction only one bastion and the walls on the main rock stand today. After seeing it from the inside as well as from a distance we can say that: Even the parts of the building that made it to today be eno-ugh to describe its magnifi-cence despite hundreds of ye-ars of negligence and damage. Historical documents indicate that the fortress remained in the hands of the Byzantines for many years after its



truction. The castle which was repaired and renovated during Seljuk and Ottoman eras to be used for defense also became famous as a prison and shelter for insurgents and administra-tors from time to time. The Ot-tomans, who were the last so-vereigns of the fortress, called it “Çardak-› Bedevi” meaning “pergola of the nomads”, per-haps to emphasize this featu-re. Ebu’l Fereç writes about the kidnapping of G›yaseddin Keyhüsrev 2 by Muineddin Pervane after the march of the Mameluk Sultan Baybars to Kayseri in 1277, as follows: “He seized the Sultan and fled to the Doquia Castle.” This do-cument is significant in that it mentions one of the names of the city in those years. GÖK MEDRESE (MADRASAH)

Gök Madrasah considered as one of the important buildings of Anatolian Seljuk tribe does not have an epigraph. Howe-ver, taking into consideration the time when Muineddin Sü-leyman Pervane was effective,

it is assumed that it was built in the third quarter of 13th century. ‹bni Bibi writes about Pervane as follows:

‘‘After Seljuk army was defea-ted at Köseda¤ War in 1243 Mongolians and Muineddin Süleyman Pervane establis-hed diplomatic relationships. Mongolians admired him very much and did not deal with anyone else”

Pervane the Grand Vizier who managed the state affairs bet-ween Seljuk and Mongolian sultans is known to be a per-son who protected erudite and sheiks, and even “a person who built friendship with Mev-lana Celaleddin-i Rumi”. How developed this friendship was, could be understood from the books named Mena-kib-ül Arifin and Fi-hi Mafih. Mevlana’s praise for Muinid-din Süleyman Pervane and how Mevlana sent one of his caliphs Fahreddin-i Iraki to To-kat upon the demand of Perva-ne, have a dergah (Islamic mo-nastery) built for him and how Mawlawi faith reached this city while Mevlana was still

Gök Madrasah



alive, are expressed in these books that are the oldest two sources about Mawlawi sect. It is understood from the re-gisters that Gök Madrasah was used as a healing house till 18th century. The Madra-sah was also called names among the people such as Pervane Madrasah, K›rk K›zlar Madrasah, Darüflflifa, and Bimarhane.

Nameless Twins

It is as hard to understand the architectural essence of Gök Madrasah as the process of building it; and it would not be an overstatement if we say, as the Tokat people do, that this is an “çelpeflük” (meaning ‘in-tricate’) matter. Before ente-ring the ground floor of the Madrasah which is arranged as a museum now; let’s try to familiarize with the structure on the left at the northeast front of the building whose fo-undation was revealed more with the excavations in the re-cent years. The foundation shows that there used to be a building here similar to Gök

Madrasah in regards to layout and to the thought behind the construction. To understand this building is to understand Gök Madrasah. One of the very first people who draw at-tention to the characteristics of these foundations is Gönül Cantay: “There is a second bu-ilding at northeast of the Mad-rasah that was built attached and connected at a centerline parallel to the longer centerli-ne of the existing building” “The ruins of this building are the remnants of the main brick antechamber (iwan), with its tunnel vaults. In the northwest corner of the antechamber, there is a rectangular, covered area with tunnel vaults. A win-dow aperture and immedia-tely next to it the ruins of a chimney in an oven niche have been found in the wall separa-ting this space and the main antechamber. Furthermore, there is an original 1.20x1.00 m ventilation aperture on the vault covering; a rectangular window on the west wall al-most at vault level; and loop-holes in the narrow wall.”



The authentic entrance of this place was revealed more with the excavation started at the end of 1980. The northwest wall of the corner place ex-tends to north. The shared wall of the main iwan and Gök Madrasah makes its way down around a corner cham-fer. We can say that the wall close to the antechamber is the remnant of a gangway. According to the unpublished opinions of Ekrem Anafl, an art history expert who served long years in Tokat Museum, this building discovered by an excavation next to Gök Madra-sah at north and which is qui-te ruined can be the Danish-mend Madrasah. The three northwest rooms of Gök Mad-rasah are not symmetrical and only the part, where these three rooms are, is left as one floor while the Madrasah was planned as two floors. When evaluated it is seen that these two rooms rather belong to the ruins next door than Gök Madrasah. The city level kept rising due to the floods and this elevation helps us with dates. The levels of the ruins and Gök Madrasah are diffe-rent. Therefore it is thought that it belongs to an earlier

ti-me and its layout seems to be similar to Danishmend Madra-sah. Briefly it is thought that the north part of Gök Madra-sah sits on the south part of Danishmend Madrasah. The structural characteristic of Gök Madrasah

Before passing by the Roman range stone (equivalent of traffic signs on the main roads in our day) and entering Gök Medrese, you have to stop at the Portal, which is made of bicoloured cut stone. The muqarnas above the Portal, i.e. the ornamentation made by aligning prismatic ele-ments one above the other in a certain geometrical order in such a way that each row proj-ects from the row immediately below it, is one of the symbols of Islamic architecture. There are two small vaulted win-dows on the Portal where local red stone is used, but the rosettes complementing these windows are broken. Pervane Darüflflifas› has been planned as a two-storey build-ing with porticos and a court-yard in the middle. The façade is latticed with stone. The courtyard, surrounded by two floors with porticos, has one

Next to the Gök Madrasah, Ruins of Madrasah


antechamber. Most of the por-tico pillars and capitals are survivals from the Roman and Byzantine Era. There are 17 rooms on the first floor, and 15 rooms on the second floor. The pool in the coourtyard today is not original. The inner walls of the main antechamber in the west and the porches surrounding the courtyard were covered with turquoise and purple tiles. It would be reasonable to assume that the name “Gök Medrese” (‘gök’ in Turkish meaning ‘sky’) originates from the azure tiles. The arc and

corners of the main antecham-ber are covered with botanical and geometric compositions and writings made in faience mosaic technique. This way, we made it to Gazi Osman Pafla Bulvar› which splits the center of Tokat into half on east and west. Osman Pafla the hero of Plevne War who was entitled “Gazi (Veteran)” by Abdülhamid II for the great resilience and courage he showed as a commander, was from here. The boulevard is the main road, which connects the past, today, and the future of the city, and as the locals


Graves, Tokat Museum

Bust, Roman Period


says its töreyen (diverse, ris-ing, increasing) culture. Before going to the historical center of the city we will walk about fifty meters back towards where the bus termi-nal is and we will see Sümbül Baba Convent which has some common elements with Gök Madrasah and a little further away Nureddin ‹bn Sentimur Tomb.


Tokat Museum was founded in 1926 by the gathering of the historical artifacts collected with the efforts of retired teacher Halis Cinlio¤lu in Gök Medrese, which is on Gazi Osman Pafla Bulvar› and was built by Muiniddin Süleyman Pervane in the third quarter of 13th century. The monumen-tal building still accommodat-ing the museum was planned as a two -storey building with porticos, two antechambers and a courtyard in the middle. The building was extended with the expropriation of the surrounding buildings in 1976 and reopened as a museum in

1982. Works found during the Maflat Mound excavations, and during the Hanözü sam-pling excavations; items from the Christian era; and ethno-graphic items are assembled


Medal, Early Bronze Age


in the exhibition hall. Coins with great historical value and decorative artifacts are also among the precious pieces of the museum. In terms of vari-ance and numbers Tokat Museum has a very rich coin collection. In the museum it is also possible to review arti-facts of several Anatolian civi-lizations and the ones that were discovered in the Ulutepe excavations. A lot of stelae, tablets, grave stones from several Islamic periods and embossed stone artifacts are exhibited in the ruins next to Gök Madrasah, in the inner and outer gardens.


(CONVENT & TOMB) It is the most beautiful con-vent of the city that hosts an unseen number of hermitages from 13-15th centuries. It is understood from its epigraph that it was built by Hac› Abdul-laho¤lu Sümbül in 1291-92. The building consists of a do-me with an iwan opening to it, an entrance corridor and side

rooms and a tomb. The most attention-grabbing element of the building is its portal that is made of white marble all over. There are two niches on either side of the arc shaped ope-ning of the portal with nine la-yers of muqarnas semi-dome.


Sümbül Baba Convent




As per the epigraph on the win-dow of the east front; it was built by Nureddin ‹bn Sentimur in 1314. The building whose la-yout is square and is made of ashlar stone, is covered by an octagon brick cone. The vaul-tes that form a passage to the dome can be seen from outside as well. The east front facing the street is embellished with palmet and rumi compositions. On the epitaph further below the eastern window, the follo-wing lines from the poem of Firdevsi, the great master of the Persian language, can be read; this could be translated

as: “Let your mission be wors-hip of God/Meditate so that you do not live in vain/Do not hurt anybody for fear of God/It is the straightforward course which you must take” The south front of the Tomb, where the entrance opening with the low arc is, is quite pla-in. On the epigraph on the pe-diment, there are words repea-ting religion’s history old pre-aching of the afterlife: “Every soul will experience death”. HIDIRLIK KÖPRÜSÜ (BRIDGE)

700 year old H›d›rl›k Bridge, which is an intersection con-necting west roads from

Nureddin ‹bn Sentimur Tomb



Amasya and Turhal to east and roads of Black Sea to Cen-tral Anatolia, has 5 arched openings. It is 151 m long and 7 m wide and is made of cut stone. Inscriptions on this Sel-jukian work throw light on an event in that era. On the epi-taph, which previously had a marble sphere above it, the three sons of G›yaseddin Key-hüsrev II, i.e ‹zzeddin, Ruk-neddin and Alaeddin, who we-re engaged in conflict for thwe-re- thre-e ythre-ears, arthre-e mthre-entionthre-ed togthre-et- toget-her. Savants of those times ai-med to settle the conflict among the three brothers with the help of a work of art; and they succeeded.

The H›d›rl›k pasture near the bridge has been Tokat’s ex-cursion spot for centuries. Ev-liya Çelebi who calls this place “Kümsük Sultan Tekkesi Mesi-resi” continues: “All the peop-le, together with their families and friends come and have a good time.”

The tomb next to the bridge, which is in a dilapidated state due to lack of care and mainte-nance, is important in that it conjures up associations both

with the past, and with the history of Anatolian sects with the sgraffito designs inside the building.


(CONVENT & TOMB) It is thought that the fieyh Meknun Tomb was built by Mesut bin Keykavus as a soup kitchen in the 13th century. Since it does not have an epig-raph it is not known to whom it belongs to.

The building consists of a do-me room and an iwan and a tomb connected to them. The door of the rubble stone tomb is in the south direction. There are the room with the dome where the grave is and two cells. Part of the blue, egg-plant purple and black tiles on the walls does not exist today. There are two embellishments made in engraving technique on the north wall of the dome room inside the building. One of the eyeful buildings of the historical center that we wal-ked through baya¤tan (‘just now’ in Tokat dialect) is a ca-ravansaray.




Another name of Tafl Han which is at the corner of the street next to Gök Madrasah is Voyvoda Han. While it does not have an epigraph pointing out the construction date it is thought that it was built bet-ween the years of 1631-32. The building, one of the most important monumental buil-dings in the region of the Otto-man era, was highly damaged in the 1939 earthquake and was repaired. Lying north to south, the rectangular buil-ding is made of rubble stone and brick. On the lower level of the north side cut stone was used and on the top level an alternating technique of cut stone and brick was applied. There is a large courtyard at the center of the two storey inn and porches on the sides of both floors facing the court-yard. There are 37 shops insi-de and 25 shops outsiinsi-de the lower level of the inn which has a prayer room. No matter for what purpose these shops are used, with its arcs and sto-ne structure it makes you feel that you are inside a historical building. And on the top level

there are 46 rooms/ sections. It is the biggest city inn of 17th century among the likes. This dimension gives an idea of the volume of trade in the city. Financial difficulties encoun-tered in the last years of the Ottoman Empire led to some projects “aimed at revenue-producing foundations”. From then onwards the caravansary has been used for different purposes. For a certain period of time it was rented out then was given back to the Admi-nistration of Foundations, and then to Ministry of Justice to be used as a prison, shortly af-ter became a wholesale fruit/ vegetable market probably since it is in the center of the city and then a student dormi-tory. Tafl Han which was reno-vated in 2006-2007 is cur-rently hosting the artists who perform traditional craft-smanship in Tokat. Without ‘çöçelenmek’ in the local dia-lect (without wasting time, lo-itering), you must walk to-wards the city square to get to know this city and its surroun-dings better. Where we are is the center of modern Tokat as well as the old city and at this

Tafl Han (Inn)



point, when we cross the road, we can see at once a few his-torical buildings close to each other.


Although it is named after Pir Ahmed Bey, Ahmed Bey who rests in this tomb is not identi-fied for sure. One view is “it belongs to Pir Ahmed the son of Ali Bey one of the governors of Ertena Khanate, and his family”. The cover and the walls of the building also known as Horozo¤lu Tomb are ruined. The tomb which opens out like an iwan has a close-to-square rectangle layout. HOROZO⁄LU ZAV‹YES‹ (CONVENT)

The building next to Pir Ahmed Bey (Horozo¤lu) Tomb was built in the first quarter of the 15th century and has the most advanced layout among the convents in Tokat. On the southern wing of the dome next to the entrance is a

vault-ed room; both the eastern and western wings feature two rooms each, covered with a symmetrical dome. The build-ing was decorated with plas-ter panels with plant and ani-mal figures but these decora-tions were highly damaged over time and now can only slightly be seen on one wall of the room on the southeast side.

MEYDAN CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) The original name is Hatuniye Mosque. The Mosque was bu-ilt in 1485 in the name of Gül-bahar Hatun, mother of

Baye-Horozo¤lu Convent



zid II. After damaged by eart-hquakes of 1931 and 1943, it was repaired with the help of the people and was opened for service again in 1953. The mosque is a part of the social complex that consists of a madrasah and an almshouse. The building is square planned and it consists of a hareem with a dome and guestrooms, which were separated from the hareem by their small entran-ces through the public area on the two sides of the hareem. The porch in the north of the building has five sections and is covered by a dome. The bu-ilding with this form is one of the last examples of the plan type called “reversed T letter form” or “mosque with con-vent”. The gate should be

exa-mined before we enter becau-se, as the people of Tokat say, “Ali Pafla’s building is the gate of Meydan Camii”. Next to the building there are the ruins of a building related to Gülbahar Hatun’s name. This could have been a madrasah or an alms house. Local sources say Hatu-niye Madrasah was knocked down in 1930’s. Now we will cross the street again. This ti-me we will try to understand some of the buildings that ha-ve giha-ven Tokat its historical identity and we will enter the quite old neighborhoods of the city. Kabe-i Mescit Mahal-lesi hosts both Tokat’s tradi-tional architecture and new buildings. If we move on the si-de way without stepping on Sulusokak, we will reach Halit

Bey Street


Sokak (Street). The painting and renovation work done he-re in the he-recent years; may ma-ke us a little more relaxed abo-ut historical aesthetic or the anxiety of losing the traditional so rapidly.


Number of houses, in the 15–18th centuries was around 3300. In Tokat where there we-re 7500 houses as per the we- re-gistry dated 1825, the traditio-nal residences survived until today. According to Cuinet, who visited the city in 1881, “the number of houses is 6000”. Depending on the re-gisters dated 1864 and 1881 and travelers’ notes, it is pos-sible to say that there were

4000–6000 houses in the 19th century. Evliya Çelebi, records the following regarding Tokat houses: “In this old city there are thousands of old stone bu-ildings worth watching. It lo-oks like a small city but it has around eight rivers, hills, slo-pes and desserts, three or four storey palaces and other rich homes, windows facing east and north. The roofs are brick and in ruby color.” The trave-lers Tournefort, Pecocke, Cui-net and Bore who came to To-kat in the 18th and the 19th centuries share views in re-gards to Tokat’s resemblance with the big cities of Europe. Only the names of the palaces that excited Evliya Çelebi made it to today. And today’s struc-turing has almost erased the




white painted, red brick vine-yard houses of the slopes ri-sing towards north alongside Yeflil›rmak River. Tokat houses carry the characteristics of classical Turkish House in terms of architecture and cons-truction. Due to the desire of constructing buildings that can fit in small areas, the layout plans vary and the buildings try to cross over into the street to have a larger panorama from the front side of the buil-dings. Sofas were given great importance, terraces in lower levels and sofas in the top are elements that increase the li-veliness of the house. Tokat houses are generally two sto-reys. The ground floor is the service area and divided into parts like entrance yard and storage. There are small and large fire places, ovens and workshops. The top floor is used as living area. The part that opens to the street is actu-ally this part. In most of the houses there is a mezzanine floor between the ground floor and the top floor. In Tokat this section is called “bölme” (se-paration). Mostly it is made for winter and therefore has a low

ceiling for easy heating. The toilet is on the ground floor or in one corner of the mezzanine floor. Bathing is done in the small cabinets on the mezzani-ne floor or in the top floor ro-oms. While there is no signifi-cance in the mezzanine floor rooms, there is a master room in the top floor that is distingu-ished from others with the bet-ter workmanship and wider and brighter space. The rooms carry all characteristics of a Turkish Room. A shoe stand at the entrance, sofas, fire place, cabinet, closet, shop window and lamp stand are present in the rooms. The main construc-tion material of Tokat houses is wood and adobe. Wooden pillars and beams are attached on a very low stone foundati-on, they are separated by thin-ner wood blocks with a techni-que called h›m›fl and then the spaces in between are filled with adobe and bricks. Ba¤da-di technique was rather used on the secondary walls and ro-om extensions.

The ceilings and floors are also wooden. The motifs on the pa-inting and wood are rather ta-ken from still life, sailing boats


and city view or mosques. This type of subjects can be inter-preted as the influence of an ‹stanbul oriented movement to find its way to Anatolia in the 19th century.


The name of Gazio¤lu Inn that you will see going up Suluso-kak has changed by the speci-al production here. This buil-ding has been the muslin pain-ters’ inn for almost fifty years. Forty years ago painting on muslin used to be performed in other inns, too. Tokat used

to be really famous with this handicraft in those days. Besi-des the motifs of apple, grape and cherry that are the plant and fruit fertility symbols of the region, we can also see flo-wer and plant motifs quite of-ten. Patterns are carved on moulds made of lime wood and printed on fabric in natural dimensions. Thus, even tho-ugh the muslin may be sho-wing signs of wear, the colours never fade. There are two types of muslin printing: Black and coloured. But Gazio¤lu Han which which has been identified with muslin hand-printing in recent years is now


Hand Painted Muslins



closed down. The craftsmen moved to an inn in the new in-dustrial zone outside the city. But, the number of craftsmen that would continue the tradi-tional handicraft has reduced to almost none. Yurdanur and Birdane sisters who are wor-king at Tokat Prison workshop and Tafl Han are trying to keep this handicraft, which has 600 years of history with the mould

engraving and printing, alive and carry it to the future with their personal efforts by giving courses to young people. The building right across from Gazio¤lu Inn is Kâbe-i Mescit Mosque. The repairs caused the building lose its authenti-city.

Now, starting with Ali Pafla Mosque building complex we can cross over to the buildings

Hand Painted Muslins


The Tokat region was the main centre for the craft of muslin hand-printing in Anatolia in the 15th and 16th centuries. The designs were initially ma-de by using wood on which designs were chiselled. With the development of printing techniques, “Mould-Chisel Printed Muslin” making was initiated, a practice in which mould and chisel were used simultaneously. Later on, “Mould Printing” was used ex-tensively. Mould engraving, which was initiated in the To-kat Region in the 1300s, is se-en in the mould patterns of to-day. These can be listed as To-kat cinquefoil, Dramal›, ToTo-kat grapes, Carnation, Apple, Spo-on handle, Çengelköy, Pais-ley, Deer, Ottoman monog-ram, and Nine Branches. Prin-ting moulds are made from the wood of lime trees grown

in places with abundant wa-ter. The wood is soft and can therefore be carved easily. So-me of these are chiselled and some are stuffed patterns and coloured moulds. New mould formats are used for hand-printed muslin inten-ded for purpo-ses other than making kerchi-efs. Muslin hand-printing is thought to have origina-ted in the Hittite civilization. As a tribute to this as-sumption and the presence of remains of Hittite civilization in this region, Hittite symbols are among the patterns frequ-ently seen in Tokat hand-prin-ted muslins.



on Sulusokak. Since the buil-ding does not have an epig-raph the identity of Ali Pafla is not known for sure. The lack of an epigraph was so conside-red that in the Ottoman peri-od, the people that were sent to exile or were forced to live where they are did not have an epigraph made for their buil-dings. What was written about Ali Pafla can be summarized as: “The writing ‘Nesli Sultan Bayezid’ that was found here on the grave stone of Ali Pa-fla’s son Mustafa who died in 1564, suggest that Ali Pafla is the son in law of Prince Baye-zid, the son of Sülyman I (Sü-leyman the Magnificent). When defeated after starting an insurgency, Prince Bayezid fled to Iran and was killed the-re. And Ali Pafla was forced to live in Tokat. Selim II, had Ali Pafla, whom he considered as close to the insurgent Prince Bayezid, executed in Söngüt Meadow of Kazova in 1572.” Erhan Afyoncu, detected that part of this information is not correct: “Mustafa Bey who was the Revenue Officer of

Si-vas, died before Temerrüd (obstinate) Ali Pafla who ser-ved as governor in centers like Sivas, Ba¤dat, Erzurum (1565/ 66). Ali Pafla ordered the cons-truction of this mosque next to the tomb that he had built for his son but died in 1572 befo-re it was completed. The mos-que was completed by the or-der of the palace with the re-sources Ali Pafla spared.” Un-til today there was no clear in-formation about Ali Pafla’s wi-fe and Mustafa Bey’s mother. Afyoncu, based on Ali Pafla’s identity detected that this wo-man was Fatma Sultan, Baye-zid II’s grand-daughter from his daughter.

AL‹ PAfiA CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) Ali Pafla Mosque is one of To-kat’s important Ottoman buil-dings. It is assumed that it’s been built with the orders of Kemer Ali Pafla the son in law of prince Bayezid in 1752. The building that was damaged during 1939 and 1943 eart-hquakes was repaired in 1947. It carries the characteristics of the 16th century Ottoman

arc-Ali Pafla Mosque



hitecture. The main room of the cut stone building with the square layout, its single dome and single minaret are consi-dered to be the indication of the simplicity of the building. There is a public room with se-ven domes on eight pillars. The main room is surrounded by women’s rooms on three si-des other than the altar. The crown door carefully made of marble is the distinct side of the architectural decoration on the mosque. The minaret seen from the south of the mosque as a lean block is made of ashlar stone. The building with a three do-me roof that you see when yo-u look towards the sqyo-uare from Ali Pafla Mosque is a pra-yer room that was discovered when the municipality started building an underground mall here.


The original name of the buil-ding is Ebu fiems Hangâh›. From the epigraph over the

entrance, it is understood that it was built in 1288 as a Han-gâh by the orders of Ebu’l Ha-san bin efl-fiems during the period of Sultan Mesud the son of ‹zzeddin Keykavus II. The building is also known as Vezir Ahmet Pafla Mescit (small mosque). It is understo-od that the name was given since Vezir Ahmet had it repai-red and put it under his name for some reason we do not know. The building consists of a vaulted room that opens out to the main room covered by a dome, a room and a tomb. As a common characte-ristic of this type of building the center of the dome is open. The iwan is generally used as a prayer room. The Turkish bath just opposite the mosque appears to comple-ment this section of the town. AL‹ PAfiA HAMAMI


It is considered that the buil-ding which is a unit of Ali Pafla Building Complex was built in 1572 the same date as Ali Pafla Mosque. Ali Pafla Hamam›


which is clearly a classical Ot-toman structure from outside is one of the important struc-tures of the Ottoman Era. It is all built with cut stone in double bath plan. Its layout type is with four vaulted ro-oms and one corner room. It has many characteristics that can be considered as “the firsts” for the 16th century Ot-toman Turkish bath architec-ture, such as: the covering of the top brick cover in lead for insulation, designing of the dressing sections with mirror arcs, the hiding of the entran-ce of the women’s section with a room, the sectioning of the cold room and separating the toilet and shaving rooms,

installing lighting elements in the men’s section, providing of privacy within the dressing room in the women’s section and the iwan and the building of a faucet on one side of the Turkish bath.

SULUSOKAK (STREET) 800 YEARS AT 800 STEPS The inns on this street were made in the Seljuk and Otto-man eras. However it is known that the inn tradition in the re-gion dates back to earlier peri-ods. Think of a street that is unique all over Anatolia and when walked on 800 steps, it is possible to go through the 800 years long adventure of the Turks in Anatolia. From Danishmend to the 20th cen-tury you can see the buildings of all eras only on Sulusokak, and only in 800 steps. Ali Tusi Tomb, Sulu Han, Bedesten are a few of these buildings. AL‹ TUS‹ TÜRBES‹ (TOMB) According to its epigraph Ali Tusi Tomb was made by the Seljuk statesman Ebul Kas›m bin Ali Tusi in 1233. The cover system of the square planned

Ali Tusi Tomb


city center


building was a dome over an octagon drum in the inside and pyramid roof outside. When the pyramid roof went down the brick roof that stands today was built. On the front of the brick building the-re athe-re two the-rectangular sharp edge windows that were built with ashlar brick technique and covered with faience mo-saic decoration. On the top si-de of the window where purp-le, turquoise, navy color geo-metric embellishments can be seen, there are two verses written in Kufic with blue fa-ience mosaic on yellow ground. After passing by Kat›r-c›lar Han (Inn) which is closed and non-functional today and is right next to the tomb, we come in front of the building carrying the same name as the street.


One of the buildings that stand in integrity on Suluso-kak is Sulu Han. Since the inn has lost its authentic charac-teristics besides not having an epigraph it is not possible to determine the date it was bu-ilt. The wood and stone buil-ding was built to

accommoda-te the merchants who traded merchandise in the mall next door. The two storey building has a rectangular plan in the north-south direction and the outer walls are non-functio-nal. The only significant ele-ment of the inn is its crown do-or that extends outside. The inn that was a prison till 1930 was repaired and turned into a dormitory in 1957. It was used as the soup kitchen of the mu-nicipality until recently (2005).


The bedesten next to the inn is a 15th century building. On the east and west of the nine do-me bedesten, there are baza-ars with 20 shops each. KAZANCILAR MESC‹D‹ (MESJID)

It is understood from the anonymous epigraph over the door that Kazanc›lar Mescidi was built in 1518 in Yavuz Sultan Selim’s period. The square layout and single dome building is built in the alternating technique using rubble and brick. Damaged by an unknown reason the




ding’s back side and the porch in its front were ruined. The shopkeepers settled aro-und the mescit and when the municipality knocked down Ya¤c› Han next to it, it was completely revealed.


The construction date of Tak-yeciler Mosque is unknown. Its plan is exactly the same as Old Edirne Mosque except for the narthex. It is known that the mosque in Edirne was bu-ilt by Çelebi Mehmet. Therefo-re it is assumed that this

mos-que was built in the first quar-ter of the 15th century. There are nine vaults above the square planned main space, which is built of rubble and cut stone. Before the repair the domes were covered with brick roofs. The pedestals are made of octagonal pieces of cut stone and the capitals are ornamented. It is understood from the remains that the Ba-roque embellishments that were made in 1871 restoration and could not make it to today be processed in blue tones. The fairly short minaret is of ashlar stone.

Takyeciler Mosque

Ya¤›basan Madrasah



Ya¤›basan Madrasah gene-rally known as Çukur Madra-sah was built by the orders of Nizameddin Ya¤›basan in 1247 written on its epigraph found in Tokat Museum. But since Nizameddin Ya¤›basan died in 1164, it is understood that the epigraph was wrong and it was built in 1151. It is a square planned building with a covered courtyard and three vaulted rooms. The entrance is from the door at north.

The entrance is not on the sa-me centerline as the center of the building; it was moved 1 m towards east. A diameter of

around 10 m was left open in the dome which sits on a two layer vault of 14 m diameter. In the rubble stone building brick was only used on the va-ult arcs and around the eye of the dome.

DEVEL‹K HAN / DEVEC‹LER HANI (INN) Develik Han in the south of Takyeciler Mosque does not have an epigraph but since its layout resembles that of Voy-voda Han and the 17th century Ottoman city inns, it can be considered that it was built in the 17th century. The building is in a quite run-down state to-day; except for the thick surro-unding walls, all sections were

Develik Han (Inn)



ruined. The two storeys, rec-tangular building with an open courtyard was built on the east- west centerline using cut stone and rubble stone. It was used as a workshop till 1960’s. At its east side, the high ceiling parallel spaces are camel booths. Among the must-see authentic pieces is the iron door at the monumen-tal north entrance. The street curling from here to the castle takes us to the start of the streets where the traditional houses we just visited are. We will both observe the castle from a close point and will me-et other cross sections of history.

ULU CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) Ulu Camii is located in Suluso-kak, Camii Kebir Mahallesi; this location is important in that it is the first Turkish sett-lement site in Tokat. The mos-que was first built probably during Danishmend period in the 12th century. As understo-od from its epigraph over its west door, it was renovated in 1679 during Mehmed IV

(Hun-ter Mehmed) period. The building, whose west co-urtyard can be reached thro-ugh the door with the flatte-ned round vault made of red and white keyed stones, was built in the north-south direc-tion in a rectangular plan. The narthex, alongside the east and west fronts, pep up this side of the building. The nart-hex on the western façade of the building was formed with five high vaults that have 4 pil-lars with collected pillar he-ads. And the narthex on the eastern façade was formed with four rows of vaults that were formed with five rows of crutches. Stone consoles and borders that surround four si-des of the building at the cor-nice level form the top line of the west front. The top cover of Ulu Mosque, together with the narthexes is covered with a wooden roof with Marseille type bricks. Also, the bird hou-se made of stone and that is placed close to the cornice is a nice attachment to the south side of the building. The sing-le balcony minaret carrying

Ulu Mosque



the 17th century architectural characteristics is situated on the northwest corner of the building. The entrance to the minaret is through its base that is inside the porch on the west side. The entrance to ha-reem is through the two doors on the west and east sides. The door with the flattened arc on the west side has a sto-ne frame; made of red- white keyed stones and is surroun-ded by three borders. The se-cond entrance door on the east side has the same charac-teristics. The hareem of the mosque is divided into three naves with two rows of crutc-hes connected with arcs verti-cal to the altar. The altar of the building on the south side of it is extended towards hareem. The altar crowned with a trian-gular pediment is surrounded by a border. The niche of the altar peped up by rosettes was formed with six rows of muqarnas semi-dome. The backboards of the minbar on the west of the altar are arran-ged with carving of keyed wo-od octagons. The harem of the

mosque is formed by a plain wood ceiling. Square medalli-ons made with fake kündekari technique and covered with gold leaves, were attached on the ceilings red and green do-minant background and pen-cil-work plant figures were drawn between the bars. The gold leaf pendants on these medallions symbolize that God’s mercy is upon the prayers.


The building is also known as Alaca Camii or Küçük Minareli Camii. There are 3 epigraphs, over the entrance door, on the minaret base there and on the fountain. On the epigraph on the fountain the name of K›l›-çarslano¤lu Keyhüsrev and the date 1271 and on the epig-raph over the entrance the na-me of Sultan Bayez›d bin Meh-med Han and the date 1505 is written. As understood from the epigraphs, the building was made in Seljuk era and since it was damaged, was re-built in 1505 by Abdülaziz bin



‹brahim in the name of Abdur-rahman bin Ahi Eda. Abdurrah-man Ahi is a townsAbdurrah-man of To-kat, who was killed during the 1503-1507 events of fiah ‹sma-il. For this reason it has two epigraphs belonging both to the Seljuk and Ottoman eras. The small mosque consists of the prayer section with a do-me and the entrance. Its mina-ret attached to the west side carries Seljuk characteristics. PAfiA HAMAMI (HAMMAM) A neighborhood hammam, Pa-fla Hamam›, is at the center of a historical commercial area among buildings like Deveci and Pafla Inns. The hammam built by Yörgüç Pafla in 1435 (hijri year 838) stands on north-south direction and is in a rectangular single Turkish bath layout.


Pafla Han is at the end of Sulu-sokak. From its epigraph it is understood that it was built in 1752 during Sultan Mahmud I period by Zaral›zade Vezir Abaza Mehmet Pafla, who ser-ved as the governor of Trab-zon and Sivas. Other than its main wall and most attention

grabbing beautiful portal ma-de of cut stone, it is ruined. The authentic door of the por-tal was removed. When com-pared with the photos from 1930’s, it is seen that the side where the portal is 1m below the ground. On this side, on two side of the arc of the en-trance iwan, there are two ani-mal engravings tied to a cypress tree and facing the arc. The one on the right re-sembles a lion while the one on the left looks more like a dog. It is hard to understand why these figures that look sa-vage despite all the stillness were put here. The south iron door of the rubble stone inn is authentic.

ERENLER TÜRBES‹ (TOMB) Now, we are in Erenler Mahal-lesi at the edge of Sulusokak. The ruined tomb does not ha-ve an epigraph. Based on its architectural characteristics it can be dated to late 13th cen-tury – early 14th cencen-tury. Rubble stone was used as wall material and was covered with cut stone. The square plan space is covered with a brick dome. There are embellish-ments of embossed borders

Pafla Hammam



and half stars on cut stone arcs of the tomb which has wi-de spaces with sharp vaults on four sides.

This way, Sulusokak comes to an end. By a walk of around 800m, we saw the buildings from the 12th to the 20th cen-tury all together. We can say that there is no other street in Turkey like this. Some of the streets where the buildings that show Tokat city history are concentrated are down around Behzat Creek. The two buildings standing here side to side face us as visual sym-bols wherever Tokat’s name is pronounced.

BEHZAT CAM‹‹ (MOSQUE) The Mosque, at the Behzat Marketplace, is one of the most typical places in Tokat; situated next to the Behzat Creek, it was built by Hoca Behzat, son of Fakih, in the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1535. A second dome was added to the small structure laid out on a square plane, in the reign of Abdülhamid 2 (1891-1892) with the support of the public. A restoration has been made by Tokatl› Ahmet Lütfi Pafla in

1908. The mosque consists of a square sanctorum and the final congregation place built in 1956. The mosque built with rubble stone and brick has a single galleried minaret on the southeast corner. Behzat-› Veli lies in the tomb next to the Mosque.


The typical characteristic of the clock tower next to the mosque is that it was desig-ned to be seen from almost every side of the old city. On the epigraph that was mostly erased, only the date of construction of the to-wer 1902 can be read. The 33m tower was built to ce-lebrate the 25th Anniversary of Abdülhamid II’s reign. In 1917 the clock mechanism was westernized. The tower with a square base and octa-gon body was made of rubble and cut stone. The clock con-tinues to remind the city of the time every half hour at two -minute intervals. This sound used to be heard from every side of the old city. However, today, due to traffic and industrial voice pollution and high rise structuring, the



Burgaç Hatun Tomb

city center

In Tokat, there are many ot-her mosques that went thro-ugh several demolishes and renovations by Danishmend to Ottomans. Like all the bu-ildings of the city mosques developed based on the cli-mate and social conditions of the region. 39 of the 59 mos-ques currently open for pra-yer were built during the Ot-toman Era. We can name so-me of these as:



The building in Pazarc›k Mahallesi, according to the 14th Anatolia register of char-ity foundations, was built by Danishmend Ahmed Gazi in 1074. Therefore it is consid-ered to be the oldest mosque of Tokat and Anatolia. Although its rubble stone walls lost their characteristic traces that its minaret was embellished with colored

tiles has made it to this day.


Güdük Minare Mosque is in Rüstem Çelebi Mahallesi. A. Gabriel dates the building without an epigraph to the 15th century based on its plan and embellishments on its west side.

The inner space was covered with yellow and green paint in the 20th century. Plant motifs were engraved on pen-dants and on upper sections of baldachin vaults. The names of the four caliphs were written on the pendants. “Allah” is written on the vault gusset in the south. The pencil work on the altar niche belongs to the 20th century. Güdük Minare Mosque has the combined shape of Edirne Üç fierefeli and Manisa Hatuniye mosques.




Mahmut Pafla Mosque which is on the left side of Behzat Creek in Mahmut Pafla Mahallesi does not have an epigraph. But it is dated to the 17th century in respect to Mahmut Pafla killed in 1616 and Kemankefl Mahmut Pafla who died in 1681. The oldest of the graves in the graveyard is dated 1878. The square planned building with a hipped roof has a single minaret. The pencil work on it is rare among the Anatolian mosques. The public room with the slanted roof was added to the north of the building later on. The vari-ances on the walls show that the mosques got renovated in different periods. The most important characteristic of the main room is the wooden ceiling work. The composi-tions formed by botanical and

geometric transitions on the square medallion framed by double border are important. The minaret on the northwest has an octagon base, an octa-gon shoe and brick body.


Horuç Mosque is near Hoca Ahmet Mahallesi. It is cov-ered with a dome on the inside and a pyramidal cone on the outside. Although the building shows characteris-tics of the 19th century the base and shoe of the minaret goes back to the 15th century. The public area on the north opens outside with five vaults carried on wooden supports. There is a small door on the west wall, high vertical win-dows on the east; the south side is non-functional. The rosette and bud designed pencil work form the plain embellishments of the mosque.




sound of the clock can only be heard from the places close to the tower.

Here, one of the most beauti-ful buildings that we will see when we cross the street is a villa that shows the elite side of the city’s living culture. LAT‹FO⁄LU KONA⁄I


Latifo¤lu Mansion which is thought to be from the 19th century is a nice example of old Tokat houses. It is unders-tood from the collected mate-rial that was used in the buil-ding of the house, that there was an older house from the 17th century in place of Lati-fo¤lu Mansion on Gazi Osman Pafla Street. It is a two storey building with an “L” layout

formed by the alignment of ro-oms around a hall open to the courtyard. There is a large po-ol in its stone floor courtyard. It is different from the stan-dard plan types seen in Tokat houses. It was built to res-pond to the needs of a crow-ded family around Turkish Ho-me’s main principles but with a more liberal plan. There is also a Turkish bath on the gro-und floor. The window system rather resembles the ones of 17th- 18th century mansions. The mansion was embellished with woodwork, pencil work and plaster material. Especi-ally the main room shows the example of best wood work-manship of the region. There is a ceiling medallion on the area contoured by wooden borders square on the outside and circular on the inside. Ma-de with slanted cutting techni-que and Europe influenced flower and leaf motifs are ob-served. The general style in decoration shows imperial characteristics. The second decoration technique in the building is the embellishment done by pencil work. In the shoe stand section of a room in the south edge of the top

Latifo¤lu Mansion

city center



floor, it was seen that a mos-que, a sailboat and sea and a city landscape was painted. There are very beautiful plas-ter works in the top windows and fire place chimney hoods of the room in the south edge of the top floor and of the ma-in room. The fire place ma-in the isle at the south edge reflects the classical style with tulips and carnations made on pain-ting on slightly embossed plaster. And the chimney hood of the fire place in the main ro-om was embellished with plastic acanthus leaves in a li-beral western style. And “Mühr-ü Süleyman” motif was worked on the top windows. ATATÜRK HOUSE AND ETNOGRAPHY MUSEUM It’s the house that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk stayed in Tokat during the War of Independence years. The building in Devegörmez Mahallesi was assigned to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2001 and opened in the name of Atatürk House and Etnography Museum. MEVLEV‹HANE (LODGE OF MEVLEVI DERVISHES) As it is stated in Menak›b-ül

Arifin, the oldest written source of the Mawlawi sect, Mawlawi sect for the first time started to spread in Tokat from the convent that Pervane built in the 13th century when Mevlana sent his caliph named Fahreddini Iraki to Tokat with the request of Muineddin Süleyman Pervane. Probably this con-vent disappeared when Uzun Hasan burned Tokat in the

Mevlevihane (Lodge of Mevlevi Dervishes)

Tokat is one of the rich cities of the region in terms of vil-la architecture. Until very re-cently most mansions like Ya¤c›o¤lu Mansion, Vak›f Mansion, Mad›maklar Man-sion, Cevdet Erek ManMan-sion, Fatma Ercan Mansion, Yo-¤urtçuo¤ullar› Mansion, Ma-az Gürkan Mansion used to live almost up to their actual functions. However, since the maintenance of these buildings are costly and on the other hand the new arc-hitecture is dominant, ma-kes it imperative to use the word “abandoned” for many of these buildings.





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