Where to Visit in Ordu

Ordu or Altınordu is a port city on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, historically also known as Cotyora or Kotyora, and the capital of Ordu Province with a population of 229,214 in the city center.

Kotyora, the original name of the city is a legacy of indigenous Colchians. The name is allegedly composed of an old Laz word for pottery and a common Kartvelian suffix indicating belonging (‘Uri’). In Zan (aka Colchian) Kotyora means a place where pottery is made. This point is supported with several other Kartvelian place names existing in the region as well as the region itself historically being known as Djanik. The contemporary name of Ordu meaning ‘army camp’ in Ottoman Turkish was adopted during the Ottoman Empire because of an army outpost being located near the present day city.

In the 8th century BC, Cotyora (Κοτύωρα) was founded by the Miletians as one of a string of colonies along the Black Sea coast. The Diodorus Siculus write that it was a colony of the Sinopians. Xenophon’s Anabasis relates that the Ten Thousand rested there for 45 days before embarking for home. Strabo also mentions it. Under Pharnaces I of Pontus, Cotyora was united in a synoikismos with Cerasus. Arrian, in the Periplus of the Euxine Sea (131 CE), describes it as a village “and not a large one. Suda mentioned that it was also called Cytora. The area came under the control of the Danishmends, then the Seljuk Turks in 1214 and 1228, and the Hacıemiroğulları Beylik in 1346. Afterwards, it passed to the dominion of the Ottomans in 1461 along with the Empire of Trabzon. The modern city was founded by the Ottomans as Bayramlı near Eskipazar as a military outpost 5 km (3 mi) west of Ordu. In 1869, the city’s name was changed to Ordu and it was united with the districts of Bolaman, Perşembe, Ulubey, Hansamana (Gölköy), and Aybastı. At the turn of the 20th century, the city was more than half Christian (Greek and Armenian), and was known for its Greek schools. On the 4th of April 1921, Ordu province was created by separating from Trebizond Vilayet.

The Sağra factory shop, selling many varieties of chocolate-covered hazelnuts, is one of the town’s attractions. The Boztepe aerial tramway is another popular attraction which is set to become a modern symbol for the city. Local music is typical of the Black Sea region, including the kemençe. The cuisine is primarily based on local vegetables and includes both typical Turkish dishes — such as pide and kebab — and more interesting fare such as plain or caramel ‘burnt ice-cream.

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