History of Sivas, cradle of the Anatolian civilization

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Sivas represents one of the cradles for the Anatolian civilization and this as many for the Hittites as for modern Turkey, which held one of its most important congresses ever here.

The words of Ibn Battuta

“The next stop was therefore the largest city of the king of Iraq in the region, Sivas, the residence of emirs and officials. Well built and with wide streets, it is home to markets that swarm with people and there is also a similar building. to a madrasa, the so-called Dar al-Siyada, reserved to house the sharif. “


The earliest remains around the city of Sivas date back even between 8000 and 5500 BC, however, starting from 2000 BC, it will be the Hittite civilization to establish itself first on these places, as evidenced by the numerous mounds that populate the area between this city and the east coast of Black Sea, connected through the Geminbeli pass; this cultural proximity between the two places can also be seen in the traditional music and dances which, although different, have several important similarities in common. With the collapse of the Hittites, this area passed first to the Cimmerians, then to the Scythians, the Medes, the Persians, Alexander the Great and finally to the Roman Empire, which will dominate it, with a brief Parthian and Sassanid parenthesis, until 1059, the year of the arrival of the Turks in this area, which, however, will become definitively Turkish only after the Battle of Manzinkert in 1071. After a brief passage to the Danishmendids, it became an integral and fundamental part of the Seljuk dominion in Anatolia, also managing to emerge as an important center on the Silk Road, so much so as to contend with Konya for the role of capital. With their fall, I passed first to the Ilkhanids, then to the Eretnids and finally to the Ottomans, who definitively obtained control over them in 1408.


Although gradually losing its importance, under the Sublime Porte it revealed itself to be an administrative center of great fame, so much so that it became the capital of the Eyalet of Rum and spent several centuries in almost total serenity; the only great and indelible blemish will be the genocide of the Armenians, who, given the large Christian community historically present in the city, sadly saw it as the protagonist. In 1919 the Sivas Congress will take place here, considered one of the key moments for the national liberation process, so much so that the building where the latter took place has now become a museum. In 1993 the city was the protagonist of the “Sivas Massacre”, during which 37 Alevis who came to the city to celebrate the feast of Pir Sultan Abdal, a very important figure for this cult, lost their lives.

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