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Tokat, has been an important trade center throughout history due to its location on trade routes linking Europe to Asia. 
 
Being the sixth-largest city during the Seljuk times, Tokat, although it was under pressure of Byzantine and Crusader armies in 12th century, and that of Mongols after 1243, has continued to grow up until the end of Ilkhanate sovereignty, economy and trade developed as in the ancient times, inns, caravanserais, regular roads and bridges have been built which accommodates major trade caravans on the east-west direction.  In Tokat, you can immediately meet with the cultural, artistic, architectural and public works of the civilization created by Seljuk Turks in Anatolia, whose essence is the beauty and patience.  After the great destruction of the Mongols, falling under the Ottomans rule at the end of the 14th century, it has been one of the agricultural and industrial centers of the expansion period of the Empire.

The gardens and plains, that were the subject of long narrative of Evliya Celebi, had become the accommodation and food warehouse of Ottoman armies; copper, silk, cotton fabrics and various industry and crafts developed; its commercial buildings and bazaars had been compared with those in Baghdad, Bursa and Aleppo.

With the end of the 17th century, it was adversely affected and lost its vitality during the falling period of the Empire.

Ever since the founding of the Republic, institutions like Turhal Sugar Factory and Tekel Cigarette Factory, which was built by the state, has greatly contributed to the development of the province's economy.

Today, great improvements recorded in the industry of our province, a wide range of employment opportunities has been created. This is especially the case for textile and food processing industry. Our city has been opened up to the world and Turkish textile markets and has reached a position to have a say in these markets.  Besides, juice and food industry products has also reached a level to compete in domestic and international market place.  Also, there are public institutions like Cigarette Factory, Sugar Factory, Leaf Tobacco Care House, and organizations bearing the character of the industry of building materials like bricks, tiles, briquette, especially in the town of Erbaa.

There are small business enterprises in our province, which sell their products to neighboring provinces and the different regions of our country, as well as meeting our own needs.  Among these goods; there are heavy industrial presses, electric drills, threshing machines, tractors cars, electrical appliances, water heaters, truck bodies and woodworking industries.

Furthermore, many factories are operating in Tokat in the fields of dairy and animal feed industries, earth brick industry, lime industry, plastic and rubber industry, footwear apparel industry, clay and kaolin industries.

Gaziosman Pasha University, established in our province, has grown and shown its existence in a short time and so that this knowledge and wisdom center has increased its contribution to the economy of the region.

Also Tokat Airport, opened to the scheduled Turkish Airlines plane travels, has greatly influenced the drivers of the economy, education, and industry investment.

Tokat has a rich soil structure, vast irrigated lands (Kazova and the Kelkit Plain, etc.), high irrigation water potential (Yesilirmak, Kelkit and Çekerek Rivers, etc.), sophisticated range of products in the agriculture due to climate suitability and elevation difference, abundant and rich vegetation.

For better evaluation of agricultural products and utilizing more modern methods of agriculture, the projects are pursued successfully on viticulture (Evaluation of vine leaves), greenhouse, growing fruit trees, indeterminate tomatoes production.

Tokat, in the livestock area, has a higher potential than the neighboring the provinces. Dairy and beef cattle, bovine animals and small cattle farming, beekeeping and poultry are some other agricultural activities.  Even for the development of a beekeeping, a project has been initiated by our Governorship.

Since it was selected as a pilot a region in terms of handcrafts in the past, vocational training courses are under implementation on hand carpet weave, knitting, sim-braid, producing Siirt blankets and traditional printing.

INDUSTRY IN TOKAT

It is observed that Turkey is among the rapidly industrializing countries towards the year of 2000, an it is going for a more economic and commercial integration between other countries in the world at macro level under the wind of globalization.

Tokat, with its very old and well-rooted historical past, has shown a breakthrough in the industrial investments in terms of production, employment and exports in parallel with the developments in Turkey.

One of the first sugar factories of Turkey, Turhal Sugar (and Machinery) Factory was established in Tokat in 1930 as the first industrial institution of the province. In this way, the first industrialization process has been started by the public sector in Tokat. However, no progress has been achieved since then, with the exception of Almus Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant, built in 1960s, and Cigarette Factory, started to operate in 1983 and a few number of small scale private institutions.

 With the implementation of incentive measures after 1985, investments in the fields of agriculture and earth based industries including on brick and tile industry, flour feed industry, hardwood-lumber industry and agricultural machinery, have increased and the industrial sector has started to improve its role in the province slowly.

Today, as of its economic potential and economic activities that are realizing this potential, Tokat has become one of the advantageous provinces in Turkey compared to others, and a shift process has been taking place from labor based manufacturing to modern and advanced technological production industry.

Organized Industrial Zone in Tokat has been built in 1992 and is now open for use of our investors.  In order to meet the investment land needs of our enterprises and realize a modern industrialization without hampering environment, Organized Industrial Zones are established in Erbaa, Niksar and Turhal/Zile districts, which show similar development potential to Tokat, as well. Again, in addition to the existing 5 Small Industrial Areas in the Central, Erbaa, Niksar, Turhal and Zile Districts, initiatives have been started to build new small industrial areas in Reşadiye, Almus, Pazar and Sulusaray Districts.

 As of the end of 1997, there are 227 industrial public and private institutions in Tokat and there are 10.000 people are employed in them.  In the finance sector, out of 1000 joint-stock and limited companies, around one third of them have been established during the last two years.

It is clear that these developments in Tokat are not limited with only the industrial sector.

Tokat has a rich soil structure, vast irrigated lands (Kazova and the Kelkit Plain, etc.), high irrigation water potential (Yesilirmak, Kelkit and Çekerek Rivers, etc.), sophisticated range of products in the agriculture due to climate suitability and elevation difference, abundant and rich vegetation.

 ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF THE PROVINCE

 Industry, agriculture and livestock play important roles in the economic structure of Tokat. Particularly the food industry, and rock and mineral industry, forest products industry, and in recent years, textile weaving and garment sector are the backbone of the economy of Tokat. Sugar beet, tobacco, other industrial crops, fresh fruits and vegetables, wheat and other grain products are processed in the public and private sector institutions in our province.  The private sector institutions, engaging with brick and forest products in Erbaa district, are dominating the neighboring provinces and the East Anatolian market.

According to the research conducted by Journal of Forum which is published by Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, Tokat province holds the rank of 8 in the food industry at the country level.

Proposals of Tokat province for development of greenhouse, textiles and garments, vines and leaves processing has been assessed as the second best proposal by Local Economic Development Program, which is under implementation with the technical support of the World Bank under the coordination of State Planning Organization, Treasury, KOSGEB and Turkish Employment Agency.  Studies in this regard are ongoing and a detailed feasibility study on the subject and its promotion have been started.

As of the location of our province, with a view to perform the agrciutural activities in the best way and to utilize more land areas for that purpose, Yeşilırmak Basin Development Project has been included by State Planning Organization into the investment program for 1997 and studies on the project have been started. This project covers the provinces of Amasya,Çorum, Tokat, Samsun, Yozgat.  It is a major project, whose initial studies are to set up geographic information system through remore sensing methodology by TUBITAK Marmara Research Center.

Another distinguishing property of our province from other provinces is that it develops with its districts.  Particularly, Erbaa, Turhal, Zile and Niksar districts are listed among the leading 300 districts out of 910 districts in Turkey in general.

For better evaluation of agricultural products and utilizing more modern methods of agriculture, the projects are pursued successfully on viticulture (Evaluation of vine leaves), greenhouse, growing fruit trees, indeterminate tomatoes production.

Tokat, in the livestock area, has a higher potential than the neighboring the provinces. Dairy and beef cattle, bovine animals and small cattle farming, beekeeping and poultry are some other agricultural activities. Even for the development of beekeeping, a project has been initiated by our Governorship.

Continuous progress has been observed in the tourism sector in Tokat during the recent years. Pazar Ballıca Cave, which is described as the 8th Wonder of the World by the authorities, is receiving a high number of local and foreign visitors each day since its opening.  Hot water springs and thermal tourism in Sulusary and Reşadiye, and mountain tourism in the Almus and Niksar Districts becomes more important and widespread day by day.

Since it was selected as a pilot a region in terms of handcrafts in the past, vocational training courses are under implementation on hand carpet weave, knitting, sim-braid, producing Siirt blankets and traditional printing.

In Tokat, the state and nation should come together, without allowing a chance to those who wish to prevent any development in the province, with a view to ensure industrialization in an integrated manner, increase production, productivity and employment in each sector more quickly, especially in the agricultural industry, and in the sectors of manufacturing, agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism, handcrafts and finance sector, through establishing close cooperation among themselves and with businessmen and capital from other provinces, regions and abroad.

If we achieve this, Tokat province, industry, economy, agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism will hit its mark to the years of 2000s.