Infobox Settlement
settlement_type = District
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = TUR
map_caption =Location of Zile within Turkey.

official_name = Zile

image_caption = Zile City Center at night
blank_emblem_type = Coat of Arms of Zile Municipality
districts.png subdivision_type1=Region
subdivision_name1 = Black Sea
subdivision_name2 = Tokat| population_total = 68937
urban population| = 36154
population_as_of = 2007
population_footnotes = [Zile# note-8| [10] ]
population_density_km2 = 46|area_total_km2 = 1512|pushpin_

pushpin_label_position =
pushpin_map_caption =Location of Zile
pushpin_mapsize =
latd = 40
latm = 18
latNS = N
longd = 35
longm = 53
longEW = E
elevation_m = 710|postal_code_type=Postal code
postal_code = 60400
area_code = 0356
blank_info = 60|blank_name=Licence plate
leader_name = Murat Ayvalıoğlu (MHP)
website = [http://www.zile.bel.tr/ http://www.zile.bel.tr/]
leader_name1 = Mehmet Eriş
gwebsite = [http://www.tokat.gov.tr www.tokat.gov.tr]

Zile, also known as Zela, is a city and a district of Tokat Province, Turkey. Zile lies to the south of Amasya and the west of Tokat in north-central Turkey. The city has a long history, including being the site of the Battle of Zela, which prompted the phrase "Veni, vidi, vici."cite web|url=http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_%281913%29/Zela |title=Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913/Zela - Wikisource|author=S. Vailhé|authorlink=Zela|publisher=Wikisource|accessdate=2007-01-01|date=1913] Today the city is a center for agricultural marketing and tourism.


Historically, Zile has been known as Zela, Zelitis, Zelid, Anzila, Gırgırıye (Karkariye), Zīleh, Zilleli, Zeyli, and Silas. Zela castle, the only solid castle in Anatolia, was built by Roman commander Lucius Cornelius Sulla. The castle contains the Amanos temple, and it is called "silla", meaning "respected". In Semra Meral's "Her Yönüyle Zile", she claims that the name "Zile" came from "Zela", stemming from "Silla". [cite book|title=Her yönüyle Zile| first=Semra |last=Meral |publisher=Sanem Press |location=Zile|year=1990|id=OCLC: 23573866]

According to recent archaeological researches, there are evidences of human habitation since Neolithic times in Zile. [cite book|title=Excavations at Maşat Höyük and investigations in its vicinity| first=Tahsin |last=Özgüç |publisher=Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi |location=Ankara|year=1978|id=OCLC: 5752663] In his book "Geographica", Strabo claimed that Zile was founded by Semiramis, a legendary Assyrian queen. [cite book|title=Asie mineure|first=Charles|last=Texier|publisher=Didot Freres|location=Paris|year=1862|id=OCLC: 6646889] By 548 BC, Zile and greater Anatolia were under the rule of Achaemenid Persian Empire. Persian rule saw construction a portion of the Royal Road in the area and temples to the Persian gods Anahita, Vohu-Mano, and Anadates in the center of the city. Darius I of Persia divided the largest Anatolian state of that time, Cappadocia, into two, with Zile remaining in Pontus Cappadocia, the northern region.

After roughly 200 years of Persian rule, Alexander the Great captured Zile from Darius III of Persia as a result of the Battle of the Granicus (334 BC). Following Alexander's death in 323 BC and collapse of his empire, Zile's rule was transferred to the Seleucid Empire, a Hellenistic successor state of Alexander the Great's dominion. The Seleucid Empire controlled the area for 200 years but by 100 BC, her power in the region started to collapse. As a consequence, King Mithridates VI of Pontus attacked and conquered Zile in 88 BC and ordered the killing of all Romans currently living there. His orders led nearby Cappadocians to call Rome for help. The Roman army, under Sulla's command, fought and defeated Mithradates in First Mithridatic War. Mithridates attacked Zile again in 67 BC with the help of his Armenian ally Tigranes the Great, king of Greater Armenia. He defeated Valerius Trianus, lieutenant of Lucullus, and initiated the Third Mithridatic War. [cite book|title=A New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, Mythology and Geography| first=William |last=Smith |publisher=New York, Harper & Brothers |location=NewYork|year=1851|id=OCLC: 2775910] Pompeius Magnus came back to Asia Minor with his army and, after a long war, the Romans destroyed the whole army of Mithradates, who committed suicide as a consequence in 63 BC. In Pompey's settlement of Pontus, Zile received a civic constitution and a sizable territory thus transforming from its previous status as a temple domain to a city.cite web|url=http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0006%3Aid%3Dzela |title=The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites|author=Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister|authorlink=|publisher=The Princeton Encyclopedia|accessdate=2007-05-03|date=]

In 49 BC, civil war broke out between Julius Caesar and Pompey. While the Romans were distracted by this, Pharnaces II of Pontus, son of Mithridates, decided to seize the opportunity and took revenge for his father. His attack on Zile was halted by Julius Caesar in a bloody battle called the Battle of Zela (47 BC).cite web|url=http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9078371/Zile |title=Zile -- Encyclopædia Britannica|author=Encyclopædia Britannica|authorlink=Encyclopædia Britannica|publisher=Encyclopædia Britannica|accessdate=2007-01-01|date=2007] While Caesar's army had great losses, Pharnaces's army was completely destroyed in five hours. After this victory, Caesar sent his famous message to the Roman Senate: "Veni Vidi Vici" , meaning "I came, I saw, I conquered". Caesar's words were written on a cylindrical marble column and placed in the city castle.cite web|url=http://www.ntvmsnbc.com/news/295876.asp |title=Zile’de ‘Geldim - Gördüm - Yendim’|author=NTVMSNBC|authorlink=NTV Turkey|publisher=NTV Turkey|accessdate=2007-01-01|date=2004]

In 241, the Sassanid king Shapur I, attacked the Romans and defeated Roman Emperor Valerian, thus capturing Zile. From 241 to 1071, Zile was conquered many times by the Byzantines and Sasanids. Under Byzantine rule, Zile became a Titular See of Asia Minor, suffragan of Amasya in the former Roman province of Helenopontus. Zile had several famous bishops like Heraclius (at the First Council of Nicaea in 325), Atticus (at the Council of Chalcedon in 451), Hyperechius (458), Georgius (692), Constantine (787) and Paul (879).

Zile was conquered by Danishmend Melik Ahmet Gazi in 1071 and, since, has belonged to the Turks, who suppressed the See. In 1174, Anatolian Seljuks captured the city from Danishmends under Izzettin II Kılıçaslan. After the collapse of the Anatolian Seljuks, the Eretna Emirate was founded in Zile's district in 1335. The Ottomans defeated Ertans in 1397 under the rule of Sultan Bayezid I, integrating Zile into their empire.

In the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 (also known as Turkish War of Independence), some supporters of Sharia (strict Islamic law) in Zile rebelled against the new Turkish Republic's army. The Turkish army put down the rebellion and, from then, Zile was loyal to the new Turkish Republic instead of the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul.


Zile covers an area of km2 to mi2|1512|precision=0 within its city limits and has an elevation of m to ft|710|precision=0.cite web |url= http://www.zile.bel.tr/index.php?page=cografi |title= Zile Belediyesi |accessdate= 2007-03-07 |date= 2006-07-05 |work= [http://www.zile.bel.tr Zile Municipality] ] Turhal, Çekerek, Artova, Kadışehri, and Amasya are all towns located near Zile. Most of the city is constructed on Yeşil River crossed fertile plain area called "Zile Ovası" which is suitable for harvest twice each year. South of the city, however, is surrounded by the Deveci Mountains (1,892 m / 6,207 ft high), Güvercin Çalı, and Hüseyin Gazi Hill. Zile once had a great forest covering most of the plain, but during the 1950s, the city lost much of its forest because of the excessive breeding of goats and the use of wood for heating purposes. However, there is a recent study to plan reforestation in the area.Fact|date=May 2007

The city's water supply is provided by the Çekerek River, flowing from Zile to Çekerek and the Büyükaköz dam which was constructed on the Çatak river.cite web |url= http://www.dsi.gov.tr/bolge/dsi7/tokat.htm|title= Devlet Su İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü< |accessdate= 2007-04-30 |date= 2006-07-05 |work= [http://www.dsi.gov.tr Devlet Su İşleri] ] The Süreyya Bey dam and hydroelectric plant is under construction and will provide electricity and water for irrigation in the area.


Zile's weather is influenced from the north by the narrow coast land of the Black Sea Region which brings humidity and from the south by the Central Anatolia interior plateau which has low rainfall and cold winters. Summers are hot and dry, while the winters are snowy and cold. The weather is hot through the months of June to September as the average summer maximum is 28 °C (83 °F), and the average minimum is 13 °C (56 °F) whereas it is cold through the months of December to February as the average winter maximum is 7 °C (45 °F), and the average minimum is as low as -3 °C (27 °F). Northerly winds are responsible for humid climate from April to June. It is usually rainy during the months of April, May, June, November and December.


Zile had a population of 110,139 as of the 2004 census; 52,640 in the city centre and the remaining population in 116 nearby villages. [cite web|url=http://www.citypopulation.de/Turkey.html |title=Turkey - City Population - Cities, Towns & Provinces - Statistics & Map|author=City Population|authorlink=|publisher=City Population|accessdate=2007-01-01|date=2007] However, the population of Zile has been decreasing as a result of high unemployment rates. According to 2007 census, Zile has a population of 68,937; just 36,154 in the city centre and remaining 32,783 live in the surrounding villages. [cite web|url=http://www.yildiztepe.com/boztepe/nufus/ |title=Zile & Yildiztepe - Population - Towns & Villages|author=Town Population|authorlink=|publisher=Zile & Yildiztepe Population|accessdate=2008-02-18|date=2008] Farmers make up 50% of the population. The town is near 100% Muslim and many ancient churches could be found in the city decades ago. However, there are no churches or regular Christian services any longer.


Unfortunately, the column with Caesar's famous words carved on it was stolen in 2004, and the thieves have not yet been found. There are many other historical buildings and artifacts from Hittites, Lycians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Turks in Zile. Among these, Zile castle, the Roman theatre, Ulu Camii and Çifte Hamam are the most famous. Kaya Mezarı, Kusyuva, Çay Pınarı, Imam Melikiddin Tomb, Seyh Musa Fakih Tomb, Elbaşı Mosque, Mast Tumulus, Namlı Hisar Kale, Anzavur Caves, Hacı Boz Bridge, Koç Taşı and Manastry in Kuruçay are also popular.

The remains of the Roman theatre are visible to the east of the citadel hill, together with some rock tombs. Two Ottoman baths, the Yeni Hamam and the Çifte Hamam, date from the 16th and 17th century and the Hasan Aga Madrasah was built in 1497. The Boyaci Hasan Aga Mosque with its stalactiform prayer niche dates from 1479 and the Seyh Musa Fakih Tomb is also very old with 1106 or 1305 given as possible construction dates.

Mast Tumulus, an ancient site located in Zile, is of special importance since it hosts the palace of a Hittitite ruler, earthenware utensils and Hittite hieroglyphics.cite web|url=http://erasmus.gop.edu.tr/Tokat.htm |title=TOKAT|author=Gaziosmanpasha University|authorlink=Gaziosmanpasha University|publisher=Gaziosmanpasha University|accessdate=2007-05-03|date=unknown]


Agriculture, trade, and livestock are the main economic activities of Zile. Zile is a center of cereal production such that she is one of the biggest exporters of wheat, barley, lentil and common vetch in the Black Sea region. Zile is famous for its grapes, leblebi, cherry, and fruit gardens. The annual Cherry Festival is very famous in Tokat, Sivas and Yozgat. People of Zile don't use their grapes to produce wine, but pekmez - a syrup-like liquid mixed from different kinds of fruit-juices.

The students of Zile Tourism and Hotel Management Department of Gaziosmanpasha University play an important role in city's economic activities. The industry of Zile is developing rapidly. Since 1996, there has been a major movement from agriculture to industry. Anatolian Tigers constructed 55 factories whose major products include textiles, sugar beet, furniture, tomato sauce, leblebi, marble and shoes.cite web |url= http://www.zile.bel.tr/index.php?page=ekonomi |title= Zile Belediyesi |accessdate= 2007-03-07 |date= 2006-07-05 |work= [http://www.zile.bel.tr Zile Municipality] ]

The municipality and European Union has had a joint project to increase the tourism potential of Zile and to transform the city into a tourism destination. The project is funded by the EU and includes advertisements as well as education of local people about tourism.cite web |url= http://zile.bel.tr/abproje/ |title= AB Hibe Destek Projesi |accessdate= 2007-03-07 |date= 2006-07-05 |work= [http://zile.bel.tr/abproje/ EU Project] ] [cite web |url= http://www.zaman.com.tr/webapp-tr/haber.do?haberno=310433 |title= Zile turizmine AB'den hibe kredi |accessdate= 2007-05-01 |date= 2006-07-17 |work= [http://www.zaman.com.tr/webapp-tr/haber.do?haberno=310433 Zile turizmine AB'den hibe kredi] ]


The city boasts 100% literacy in the city centre and over 90% in surrounding villages, with public and Imam Hatip schools, and a roughly 1:27 student-teacher ratio. [cite web |url= http://www.zile.bel.tr/index.php?page=egitim |title= Zile Belediyesi |accessdate= 2007-03-07 |date= 2006-07-05 |work= [http://www.zile.bel.tr Zile Municipality] ] There are 126 primary and secondary schools with 14,373 students and 540 teachers. Zile Lisesi, Dinçerler 75th Year Anatolian High School and Anadolu Öğretmen Lisesi provide high school education in Zile. There are also four professional high schools providing technical education. The Tourism and Hotel Management departments of Gaziosmanpasha University are both located in Zile.

Media and Social Life

In Zile, theatres and concerts are conducted at a movie-theatre whose capacity is 850 people. Along with national TV channels and radios, there is one local TV channel and two radio stations that keep Zile people up to date on current events. Zile has three local daily newspapers (Özhaber, Zile Postası, Gündem) and daily newspapers sell around 4000 copies per day. Also the city has a daily news portal, [http://www.zilehaber.com Zile Haber] .


Zile is linked by highways with the cities of Tokat and Amasya and is near the Sivas-Samsun railway.


External links

* [http://www.zile.bel.tr/index.php?page=tarihce District municipality, brief information on Zile] tr icon
* [http://www.kenthaber.com/ilceler.aspx?IlceKodu=6012 Zile news portal] tr icon
* [http://www.zilehaber.com Zile daily news portal] tr icon
* [http://weather.msn.com/local.aspx?wealocations=wc:37601 Zile weather forecast] en icon
* [http://www.turkeyforyou.com/travel_turkey_tokat Turkey travel guide, Tokat and Zile] en icon
* [http://www.livius.org/za-zn/zela/zela.html Battle of Zela]
* [http://www.yildiztepe.com Yildiztepe, a small town in Zile] tr icon

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