Encompassing the rocky cape of Sinop is the only port facing the Black Sea from the south. And its calm waters and lively environment are more Akdeniz than Karadeniz. In ancient times, it was said about the Black Sea that it has three harbors – July, August and Sinop: the natural protection of the port is so reliable that even in the most ferocious winter weather, when it is dangerous for ships to enter other Black Sea ports, Sinop remains open.
The Seljuks who captured Sinop in 1214 used it as a port, but the Ottomans preferred to develop a city with good land communications. On November 30, 1853, the Russian squadron attacked Sinop without warning, suppressing the resistance of the local garrison, as a result of which about 3,000 people died. This battle marked the beginning of the Crimean War, in which the Ottomans formed an alliance with Britain and France in an attempt to counter the Russian Empire’s advance into the Middle East.
The history of this commercial port dates back more than 2500 years, today Sinop is more of a city of vacationers, but it retains an energetic, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The legacy of the past is visible in many shops selling models of ships. Tourists begin to arrive here in early April, and the peak season reaches from mid-June to early September, during this period, places in hotels must be booked in advance.
In Sinope, vulnerable to attack from the sea, the first fortification works began back in 2000 BC, but the walls that exist today are a modification of those originally erected in 72 BC by the Pontic king Mitri-dat VI. At one time, the walls up to three meters thick reached a length of more than two kilometers, they had seven gates and towers 25 m high. Walk along the ramparts, which offer views of the sea.
The powerful Seljuk Grand Vizier Muyneddin Suleiman Pervane built this madrasah in 1262 in memory of the conquest of Sinop by the Seljuks in 1214. Now there are cafes and shops selling handicrafts, including excellent linen fabrics, for which Sinop is famous.
Tourist information is available in such linen goods shops.
The massive block of the former prison with empty courtyards and corridors seems to be inhabited by ghosts, especially if you watched the Midnight Express, the famous 1978 film by Alan Parker and Oliver Stone about an American who got into the Turkish penitentiary system. At the base of the tower, at the entrance, pay attention to the chilling description of the dungeons of the XVII century, compiled by Evliya Celebi. Outside, walk along Sakarya Caddesi towards the white statue of Diogenes Kinik, then turn right to the ancient Kumkapi bastion.
The excellent collection includes Roman steles, Byzantine icons and materials about the philosopher Diogenes Cynic. All this is surrounded by columns, mosaics, tombstones topped with turbans, and in the garden you can see a pretty pond with fish.
The mosque stands in the middle of a vast walled courtyard; it was built by order of Suleiman Pervane. The building was repaired and renovated many times; the local Emir Chandaroglu added a marble mihrab and a wooden mimbar. After careful restoration, the harsh interior and spacious courtyard of the mosque became a safe haven in the midst of the typical Sinop bustle.