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Town in northeastern Turkey with 35,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate) on the Harsit River at an elevation of 1,500 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Gümüshane province with 190,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
The economy of Gümüshane is based upon the agriculture of the surrounding area. It specializes in fruits, especially apples and pears. It also benefits from the trade between the Turkish Black Sea port, Trabzon, and western Iran.
Gümüshane is well-located on the main road going into Anatolia from Trabzon, 65 km north. Erzurum lies 300 km east.
Although mainly rebuilt since the 1920's, Gümüshane has many interesting buildings from its past, ruined castles, baths, mosques and Byzantine churches. The old town still has many examples old-style architecture.
The city takes its name from the silver mines (gümüs) which used to be the chief resource in the region.

19th century: The silver ores run dry.
1914- 1918: Occupied by Russia, leading to much fighting, and destruction of the city centre.

By Tore Kjeilen