Samsun (sämsōnˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 301,412), capital of Samsun prov., N Turkey, on the Black Sea. The most important Turkish port on the Black Sea, it is also a major tobacco-processing center and an agricultural market. Textiles, tobacco, and fertilizer are exported. The ancient Amisus, it was founded (6th cent. B.C.) by Greek colonists, became an important city of the kingdom of Pontus, and was much favored under the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages it was held by the Byzantines, the Seljuk Turks, the Genoese, and the empire of Trebizond before falling (14th cent.) to the Ottoman Turks. On May 19, 1919, Kemal Atatürk landed at Samsun to organize a nationalist movement in Turkey. A statue commemorates this event.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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