EARLIER NAMES OF THE REGION
KOMANA (ANCIENT BYZANTINE)
EVDOKSIA, DOKIA (ANCIENT BYZANTINE)
DAR-UN-NASR (YILDIRIM BEYAZIT, OTTOMAN STATE)
TOKAT (OTTOMAN AND TURKISH REPUBLIC PERIOD)
Tokat has been residential and conquest area of empires, states and lordships because of its rich natural resources and geostrategic location in Anatolia which is the center of civilizations. Our province, with a range of plateaus, plains, vineyards, gardens and rivers at different altitudes extending from Central Black Sea mountains to the south and the Anatolian interior, is a unique paradise province in the world, and it keeps the traces of its vast history alive even today.
Most of the numerous historical assets in various districts and villages of Tokat including the central district, Zile, Reşadiye, Erbaa, Niksar and Artova, have been destroyed and disappeared in the past 5000 years because of invasions, wards, earthquakes and destructions. While the ones remaining under the ground are expecting to be discovered, many of the monumental artifacts that reached today are not under a good protection and maintenance. It is our national duty to discover, explore, protect, and introduce our vast historical assets as described by Great Ataturk under title of "National Pack" to the new generation and the all world in terms of our patriotism of today and the future.
While Great Hittite Empire was dissolved against the Balkan tribes coming from the West and migrated to the south east, Balkan-origin Phrygian tribes were starting to establish their civilization that will last for 500 years in Anatolia. Later on, Anatolia faces with invasions of powerful Persians from the east and GreatAlexander from the west. When it comes to BC 4. Century, the old nations of the region, namely, Hattis, Hitties, Hurries, Mitannies and Phrygians become integrated to the new tribes and Persian, Helenistic and Pontus cities were under construction on the cities that they left. Hittite and Phrygian residential areas, that were established on the Kelkit, Yeşilırmak and Çekerek Rivers in the province of Tokat, had enjoyed a high level artistic and cultural life during BC 2500-4000.
Anatolia remained was under the hegemony of Persians from BC 6. Century to BC 4. Century. The powerful Satraps, who were ruling Tokat and its vicinity at that time under Persian hegemony, became surrendered by the rapid and strong invasion of Great Alexander in BC 333, and the Hellenistic Period starts in Anatolia. This period which lasted for 300 years with highest level of artistic activities will be inherited by Romans.
Roman Emporers, who initiated the conquest of the Asia Minor during the BC 1. Century, take over the control of Kayseri Cappadocia and Pontika Cappadocia (with its center of COMANA-Tokat) which are the two leading settlement areas of Anatolia. However, the Pontus Kings of MITHRIDATs who had established a strong state in the region, will show a powerful resistance to Romans. In BC 47, CAESAR arrives in Zile with his armies. At the end of 5 hours long war, he wins against the Pontus King of 2. PHARNAKES. He summarizes his victory with his historical statement of "Veni, Vidi, Vici" in Zile. Tokat (COMANA), Niksar (NEOCAESAREA), Sulusaray (SEBASTOPOLIS) remain as Roman province centers until AD 5. Century.
4 At the end of the century the Roman Empire collapses. the new Byzantine Empire, that continues in the East, assumes the state order of the Roman Empire. Byzantine Empire makes an interpretation of the Roman culture and art with the christianity and disseminates the new civilization to the all Anatolia. The Byzantine hegemony, that lasted for 1000 years, protects and institutionalize the Christianity in Anatolia. Tokat and Niksar Pontika Cappadocia has become centers of episcopacy.
When it comes to 1071, it is seen that the Byzantine power that lasted for 600 years started to fall behind against the Seljuk and Danishmend Turks.
During the 300 years from 11. Century to the end of 14. Century, Anatolia faces with whole of very complicated and relentless struggles that determine the destiny of various states. It is seen that this period was very resourceful era for historians.
During the 12. Century, Byzantine Empire starts to collapse against the Turkish-Islamic states that were gaining strength gradually. While Seljuks were getting possession of the East and Central Anatolia and Danishmends were capturing inner parts of North Anatolia whose center was Sivas and Niksar, Crusaders, who were pursuing to reach sacred lands, land in Anatolia from all sides. Following the disputes between Byzantines, Seljuks, Danishmends and Crusaders, Mongols come to Anatolia like a cylinder. The region turns into a very complicated arena of wars and power struggles. Meanwhile, many small Christian kingdoms and lordships established in Anatolia were having a life and death struggle under these large feets.
During this very active period that lasted until the end of 13. Century, it is found that cities were destroyed and religious buildings were turned over to each others very frequently. Riots, bloody dynastical fights, betrayals and conflicts for wealth had shaken Anatolia significantly.
The most important civilization of this period in Anatolia, without any doubt, was the humanistic, cultural, artistic, architectural and scientific studies created by Seljuk Turks. This civilization, whose essence was beauty and patience, and, which can be observed in Tokat right away, had expanded to each part of Anatolia in a very short period of 2 centuries with full of struggles.
In 13. Century, ruthless Mongol Khans had killed hundred thousands of Anatolian people. During these years, in which everyone can fall into trouble, MUINEDDIN PERVANE makes an agreement with Mongols with a view to ensure the survival of Seljuk Dynasty, then, rules the state for 15 years from Tokat with full of intrigues including killing of Sultan RUKNEDDIN KILIÇARSLAN to replace him with GIYASETTIN KEYHUSREV, and finally the weak Seljuk State collapses and İlkhanid Khan OLCAYTON invades the East Anatolia; the Iranian Mongols and ERATNA lords establish their dominance in Tokat and its vicinity; and then the period of KADI BURHANEDDIN starts with the lack of wisdom, peace and security. Most importantly, Christians begin to return to villages, castles and cities. The ordinary people were lordless, confused and frightened... Here we can share a prophecy of HACI BEKTAŞ VELİ on Tokat, transmitted by Evliya Çelebi.
He sees that Tokat Castle is captured by infidels again while he was going from Horasan to Ertuğrul and Osman Beys in Söğüt in 12. Century, and while seated in the Sumbul Vineyard he makes the prophecy that "Hopefully, in the near future, a man like lightning will appear and conquer Tokat". He leaves one of his followers in this vineyard. This follower becomes a famous master with a name of SUMBULLU BABA and he is buried in that place.
The prophecy of Hacı Bektaş Veli turns into reality after 175 years later. in 1392, the Sultan of Ottomans, YILDIRIM BEYAZIT, (The Lightning), includes Tokat into his lands. During their Rising Period, Ottomans follow the steps of Seljuks and make Tokat an important trade and cultural center. Most of the historical monuments that are still in use today have been built during these rising period of three hundred years. There are numerous palaces, madrasa and dervish lodges in Tokat. Many statesmen, artists, scientists, historians, dervishes, including particularly MOLLA LÜTFİ, İBN-İ KEMAL, MOLLA HÜSREV, had been raised during these period and they had provided important contributions to the expansion and unity of Ottoman Empire.
Following the end of 17. Century, Tokat had influenced negatively from the declining period of the Empire and started to lose its growth and liveliness.
Experienced with the sad years of the First World War during the early years of 20. Century, Tokat remained under the very small Turkish territory in Anatolia which was fragmented with 1920 Sevres Agreement.
Tokat, Vikipedia, History of Tokat, Detailed Information
Tokat has been a settlement and conquest area for empires, states and lordships because of its rich natural resources and geo-strategic location in Anatolia, which is the center of civilizations. Known as Komana during the ancient period, the first settlement in the province belongs to the Hittite period. Residential areas that belong to the ancient Hittite kingdom and subsequent Great Hittite Empire that, established after Chalcolithic and Bronze Age, spread over to the wetland valleys and fertile plains of Tokat. One of the most important centers to be visited in Tokat is the Maşat Höyük, near to Yalınyazı in Zile District. Archaeological excavations were made in the tumulus where the city is located, in a palace and on its slopes in federations affiliated to the Great Hittite Empire, cuneiform tablets and a variety of ceramic items on the bronze and iron ages were found in these areas. Other important centers experienced high levels of Hittite culture and art are; Horoztepe in Erbaa, the Holy Hittite city of Aktepe Tumulus, called by JGC Anderson as "Veris, and by J. Garstang as "Zıppalang, Anzilia Tumuls where the Zile Castle is located, and other residential areas such as the tumulus and castle tumulus. Archaeological excavations were conducted here, artifacts have been found from chalcolithic period.
Phrygians, who had invaded the West Anatolia with the migrant Aegean tribes, had occupied the Hittite cities located around Çekerek, Tozanlı and Kelikt Creeks in Tokat region. They had established a high level of civilization during BC 8. and 7. Centuries. There are some findings and individual belongings in Maşathöyük that belong to Phrygians period.
After the collapse of Phyrgian tribes, who were not able to resist against North-origin Cimmerian invasions, Tokat fall under the control of Medes first in BC 6. Century and then Persians. Tokat came within the boundaries of Great Cappadocia Satrap (Persian Governorship). Persians built a Andidis fire-temple with four columns in Zile and many other fire-temples in the rural areas in order to expand their Zoroastrian religion against the MA community in Komana. Observing the economic and strategical importance of Tokat, Persians made Tokat as a transit point for the King Road, which extends from their capital of Persepolis to the capital of Lydia in the Aegean region.
After the rapid and aggressive campaign of Great Alexander in BC 334 and 332, the hegemony of Persians in Anatolia ended and the Hellenistic period started. At the outset of this period some conflicts took place between Persian and Macedonnian nobles and at the end Pontus State is established under the leadership of Mithritat who has Persian origin. Becoming stronger gradually, the Pontus Kings had established strong castles called as Gazafilaklia in Niksar, Turhal and Zile and monuments, palaces and villas in Komana and Erbaa. Pontus who attained power in Black Sea region, gradually took the control in a great part of Anatolia and showed a strong resistance to Roman armies who were invading Anatolia for a long period, however, in BC 1. Century they lost against Roman Empire.
In order to break the strong resistance of Pontus, Roman Empire sends its most powerful generals to Asia Minor. Admiral Triarius, Sulla, V. Flaccus, Lucullus and Pompeius perform great wars. Finally, Julius Caesar comes to Zile, Tokat in BC 47 and encounters with the armies of Basforos King of insurgent 2. Pharnake with Persian origin at the location of Altıağaç. In five hours having achieved a great victory, Caesar had informed Roma on the result by stating "Veni, Vidi, Vici". Throughout the 400 years of Roman rule, trade, public works and transport facilities had advanced, new cities had been constructed in the Tokat region and the importance of Niksar, Zile and Sulusaray had increased. There are a number of works coming from the Roman Period in Tokat Museum. There are many ruins belonging to Roman Period in historical sites of Leyley Pınar, Ayvaz, Harmancık, Çanakçı and Interior Castle in Niksar District, Zile District and Sulusaray Distirct.
When the Roman Empire was divided into two as the East and the West in 395, Tokat remained in the Eastern Part. The most important progress in this period was the expansion of Christian-Byzantine civilization into Anatolia and initiation of new culture and artistic activities. Komana city which has Ma and Anaitis temples lost its importance gradually. Christian people migrated to Evdoksia in which Tokat Castle is located and to Dazimnodis near to Turhal. Sassanian and Arab states became the most important problem of Byzantine during 6-7-8. Centuries. Time to time, Tokat and its vicinity came under the control of Arab raiders who were seeking for conquest of Istanbul. The encounter of Turkish and Byzantine started with the migration of Turkoman during 10. and 11. centuries and after the War of Malazgirt in 1071 against Seljuk leader of Sultan Alp Arslan, it turned into the withdraw of Byzantine. Kutalmışoğlu Süleyman Shah and Gümüştekin Ahmet Gazi had captured most of the Anatolia and had established independent lordships.
Gümüştekin Ahmet Gazi, who was one of the commanders of Sultan Melik Shah of Great Seljuk Empire, entered into Anatolia with his armies following the War of Malazgirt in 1071. He designated his capital city as Sivas first and then Niksar in 1095. Then he included Tokat, zile, Turhal and Zonusa to his territories. Danishmends who established an independent state from Anatolian Seljuk State became stronger by taking the possession of Kayseri and Malatya. They ended Bohemont Princeship of Antioch and Cilisia Kingdom of Mediterranean in the south. Melik Ahmet Gazi, who had shown important achievements towards Turkicization of Anatolia, had struggles against Trabzon-Roman Kingdom and Crusaders, and had some temporary conflicts with Turkish state of Anatolian Seljuk State. Most of the Danishmen works are in Niksar and Tokat. The hegemony of Danishmends in Tokat region lasted until the Sultan 2. Kılıçarslan of Seljuk State.
Sultan 2. Kılıçarslan ended the ongoing conflicts between Seljukids and Danishmends that took place until the mid-12. century, and took the control of the whole land under Danishmends and divided his territories among his 11 sons in 1186 under the Turkish feudal state understanding. Tokat came under the control of his son, Rukneddin Suleyman. However, Suleyman Shah, who observes that conflicts among brothers reach to a dangerous state, achieved the unity of the state again. The most important and powerful period of Anatolian Seljuk State was the period under the leadership of Alaeddin Keykubat, who was the prince in Tokat for 6 years. After ascended the throne, he expanded the territories of the country. He develops cities, ensures peace and security. After he died in Kayseri in 1236 by being poisoned, 1. Gıyasettin Keyhusrev ascended the throne. Because of the lack of wisdom of the young sultan, inconsistencies with his officials, increasing migration, and Babai insurrections, the state loses its power and Mongols enter into the country. After the loss of Kösedağ War in 1243, the country comes under the pressure of Mongols. Pervane Muineddi Suleyman, who was the key person between Seljuk sultans and mongol khans to stop the negative developments, makes things more complicated instead of ensuring the unity of the country because of his personal aspirations, and finally Anatolian Seljuk State comes under the hegemony of İlkhanid Mongols during the end of 13. Century. Pervane Complex, which is famous for its beautiful tiles and known as Gökmedrese (Blue Madrasa) today, was built in Tokat during his power.
İlkhanid State, which was established in 1256 following the dissolution of Genghis Empire, was under the influence of Turkish and Iranian culture. İlkhanids, who ended the Anatolian Seljuk State and had the control of Central and Eastern Anatolia for half of a century, left important historical works in Tokat, Zile and Niksar.
During the last periods of İlkhanids, the Anatolian Governor of Timurtaş escaped to Egypt and left Eratna Bey into his place. After some time in 1340, Emir Eratna established his own independent state in the region. Emir Eratna, who held the possession of Tokat and was loved by the people as "Beardless Prophet", died in 1352 and then the state became less powerful due to the conflicts among the rulers and riots. Eratna State started to be divided among rulers and with the hegemony wars of Tacettinogullari, Hacı Kutluşah and other in Tokat and Niksar region, it started to collapse at all. 2. Eratna Leader of Alaaddin Ali was a statesman who tried to prevent these unrest during his period. After great struggles Kadı Burhaneddin declared his independence against the administration. Kadı Burhaneddin, who started to rule the lorship from Sivas, had severe disputes with the rulers of Tokat, Niksar, Zile and Turhal who do not want be part of his state, however he became unsuccessful for obtaining Tokat. Kadı Burhaneddin, who was also a poet, had a war against Ottoman Leader of Yıldırım Beyazıt. He was killed in a war against Akkoyunlu ruler in 1398. The people of Tokat, who had suffered a lot during the disputes between Kadı Burhaneddin and local rulers, applied for Ottoman Leader Yıldırım Beyazıt to include their province into Ottoman Union.
OTTOMAN EMPIRE PERIOD
The name of Tokat, which joined the Ottoman State in 1392, was replaced with Darun Nasr. After a short period of this development, Taimur Khan entered into Anatolia, blockaded Tokat with unsuccess of obtaining it, made significant damages in the city. Prince Mehmet Çelebi surpressed riots in Tokat and Amasya region during the period of interrgnum, and after Ottomans achived the order and unity in Anatolia, Tokat remained under the control of Ottomans for 5 centuries.
Tokat, which was damaged by blockades of Taimur, Shah Ismayil, Uzun Hassan, riots of Karayazıcı, Celali and others, floods and earthquakes, did not lose its importance and development during this period. Industry and trade, particularly weaving, traditional printing, copper and leather goods, developed, 14 large inn, several mosques and madrassas, as well as palaces, baths, bridges and fountains are made. Foreign travelers and Evliya Celebi described its beauty and blessings. Tokat, became Voivodship for Queens in the year 1617, and it has been a cultural and economic center where the famous Ottoman Sultans come and see and stayed with the their armies. Tokat, as the district center of the Sivas Province, has been one of the leading cities of the Ottoman Empire. During the period of decline, it became away from the caravan routes and turned into an inner city, adversely affected by the wars and the developments in industry and technology in Europe, and gradually it has lost its legitimacy of inter-regional trade center.
It became township in 1863, district in 1878 and independent province in 1920 and remained isolated until the declaration of Republic of Turkey.
TOKAT DURING THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
As very well known, the development of industry during the second half of 19. century led to increased colonialism and diplomatic relations. This also led to political competition, conflicts of economic interests and disputes among great states of the world. European States view Ottoman State as an ill man which is to be colonized and view Turkish people as a nation which needs to be governed.
Before the First World War, Ottoman State had lost its remaining lands in Africa to Italy in the Tripoli Wars in 1911, and also lost its influence in Eastern Balkans after the Wars of Balkan during 1912-1913.
Despite the victory in Dardanelles Wars, Ottoman State lost the First World War and forced to sign the Armistice of Mudros. With the signature of this truce Ottoman State became collapsed in practice if not officially. However, despite all of these negative developments, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who had a dream of establishing a new Turkish State based on national hegemony, had never lost his hope towards the liberation of Turkish Nation. He very well knows that Turkish Nation will not refrain from any sacrifice in order to protect its sacred values including homeland, independence, flag and honor.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who had stated his trust in Turkish Nation at every opportunity, took his first step towards the War of Independence by landing in Samsun on 19th May 1919. This journey, which started in Samsun, will continue towards Kavak, Havza, Amasya and Tokat.
Tokat was a district center, connected to Sivas Province, during the end period of First World War. Its population was above one hundred thousand people, mainly with Turkish origin. Greek and Armenian people were the minority. Zile, Reşadiye, Niksar and Erbaa were the towns under Tokat District.
The problems started to appear in Anatolia during and immediately after the signature of Armistice of Mudros made also people living in Tokat sad and led to some concerns about the future. Particularly, Greek people who are in the minority in Tokat, want to establish a Pontus State in the region including Tokat with a center of Samsun. These aspirations were also increasing the uneasiness of Tokat people. Under these circumstances, Muslim people living in Tokat established the Tokat branch of Black Sea Region Turkish Resistance Organization on 25 February 1919. This branch was connected to the Eastern Provinces Resistance Organization after one month. The occupation of İzmir by Greece on 15th May 1919 led to protests by Tokat people. Denial of Annexation Organizations were established in Tokat and its towns. A meeting was held in Niksar on 20th June 1919 to protest Greek occupation. The decisions taken during the meeting was sent to the representatives of Occupation States and the President of USA, Wilson, under the signature of The President of Organization for Denial of Annexation, Mahir. These decisions were: We want the each part of Turkish land to stay Turkish. You had also promised that. Now we see that you are not keeping this promise. Any effort to invade Anatolia is like a step to kill us. Stop this assassination for the sake humanity and justice.
Reserve Army Officers who returned from the 1. World War established the Solidarity Organization of Reserve Army Officers in Tokat. Their purpose was to ensure solidarity among themselves and to engage with cases related to the country. They did not find the efforts of Organization of Resistance and stated "We can not see the patriotic people who will heal the deep wounds of the country. There is no strong committee that will influence Tokat in this regard. Incapable men, who are not able to manage themselves, can not manage the Tokat people in these dangerous times." Based on that they requested the acceptance of young people to the Management of Organization of Resistance. So, these young people were also accepted to the Organization for Resistance. This development improved the efforts of resistance further in Tokat.
Mustafa Kema Pasha, who was sent to Anatolia as 9th Army Inspector, stayed in Tokat during the night of 26/27 June 1919 and he moved to Sivas in the following day. Mustafa Kemal Pasha held a meeting with the leading personalities of the city in the municipality building when he arrived in Tokat, he informed them on the general situation in the country and convinced them that a War of Independence is inevitable. It should be mentioned that he faced with some obstacles. For instance, during his move to Sivas, the Governor of Sivas, Reşit Pasha will be specially assigned to arrest him. However, Mustafa Kemal Pasha overcame this obstacle with his intelligence and deliberateness.
It is known that decisions were taken towards the unity of the country and its independence during the Erzurum Congress held on 23 July 1919. Rıfat (Hamamcıoğlu) and Sabri Efendi (Retiree Military Official) had attended to this meeting from Tokat. In his statement during the congress, Mr. Rıfat mentioned that their case is the case for the rights and liberty. Although no representative from Tokat had attended the Sivas Congress, we can still say that Tokat was represented in this Congress since Mr. Bekir Sami, who is from Tokat, was elected as the member of Representative Delegation in the Erzurum Congress.
Immediately after the end of Sivas Congress, the Representative Delegation decided to cut the communication with Istanbul to enforce Damat Ferid Pasha government to resignate. Tokat also obeyed to this decision. Tokat was represented by Mr. Ahmet, Mr. Şevki and Ömer Fevzi Efendi during the last Ottoman National Assembly held on 12 January 1920.
Development towards occupation of Istanbul by English forces, closure of the National Assembly and deportation of its members were reacted with anger in Tokat as it was the case for other provinces. Meetings were held in Tokat and its towns in order to protest these injustices made against Turkish Nation. In addition telegraphs were wired to representatives of Allied States in order to condemn this serious event.
Following the occupation of Istanbul and dissolution of the National Assembly, the idea of establishing a new government outside of Istanbul began to gain strength. Finally, Turkish Grand National Assembly, which was opened in Ankara on 23 April 1920, declared that it does not recognize Istanbul and it undertakes the responsibility of rescuing the Turkish Nation. The representatives of Tokat in this new assembly were Mr. Rıfat (Hamamcıoğlu), Mr. Hamdi (Mütevellioğlu), Nr. Mustafa Vasfi (Süsoy), Mr. Nazım (Pervious Harput Governor), and Mr. İzzet (Gençağaoğlu).
Istanbul Government, who had shown reaction to the decision of opening up the Turkish Grand National Assembly, tried to kill the spirit of National Forces through the fatwa declared by Sheikh al-Islam Dürrizade Abdullah Efendi on 11 April 1920. This fatwa had some influences on some regions of Anatolia and led to some insurrections. Thus, Post Man Nazım revolted in the village of Kaman, connected to Sivas-Yıldızeli on 14 May 1920. In order to prevent this revolt a National Forces Team of 50 people was established. In addition, a task force was kept in Köprübaşı, Niksar Road, Çay, Beybağı and Erenler neighborhoods against any possible danger. Meanwhile, support was also ensured from Niksar and other towns.
The Postman Nazım sent a letter to Yenihan District Office on 9 May 1920 stating that "While it was decided to maintain the peace, trusting on the promise given in Kavak, following the sending of 50 armed men, no confidence left. If we can not receive a written response to our requests, we will violate the peace with our existing forces.". Mustafa Kemal ordered Mr. Şerafettin, the Commander of 3. Sub-Army that was located in Zile to surpress this riot. Upon the order received from the 3. Sub-Army, Commander Cemil Cahit (Toydemir), who was the commander of 5. Caucasian Division (Center is in Amasya), sent one batallion to Artova from Zile and other batallion to Yıldızeli from Tokat. However, these units became unsuccessful against the rebels. Encouraged with this win, the rebels occupied Zile. lieutenant colonel Cemil Cahit, Commander of the Division, entered Zile with support of the military unit in Yıldızeli and rescued Zile from occupation. Criminals and rebels were kept and punished in a serious way. The Postman Nazım was arrested in Samsun and brought to Amasya and executed.
Another riot which took place in Tokat region during the War of Independence was the one which was started by Aynacıoğlu Hasan. The gang of Aynacıoğlu was dissolved by 2. Mobile Forces under rhe command of Major Çolak İbrahim in Ayvalıközü, located in east of Akdağmadeni, however he made the Government forces busy for some time. Finally, he surrendered with a condition to fight against Greek in Western Anatolia in 1921.
There were several other gang activities took place in Tokat and its towns. Some of the other leading gang activities were: Gangs of Molla Veli (Çıkrık Village of Artova), Kürt Bekir (Munamah Village of Kazova), Koca Molla (Olukalan Village), Deli Şükrü (Şıhlar Village), Ali Çavuş (Fadlı Village), İzzet (Erbaa Beldağı Village). It can not be denied that some of these gangs helped Government forces to surpress Greek riot in Tokat.
Other than the riots took place with the provocation of Istanbul Government to prevent and totally eliminate the National Forces Movement in Anatolia, the Greek gangs, which constitute a much more danger, started to conduct terror acts. Pontus Movement, which started in Black Sea Region, was provocated by Fener Greek Patriarchate supported and by Greek Government. Greek students studying at Merzifon American College established Pontus Organization on 1904. Extending its studies on 1908, the Pontus Organization was supported by organizations like Defense of the Constitution and Sacred Anatolia Greek Society. One of the branches of Defense of the Constitution Society was opened in Tokat. Greeks, who were encouraged after the Armistice of Mudros, were conducting activities in particularly the towns of Tokat including Erbaa, Niksar and Reşadiye. It is known that Greek gangs had supressed villages in this region, raped women, killed Muslims, burned houses and stolen goods.
TGNA (Turkish Grand National Assembly) became mostly successful in its struggle against Greek Gangs in 1921. Tokat Representative Mr. Rıfat requested an explanation from Ministry of Interior on the Pontus activities through a motion on 18 May 1922. The problem of Pontus movement was resolved to a great extent through deportation of a major part of Greek people in Black Sea Region to the other regions of the country. Thus an ethnic unity is ensured in Tokat.
EARLIER NAMES OF THE REGION