Sinop is one of the most beautiful natural harbours of the Black Sea Region and is renowned for being not only one of the prettiest towns along the coast but also the happiest of Turkey.
History of Sinop
Sinop's origins go back to the Hittites who mention the use of a port known as Sittuwas. Later, in the 7th century BCE, it was re-founded as a Greek colony from the city of Miletus and was named after Sinope, the mythical Amazon queen. In about 413 BCE, the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, also known as Diogenes the Cynic, was born here. Two statues in town depict the philosopher standing with his dog on his dwelling barrel and searching, with a lamp in his hand, in broad daylight, for an honest man. Sinop flourished under Roman rule but declined under the Byzantines. From 1265 onwards, it has been under Turkish control.
On November 30, 1853, a Russian armada raided the town without warning and destroyed the Ottoman fleet that was anchored here, thereby triggering the Crimean War. Until the 1923 Turkish-Greek population exchange, Sinop was mainly inhabited by Greeks. His Eminence Athenagoras, Metropolitan of Belgium, still carries the (honorary) title Bishop of Sinope.
Present-day Sinop has about 38,000 inhabitants and, according to a survey conducted by the Turkish Statistical Institute, 77.7% of them consider themselves as "happy", which makes Sinop the happiest region of Turkey.
Sights and Photos of Sinop
The town is still surrounded by its historical city walls, which are very prominent. Just outside the walls, near Lonca Kapı, the main entrance gate, stands the statue of the philosopher Diogenes. The nearby Tarihi Sinop Cezaevi (Historical Sinop Prison) was founded in 1887 and served as a prison inside the fortress until 1997. Many notable Turkish intellectuals were sentenced to stay here, among them the famous writers-poets Nazim Hikmet and Sabahattin Ali. Living conditions were extremely harsh in the prison, mainly because of the moisture caused by its location near the sea.
Sinop's archaeological museum and museum garden are also well worth a visit. In the garden, there's another older statue of Diogenes and a monument with the remains of the soldiers that were killed during the Russian raid of 1853. Martyr's Fountain (Şehitler Çeşmesi) near the harbour also commemorates this event. It was built with the money found in the soldiers' pockets.
Here are the photos of Sinop, click on the thumbnails to see greater pictures.
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Travel Information & Travel Tips
Sinop is a holiday town with a great selection of hotels located in the town centre and some excellent floating restaurants in the marina. We experienced a pleasant and very friendly stay at Sinopark Otel, Tersane Mevkii Merkez, Sinop. As for the local gastronomy, the floating restaurants in the marina certaınly deserve a mention. We enjoyed two delicious dinners with fish and rakı at the Saray Restaurant.