Location of Niksar within Turkey.
Coordinates: 40°35′N 36°58′E / 40.583°N 36.967°E / 40.583; 36.967
Country  Turkey
Region Black Sea
Province Tokat
 – Mayor Duran Yadikar (MHP)
 – Total 955 km2 (368.7 sq mi)
Elevation 350 m (1,148 ft)
 – Total 90,000
 – Density 95/km2 (246/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 – Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 60600
Area code(s) 0356
Licence plate 60

Niksar is a city in Tokat Province, Turkey. It has been settled by many empires over the centuries, and it was once the capital city of the province.

At 350 m. altitude and with a temperate climate, Niksar is known as "Çukurova of the North-Anatolia" due to its production of every kind of fruit and vegetable except citrus fruits.


Niksar in history

Niksar was settled by the Hittite, Persian, Greek, Pontic, Roman, Byzantine, Danishmend, Seljuk and Ottoman empires. It has always been an important place in Anatolia because of its location, climate and productive lands.

It was known as Cabira in the Hellenistic period. In 72 or 71 BC, a battle during the Third Mithridatic War took place at Niksar, and the city passed to the Romans. Niksar was called Diospolis, Sebaste, and Neocaesarea during the Roman period. "Niksar" is derived from Neocaesarea.

Niksar became part of the Eastern Roman Empire when the Roman Empire divided into two parts in AD 395. When the Turks raided Anatolia in 1067, it was conquered by Afşın Bey, one of the commanders of Alparslan. The Byzantines retook the area in 1068. Conquered by Artuk Bey after the Battle of Manzikert, Niksar once again returned to Byzantium in 1073.

Melik Gümüştekin Ahmet Gazi, founder of the Danishmend state and better known as Danishmend Gazi, was the real conqueror of Niksar. After the conquest the Gazi made it his capital city, and Niksar became a center of science and culture. The mausoleum of Danishmend Gazi stands in a large cemetery just outside the town.

By 1175, during the reign of Kılıç Arslan II, Niksar was dependent on the Seljuks of Rum. After the Mongol invasion of the 13th century, Niksar was governed by the Eretnids and then the Tacettinoğulları beylik and became the center of the latter principality.

After Kadı Burhanettin, who conquered Niksar in 1387, was killed in battle, the people of Niksar sought aid from the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I. The Sultan's son, Süleyman Çelebi, took Niksar for the Ottomans. In the later Ottoman period, Niksar became part of Tokat Province. Fatih Mehmet launched a raid on Trabzon from Niksar, and Yavuz Sultan Selim and Suleiman the Magnificent raided the east from there.

In 1919, a meeting was organized in Niksar to protest against the Greek occupation of İzmir.

Geographic location

Niksar is approximately 9,555 km2 (3,689 sq mi). It is located at 40°35’ north latitude and 36°58’ east longitude. Its average altitude is 350 m above sea level. It is surrounded by Erbaa on the northwest, Tokat on the southwest, Almus on the south, Başçiftlik on the southeast and Akkuş on the north. It is one of the five largest counties of Tokat.

The Canik Mountains are to the north, Dönek Mountain to the south, and the Niksar Lowland is situated between these mountains. The Niksar Lowland, which has become more fertile through irrigation and alluvial soil, is one of the most important lowlands of the Black Sea Region. The Canik Mountains are covered with plateaus that lie parallel to the Black Sea. Çamiçi High Plateau is one of the most important high plateaus, not just of Niksar but also of Tokat.

Niksar lands are very rich in rivers, and have been irrigated by large and small tributaries of the Kelkit River.

Forests cover 53% of the plateau, and pasture 12%; 32% of the land is devoted to agriculture, and only 3% is unsuitable for farming.

Beech, pine, horn beech, and spruce trees can be found in the higher altitudes to the north of Niksar. In the lowlands there are poplar and willow trees, and fruit trees in the valleys.

Polecats, rabbits, wolves, foxes, lynxes, bears, and pigs are the main hunting animals that live in the mountains and forests. Partridges, quail and ducks are among the more important game birds found here.

Niksar has a transitional climate between the Middle Black Sea and Inner Anatolia. In general it is tepid and rainy in winter, hot in summer. The county averages an annual rainfall of 475.2 mm, and the annual heat average is 14.7 °C.

Cuisine of Niksar

The most unusual and important feature of traditional Tokat-Niksar houses is the kitchen. Called “Aşevi” or “Aşgana” in the local dialect, the kitchen is usually the largest room of the house and serves as a sort of lounge for the family.

The typical kitchen has a fireplace on one side used for cooking or washing and a storeroom on the other in which dried foods, preserves, sauces, cheese and grape leaves are kept. Beside the storeroom is a wooden granary with partitions for storing cereals and legumes.

In Turkey, it is common to eat meals around a low table. A typical meal might consist of some of the following dishes:


Tarhana, bacaklı soup, hele soup, Gengirme toygası, Maize toygası, katıklı wedding soup, Zoğallı soup and Erikli soup, village toyga soup.


Tokat kebab, Yaprak sarması, cevizli bat, baklalı yaprak dolması, kabak kabuğu kavurması, madımak, beet, pehli.


Çökelekli, katmer, cızlak, yufka pie, cevizli bun, bişi, stork giliği, muhacir pie, çarşaf pie.


Bulgur pilaf with lentil and bean, keşkek.


Yufka dessert, kuşburnu jam, kalburabastı, mulberry molasses, rice puding, baklava, revani, semolina dessert, lokma dessert.

Local attractions

Settled 13 kilometers from Niksar, Çamiçi high plateau is worth seeing as a world wonder for its altitude (over 1000 m), its green pine forests, cool weather and abundant fresh air. Ayvaz Water and promenade area are very different. Gaining worldwide fame for its healing waters, Ayvaz Water is shipped in glass and plastic containers to multiple local and overseas markets.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed (1854–57). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray. 

Coordinates: 40°35′N 36°57′E / 40.583°N 36.95°E / 40.583; 36.95

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