Ordu  is a port on the Black Sea coast of Turkey and the capital city of Ordu Province.


"Ordu" means 'army' in the Turkish language (and the word has come down in modern English as the word horde). The name may have been given because in the 15th century the city was a headquarters of the Ottoman Empire army, or alternatively the name may be a derivation from the earlier Greek name Kotyora.


Artefacts dating back to 15,000 BC have been found in the area, but the city of Ordu was founded in the 8th century BC as Cotyora, one of a string of colonies along the Black Sea coast established by the Ancient Greek Aegean city of Miletos.

Until 1800 Ordu was a small port mainly populated by Pontic Greeks. The population then grew rapidly during the century due mainly to laws passed by the Ottoman Sultan to settle nomadic Turkish tribes in the area. After the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), the population grew with the addition of Turks fleeing the Russian controlled Caucasus and Georgia. The ethnic Greeks left the city in 1924 in the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Today the population consists of ethnic Turks, Caucasians, a few Muslim Armenians (Hamshenis) and a very small community of the descendants of Greeks who refused to leave.

Ordu today

Today the city is the centre of a large hazelnut processing industry, including Sagra, one of the largest Turkish hazelnut processors and exporters, and Fiskobirlik, the largest hazelnut co-op in the world. The Sagra factory shop selling many varieties of chocolate-covered hazelnut is one of the town's attractions.

Ordu has a liberal air compared to the cities further east along this coast and has traditionally been left-leaning and is one of the few municipalities in Turkey controlled by the left-wing DSP (when most of the Black Sea coast voted for the Islamist-leaning AKP).

The local music is typical of the Black Sea region, instruments include the kemençe. The cuisine is typical Turkish dishes such as pide and kebab but includes the well-known 'burnt ice-cream' which comes in two flavours, plain or caramel.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment