"SIVAS" Top 5 Page for this destination Sivas by Pinat

Sivas Travel Guide: 79 reviews and 169 photos

We've Been Friends Since 2000

Sivas, the hometown of my husband, the place where we have a good number of relatives now: Such a strange city for someone coming from the western coast but we got used to each other through years.

I was in Sivas in 2000 for a friend's wedding but after I got married, it's become a city where we go regularly: at least once a year. It was the first time when I felt that I was in Eastern Turkey. It was the city where I realized you could do many things as if you are in a big western city but you'd know you are in the east. I remember myself saying to my husband that "I feel like I'm abroad" and him laughing and laughing and advising me start learning more about all parts of my country. That was the lesson Sivas had thought me almost 10 years ago: I've become more open to my own country!

I knew it was a very historcial city but in 2006 I came to realize it's one of the few cities in Turkey where you cannot see but feel the historical center. Although the city itself has a very colourful history, not much left. Still, you hear it, smell it, feel it there.

Sivas being at the junction point of the Persia and Baghdad caravan routes, was once a busy commercial center. During the interval between 1142 and 1171, it was the capital of the Turkish Danismend Emirs. Later, under the rule of the Seljuks, it became a cultural center; and many related buildings were constructed by the remains of some, can still be seen today.

It's a very important city in today's Turkey's history. This is the city where Atatürk said "Here is where we laid the foundations of our republic.". This is the city in the congress building of which the plans for the Turkish War of Independence were made.

165 km southeast of Sivas, is Divrigi, an ancient town, which was once a Byzantine site. By the 12th and 13th centuries, it was the capital of Turkish Mengucek Emirs, and the remains of Ulu Mosque of 1229 and a citadel remain from the period. The Baroque style portal of this magnificent mosque is a real masterpiece of stonework, and this monumental building has been declared by UNESCO to be one of the eminent cultural heritages of the world.

Asik Veysel

Of the asiks, or minstrels, that lived in Anatolia during the past century, Asik Veysel is one of the most reknown and often spoken of. Asik Veysel (Satiroglu) was born in 1894 in Sarkisla county of Sivas. At the age of seven, Veysel lost his left eye due to smallpox epidemic in his village. When Veysel’s father discovered his son's passion for poetry, the saz, and language, he had a baglama made for him. Veysel took his first saz lessons from the master saz players of his village.

Asik Veysel started singing poetry (deyis) at the age of 40, and although his exposition at times strayed from traditional modes when the spirit moved him, he never departed from the traditional poetical forms.

The 1920s and 30s are years in which the asik tradition present over Anatolia, due to changing socio-political and economic conditions, entered a new and different period. This was the period in which Veysel came onto the scene. As a middle-aged artist, he was able to take excellent advantage of the opportunities before him, and within a short time had become one of the singular figures in the asik profession, working tirelessly for his cause. He became even more known for his works such as "Lament for Atatürk" and "Black Earth"; and through his recordings, published books and teaching positions at village institutes, he was able to reach a vast audience:

"I embraced so many, thinking them a friend
My true love is the black earth
in vain l wandered, exhausted myself for naught
My true love is the black earth"

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:So much history...
  • Cons:Too far away from popular destinations...
  • Last visit to Sivas: Jun 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (31)

Comments (15)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    This sounds like a nice place out of the way of tourists, so a person can enjoy the culture and the family values. You did a nice job of describing the sites and cultures.

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    very beautiful city ; the architecture is very different from Ankara

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2009 at 5:29 AM

    very interesting way to clean and cure.

  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    Hello! Glad the 'birthday' postcard finally arrived!! I haven't received yours from Sivas yet, but I enjoyed your page, and the food explanations got me totally hungry!! and I have to wait 2 more hours till lunchbreak! funny story about the socks ha ha

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2009 at 8:03 AM

    Thank you so much for the lovely postcard from Sivas!! This is a great page! Loved learning about the history, cuisine, spa fish & Kangal dogs!! Sylvia

  • bijo69's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2009 at 4:15 AM

    Hello Pinar, thanks so much for the great postcard from Sivas! It does look like a very interesting place! Would love to try the fish spa!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Fish spa sounds interesting.

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2009 at 6:44 AM

    Enjoyed reading your Sivas page. I love this city, its friendly people and yes, the food! And those Kangal kopek are such magnificent animals!

  • mirliya's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2009 at 2:54 AM

    Pinar,I enjoyed your Sivas page , thanks for sharing.I d love to visit Sivas one day..Esp.The curing fish :) Cheers ...Dilek

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2009 at 1:45 AM

    Pinar, fabulous page with brilliant photos and interesting commentaries, especially about food and local customs. Can you believe that I have never been to Turkey?

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