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Kastamonu is one of the Provinces of Turkey, in the Black Sea Region, to the north of the country. It is surrounded by Sinop to the east, Bartın and Karabük to the west, Çankırı to the south, Çorum to the south east and the Black Sea to the north.
It is not definitely known when Kastamonu was first founded. However, some sources dating back to the Early Middle Ages refer to the province. There are also some archeological findings dating back to about 100,000 years that suggest the region was inhabited then.
What is now Kastamonu Province was inhabited by the Kaska (or Ghashgai) people at least from the 18th century BC who were a perennial problem for the Hittites, and at one point the Kaska raided the Hittite homelands, sacking their capital Hattusa. After a war between these two nations in 13th century BC, the region was occupied by the Phrygians, and in 7th century BC by the Lydians.
With the weakening of the Macedon kings, the whole Paphlagonia and Bithynia regions were engulfed by the newly formed Pontus kingdom. After the fall of the Pontus kingdom in 1st century BC, the area was incorporated by the Roman Empire by joining Paphlagonia with Bithynia. The capitol center of this new city-state was Pompeiopolis, of which the remains still stand near Taşköprü District in Kastamonu.
The region went then under the hegemony of the Seljuk dynasty 11th century AD, followed by the Danishmends, the Byzantines during the crusades, Çobanoğlu and Candaroglu beyliks. The Ottoman sultan Beyazid I conquered the province in 1392 however, following his capture and death in Battle of Ankara, the area was granted back to the Candaroglu by the Mongol warlord Timur Lenk. Ottoman sultan Mehmed II incorporated the region back to the empire in 1461.
After the First World War, during the battles of the Turkish War of Independence, Kastamonu played an important role in the supply of ammuniton and troops to the İnebolu -Ankara front, transporting the war machines that would arrive to İnebolu by sea from Istanbul and the Soviets. When the Greeks noticed this activity, the İnebolu port was bombarded from the sea on June 9, 1921.
The province is mostly covered with forests, thanks to the mild Black Sea climate. The Ilgaz National Park where a micro-climate dominates due to the mountaneous terrain and numerous streams is 63 km south the province center Kastamonu. There is also a ski-center with accommodation facilities located near the park.
Ilgaz Mountain (highest peak 2587 m) dominates the south of the province where hiking and whitewater rafting is possible at the Ilgaz Stream . The Ilgarini cave at Cide , the Alinca underground cave at Kure, and the International Equestrian Tourism Center of Daday are other attractions worth seeing.
There's a 12th-century Byzantine castle, the 13th-century Atabey Mosque and the Ibni Neccar Mosque also located in the province. The Mahmut Bey Mosque , located in the village of Kasaba is known for its elegant wood carvings.
Gideros Bay in Cide is a holiday resort with hotels and sandy beaches. The ruins of the Roman city-state Pompeiopolis are found near Taşköprü.
Kastamonu also has many mansions, which are traditionally built with an architectural style unique to this region. Many of these mansions have been restored following a declaration by the local government in 2000, in order to preserve the historical texture.
Almost all of the arable land has permanent crops. The agricultural products make up about of 0,01% of the total in Turkey. A large portion of the agricultural produce consists of cereals. Thanks to its wide forest areas (a total of 57% of the surface area), forestry is also an important industry. Industries largely consist of manufacturing of forestry, agriculture and mining products.
Underground resources include copper, mercury, iron ore, chromium, manganese, asbestos, bauxite, graphite, phosphate, kaolinite, clay, limestone, quartz, marble, magnesite, fire clay, coal and nickel. There are also some natural thermal and mineral water springs of which a few are suitable for economic investments.
Kastamonu shares about 0.4% of the GDP, the composition of the GDP is as follows:
communication and transport 20%
industry: 9.5% (1998 est.)
Transportation is possible only through paved and unpaved highways; a railroad that will connect Çankırı, Kastamonu and İnebolu is under construction. Although the province has a 135 km long coastline to Black Sea, only İnebolu has a small port and transportation by the sea is almost non-existent.
There are around 112,000 telephone main lines in use, and 712 Internet users in the province.
- Handcrafts are abundant in Kastamonu, especially in rural areas. Most available are hand-weaved cloths.
- Several national and local annual festivities also take place in the province.
- In a research conducted in the province, 812 different food are identified that are specific to the region.
- The provincial soccer team Kastamonuspor competes in the 3rd National Soccer League.
- The founder of the Turkish republic, Atatürk had declared the "dress code reform", which abolished the fez, in Kastamonu in 1925.
The province has an area of 13,108 km², and a population of 376,725 people (2000 census). This translates to a population density of 27,87 inhabitants per km². The province center has a population of 64,606.
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