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Çifte Minare Medrese. Sivas, Turkey.
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Çifte Minare Medrese. Sivas, Turkey.

City in central Turkey with 250,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate) at an elevation of 1,275 metres above sea level in a valley of the Kizilirmak. It is the capital of Sivas province with 760,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
It is a trade centre and industrial city, and has rail repair shops industries manufacturing rugs, bricks, cement, and cotton and woolen textiles. The surrounding region is a cereal-producing area and with large deposits of iron ore, which are worked at Divrigi.
Sivas is a communications centre to the north-south and west-east trade routes to Iraq and Iran, respectively. With the development of railways, the city gained new economic importance. It stands at the junction of several railways and highways and is linked by air with Istanbul via Ankara.
Sivas has many monuments of 13th-century Seljuq architecture. The religious schools are most noteworthy. The Blue Medrese from 1271, the Sifaiye Medresesi from 1217–18 and the Çifte Minare Medrese (see photo) from 1271 with its intricately carved facade and minarets. The oldest mosque is the Great Mosque dating from the Turkmen era. Near Sivas lies the Armenian Christian monastery of the Holy Cross, with its royal throne and other relics.

Excavations at the Topraktepe mound indicate Hittite settlements near modern Sivas.
3rd century CE: A Roman city called Megalopolis is established here. It would later be renamed Sebasteia.
6th century: The city walls are rebuilt and fortified.
1021: The Armenian king of Van becomes Byzantine viceroy of Sebastea.
Around 1080: Conquered by the Danishmend dynasty, and simplified the name into Sivas.
1172: Conquered by the Seljuq sultan of Rum. It becomes capital of the sultanate, and a long period of growth and prosperity starts.
1396: Conquered by the Ottomans.
1400: Plundered by Timur Lenk.
1408: The Ottomans take back control over Sivas.
1919: Site of a national congress held by Mustafa Kemal, part of the War of Independence.
1973: Republic University is founded.

By Tore Kjeilen