Samsun, societal metropolis of the Black Sea Region, has had a significant number of non-muslim people until the beginning of the 20th century. During the population exchange with Greece, the Christian population were sent to there and the immigrants coming from Greece and some Balkan countries were settled to the city. After the Balkan Wars, the Albenian immigrants came from Kosovo were settled around Bafra. Besides that, after the Ottoman-Russian war known as the ‘93 War, a Circassian population from the North Caucasus were also settled in the city. Today, the population is composed of the Balkan and Caucasus immigrants and Eastern Black Sea population who were settled at the Republican Period and the internal immigrants from Samsun’s districts.
Mores: Although, in the history around Samsun region, Hittites, Kimmers of Caucasus origin, Ionians, Persians, Macedonians, Pontus, Roma, and Byzantines were in power, after 1071 Malazgirt War the region have been dramatically Turkicized with Turkish conquests. In the region Turkish-Islamic Culture is dominant and the other cultures were forgotten.
Folk Dances: Halay dance, horon, and the dances performed with drum, clarion and kemancha are common. The characteristics of Middle Anatolian Region’s Folk Music is more dominant than the Black Sea Music. Has a rich Folk Music archives. There are many folk music pieces about Çarşamba. Mostly performed dances are “Çarşamba’s Çiftetelli”, Black Sea Horon, Karşılama, Kabadaı, Kasap, Debreli hasan, İki Ayak, Üç Ayak, Dört Ayak, Esen Yel, Caucasus dance etc. Young women and women generally perform dances like Cimdallı.
Education: 31 pre-school, 625 Primary School, 263 secondary schools, 156 high schools give education. Samsun is one of the cities that have 2 different universities.
Samsun's Geographical Structure
Samsun is located between the deltas emanated where Yeşilırmak and Kızılırmak rivers flow in to the Black Sea and has 9,083 km2 surface area. As geographical status it is between 40° 50’ - 41° 51’ North latitudes and, 37° 08’ - 34° 25’ east longitudes. Neighbours of the city located at the South of the Black Sea are Ordu at the east, Sinop at the West, Tokat and Amasya at the South and Çorum at the southwest.
According to the landforms Samsun has three different characteristics. The first one is the mountainous area at the South. The second one is the plateaus located between the mountains and the coast. And the last one is the coast plains located between the plateaus and the Black Sea. At the coastal area formed at the delta areas of Kızılırmak and Yeşilırmak rivers, Bafra and Çarşamba plains are located, which have the highest agricultural potential in Turkey.
There are alluviums at young delta plains in Samsun. But old alluviums are also seen at terraces divided by steep slopes. The transition area to the mountainous area at the South is covered by argillaceous calcareous deposits belonging to the Neogene period. The mountains at the coast are of cretaceous lava. At the inner side of these mountains there are argillaceous and gritty deposits. At the inner parts, at the South of the plains covered by Neogene deposits and rarely alluviums, primary and secondary folded rocks; Craterous and Eocene flysheets. At the wide areas volcanic forms are seen. Eocene, Craterous and Neogene period’s formations are common in Samsun.
Plateaus in the region were formed generally at the secondary and the third period. Mountains’ slopes are eroded in the Black Sea Region. Moreover, the rivers in the region split the earth and formed plateaus partly. The most important of them are Ladik, Havza and Kavak plateaus.
Samsun’s coast are covered by plains, and the inner parts are covered by the medium height mountain chains. The region is located between the Black Sea Coast and the parallel high mountains. These mountains follow east-west directions at Ünye to Çarşamba, east-south and West-northwest directions at Samsun to Bafra. There are two main mountain chains. The eastern is Canik Mountains and the western is Çangal Mountains and they are regarded as a chain.
Big part of Canik Mountains is located in Ordu however; the western part is located in Samsun. Due to the fact that this mountain chain is not very high, it doesn’t hinder the transportation between Samsun and the hinterland. Its height is approximately 1500 m.
Çangal Mountain is at the West side of Samsun and most of the mountain chain is within Sinop. The most part of the Çangal Mountains which are located in western side border in Samsun, is covered by Sinop provincial border. Its height is approximately 1500 m.
As one of the most important mountains, Sıralı Mountains are located at the eastern part of Kavak district and its height is 1300 m.
Kocadağ, located at the northern part of Samsun, near to Kavak district heights 1310 m.
The height of Samsun’s highest mountain, Akdağ is 2062m. Akdağ locates between Ladik district and Amasya, and has rich forest vegetation.
Kunsuz Mountain is within Vezirköprü district and has 1783 m height. It is generally called with famous Kunduz Forest and has a national fame about its plentiful forest products.
Hacılar Mountain is located on Ankara-Samsun highway and comes after Kavak district. Its height is 1150m.
Nebyan Mountain is located in northwest of Samsun and West of Koca Mountain and has 1224 m height.
Beside of these mountains there are several hills, Akpınar hill (900 m) and Böğürtlen hill (950 m) are in southeast, Büyük mountain and Topuzlu 950 m, Sofualan and Örencik 800 m are in east, Saltuk hill (1150 m) in Southeast, Kocaçaltepe 913 m in Kavak, Çadırtepe 110 m on the right side of Mert river, Toraman hill (125 m) on the right side of Kürtün river towards to the harbour.
Yeşilırmak river arises from Köse Mountains. It is reaching to Çarşamba through Erbaa and split into the Black Sea around Civa ness. It merges with Tersakan river in Üçtaşlar. Which’s length is 416km, Yeşilırmak has 5km/h flow rate. Its water level at the most arid season is 9m and 5,5 m at the eastern coast.
Kızılırmak, that born from Kızıl Mountain in Sivas is the longest river in Turkey. It enters to the Black Sea Region from Osmancık district and its length is 1151km. Around Kargı district it enters to North-east Samsun-Sinop borders. It splits up to the tributaries at the West of bafra and flows into the sea from Cape of Bafra. Delice, Devrez and Gökırmak are important tributaries of Kızılırmak. According to the measurements made around Bafra, at the most arid season the width is 46m and the depth is 1.30m. Its flow rate is 4-6km/h. It flows 21m3/s.
Terme watercourses born from Karaorman Forest. Terme Watercourse that nourishes the reeds around Simenit Lake divides the district and flows into the Black Sea. Its width is 30m and depth is approximately 1m and it regenerates the paddy fields.
There are -long or short- many rivers like Mert River, Kürtün Watercourse, Tersakan Watercourse, Karaboğaz Brook, Akçay Watercourse, Uluçay Watercourse, Esenli, İncesu, Hızırilyas, Ballıca Brook and Güdedi in Samsun.
After passing from Erbaa, when it comes to Çarşamba district and while flowing into the BlackSea from Civa ness; Yeşilırmak forms Çarşamba Plane with very valuable alluvions. Çarşamba Plain’s surface area is 89500ha, beginning from Kirazlık. Through the water channels built up by State Hydraulic Works, reclamation has been done on 70 % of the field. The remaining 30 % is composed of forest, reedy and marsh area. Irrigation area is 82707ha and 19.031 ha is being constructed.
Kızılırmak- coming to Bafra- splits up to tributaries in Bafra. Kızılırmak, flowing into the Sea from Bafra Ness releases wide and alluvium fields. 6150 ha 47727 ha plain is irrigated. It is one of the most fertile plains in Turkey. The plain is irrigated through the water channels built up by State Hydraulic Works and the northern part of the plain is arid land. Husbandry is common in these places.
The lakes in the region were formed due to time to time changes on stream bed. They gather in Bafra,Çarşamba and Ladik districts.
It is 20 km far from Bafra. The 3km huge lake flows to the sea via some tributaries. The length of these tributaries reaches 2000m at some places. Grey mullet and carp fishing is common in the lake. At the South of the Liman Lake there is Balık Lake and at the North there is Karaboğaz Lake.
Ladik lake is 10 km to Ladik and it is headwaters of Tersakan river. There is trout and European barracuda in the lake. Besides fishery, the reeds collected from the reed area around the lake are used for wickerwork. The length of the lake is 5km, the width is 2km and the surface area is 10km2.
This lake has emerged from the change at Terme Watercourse. Fishery is common in the lake that is within Terme districts’ borders. The lake is 20kmto Teme and it looks like 2 lakes linked with a channel. In the winter, the lake is filled with the rain and the sea water at the rough weather.
Karagöz, Dutdibi, Çernek, Uzungöl and lakes are in Bafra and formed by Kızılırmak. In Çarşamba, Yeşilırmak also formed Akçagöl, Akarcık, Dumanlı and Körırmak lakes.
Hasan Uğurlu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant
The Dam is constructed on Yeşilırmak and it is within Çarşamba and Ayvacık borders. It had been started to be constructed in 1971 and the dam is named after the time’s Samsun State Hydraulic Works Director Hasan Uğurlu who died on a traffic accident. As one of the biggest dams in Turkey, it was completely realized by Turkish Engineers and companies. Just the machines and electrical equipment were brought from abroad. The second unit of the dam was opened in 1979, the third unit in 1982 and the fourth unit in 1983. In the dam, in a year 1217 gwH and 500 mw power energy is produced. The lake’s volume is 1.07875 x106 m3 and the height of the dam is 175 m.
Suat Uğurlu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant
It is located at 18km down side of Hasan Uğurlu Dam, at Yeşilırmak’s section point with Çarşamba Plain. It had been also started to be constructed in 1971. The dam had been started to be constructed with the name “Balohar”. However, it was named after the wife of Hasan Uğurlu who died at the same traffic accident. The aim of the Project is energy production and the irrigation of Çarşamba plain. The first and the second units of the dam were opened in the late 1979, and the third and the fourth units were opened March of 1983. In the dam, in a year 273 gwH and 46 mw power energy is produced. The lake’s volume is 18131 x106 m3 and the height of the dam is 51 m.
Altınkaya Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant
Altınkaya Dam is located at the 35 km southwest of Bafra city center on Kızılırmak. It states 195 m high on the groundwork in Kızılırmak and nucleate-rock fill type dam. In the dam, in a year 632 million kWh and 700 mw power energy is produced. The dam began to hold water in 1987 and since January of 1988 routine production (175000 kWh power) has been done at the fourth unit. The volume of the lake is The lake’s volume is 5763 x109 m3 tür.
Derbent is 30 km far from Altınkaya Dam and 33m high from thalweg. It is a clay core rock-fill dam. It is classified as a floating demand 7km far from Bafra. Its irrigation area is 47.727 ha. It aims to irrigate Bafra Plain through water channels. In the dam, in a year 257 million kWh and 56 mw power energy is produced. The volume of the dam is 213x106m3.
It is a earth-fill type dam aims at producing drinking, using and industry water. The height of the dam from the groundwork is 57,50m, the volume of the dam lake at normal water level is 106,50 hm3 and the body volume is 2,60m3. The total water given from the dam is 4000l/s; 3450 l/s as drinking water, 300l/s used at Samsun Manure Industry and 460l/s by Black sea Copper Industry.
Whereas agriculture is the main sector for Samsun’s economic structure, industry, husbandry and tourism also have an important place in Samsun. Wheat, tobacco, corn, sunflower, sugar beet, hazelnut, paddy and vegetables are the most effective agricultural products in economy. Bafra and Çarşamba plains are the core for the agriculture in Samsun and they have 122.410ha agricultural land. The vegetables grow in these plains primarily meets the region’s needs and also marketed to the country. Because of the fact that agriculture is the main sector in the region, the employment structure has also been influenced by agriculture. 67% of the employees work in agricultural area.
Moreover, despite its potential stemmed from the proximity to CIS and Turkic Republics; transportation opportunities on the sea, highways, air and railway, the industry has not reached to the desired level.
The value added created by Samsun’s manufacturing industry is realised by the public (55,6 %) and the private sector (44.4%).
Samsun is the metropolis city of the Eastern Black Sea region. Due to the population density, business and industrial life is dynamic. Especially after 1980, in order to improve the employment potential in the city, either in the city center or in the districts, Small Industrial Sites were established and the employment began to concentrate on capital intensive small enterprises. Besides these, Organized Industrial Zones have also an important contribution. The most significant industrial products are cement, manure, copper, jute, automotive spare parts, pumps, furniture and textiles, iron, garment, medicine and medical materials. In addition to the big and medium sized enterprises, in small sized enterprises as labour intensive production, heating boiler, plastic PVC, agricultural machines and materials, copper products, construction irons, plastic bags, various confectionary, jams and industrial kitchen are produced .
Tourism has a share in Samsun economy and in the city center, in the districts and villages there are many historical and touristic places worth to see. In the summer sea and sand tourism is possible and in the winter, hunting tourism is common.
Industry and Trade
In Samsun there are 6 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Samsun, Bafra, Çarşamba, Terme, Vezirköprü, Havza) with total 9500 members.
In addition, there are 71 chambers of artisan, 290 Cooperatives, 942 incorporations and 4639 limited companies.
In Samsun, there are 5 Organized Industrial Zones, one of which is Specialized Food OIS. Infrastructure Works for Havza Specialized OIS on Agricultural Product Processing and Agricultural machines has been continuing. Organized ındustrial Zones generally hosts enterprises on hardware, non-electrical machines, non-iron metals, food and furniture. Occupancy rate of Samsun OIS is 100 %. Kavak and Bafra OISs have 15 Enterprises for each and they continue land allocation. In the OISs, there are 6096 employees working in 117 enterprises. In the new Food OIS as specialized OIS, land allocation was completed an done enterprise started manufacturing. In case of Food OIS will fully serve, it will contribute to the agricultural potential of the city.
Moreover, there are 12410 employees working in 5439 enterprises within 15 Small Industrial Sites.
About the registration of Foreign capital companies, 85 of 95 applicants were registered and ten registration demands are still in progress.
Samsun has become the energy base of the region due to the statement of energy sector in the city. With its proximity to the rich energy resources and international commercial relations it is a multiple energy center.
The natural gas bought from Russia has reached to Turkey through Samsun via the Blue Stream pipeline under the Black Sea.
Almost 380 km of 1200 km pipeline that carries the natural gas passes under the Black Sea. The pipeline under the sea is the pipeline stated at the deepest point with 2140km depth. Turkey has been buying natural gas from tis pipeline which has 16billion m3/year capacity.
Samsun-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project will make Turkey an energy corridor, will decrease the tanker traffic at the straits, through the 550 km length line, carrying 1,5 million gallons crude oil is planned.
Hydroelectric Power Plants
Hasan Uğurlu Dam
Suat Uğurlu Dam
Samsun has generally temperate climate. But climate is different at the coast and inner side. At the coast line (Center Toen, Terme, Çarşamba, Bafra, Alaçam, 19 mayıs, Tekkeköy and Yakakent) Black Sea Climate is dominanat. For that reason, in the summer it is rainy and mild. Inner sides (Vezirköprü, Havza, Ladik, Kavak, Asarcık, and Salıpazarı) are influenced from almost 2000m Akdağ and Canik Mountains approximately 1500 m. Due to the impact of the mountains, the winters are cold and rainy and snowy and the summers are cool. Samsun is unique in terms of temperature. In a day you may see different climate characteristics. It is possible to live a summer day in the middle of the winter. The coastal line does not stay with snow more than 2-3 days. In the inner sides, transportation may be disrupted in the middle of the winter.
Annual average temperature is 15 ºC. The hottest months according to the annual averages are; July (23,1 ºC) ve August (23,2 ºC); an the coldest months are January (6,9 ºC) and February (6,6 ºC) . The highest annual average temperature is 18,1ºC and the lowest is 11 ºC. There is generally 10 ºC’ temperature difference between the coastal line and the 10-15 km inner side. Especially in the winter, the more you get into the inner side, the colder it gets. The sun is effective in the July and August.
The snowy days according to the mounts are as follows; 2 days in December, 3 days in January, 4 days in February, 2 days in March and 1 day in April. In November of 1993 1 day and in April of 1995 1 day were noted as snowy. The longest snowy days are noted in February with 4 days. Numbers of frozen days are 8 days in average.
Annual average rainfall is above the country average (676,5 mm). On the other hand, the rainfall in the city is different from the cities at the Western Black Sea Region. The highest amount of rainfall is seen in October (86,5mm) and November (81,2mm). The rainfall in the eastern part of the city is more than the western side. Annual average number of rainy days is nearly 156 days.
Samsun is open to the northern winds. The strongest wind of Samsun’s direction is South-south-west and the name of it is “qibla” that breezes in December.