Rize is the capital of Rize Province
Rize Province
Rize Province is a province of north-east Turkey, on the eastern Black Sea coast between Trabzon and Artvin. Its capital is the city of Rize.-Geography:...

, in northeast Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...



The name comes from Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

  (riza) or Ριζαίον (Rizaion), meaning "mountain slopes". In modern times, its name in Greek was usually Ριζούντα (Rizounta). Its Latin forms are Rhizus and Rhizaeum (which remains the name of a Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 titular see
Titular see
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese". The ordinary or hierarch of such a see may be styled a "titular bishop", "titular metropolitan", or "titular archbishop"....

 in the province
Ecclesiastical Province
An ecclesiastical province is a large jurisdiction of religious government, so named by analogy with a secular province, existing in certain hierarchical Christian churches, especially in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches and in the Anglican Communion...

 of Pontus Polemoniacus). In Ottoman period, it was called Rize (ريزه). The Georgian
Georgian language
Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

 name is Rize (რიზე), Laz
Laz language
The Laz language is a South Caucasian language spoken by the Laz people on the Southeast shore of the Black Sea...

 name is Rizini (რიზინი)


The first written mention of Rize is made by Arrianus in a work named Periplo (Ship's Voyage). Dated at 131-132 B.C., the work records how its author, the governor of Cappadocia, made an inspection tour of the Eastern Black Sea territories that were part of his jurisdiction, first visiting the Roman Empire's Eastern Anatolian frontier garrisons before pushing on to the Black Sea coast in the Trabzon (Trebizond) region.


The city is built around a small bay on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 coast, on a narrow strip of flat land between the sea and the mountains behind. The coastal strip is being expanded with landfill and the city is growing up the steep hillsides away from the coast. Rize enjoys a mild, extremely wet climate, vulnerable to storms coming off the Black Sea and therefore the surrounding countryside is rich with vegetation and is attracting more and more visitors every year.

Rize is a center for processing and shipping the tea grown in the surrounding area. Tea was introduced in the region in the 1940s and 1950s, changing the region's destiny, which was desperately poor until then. The city has a tea research institute founded in 1958 and tea gardens are the main sight in the town's panoramic view. Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 and kiwifruit
The kiwifruit, often shortened to kiwi in many parts of the world, is the edible berry of a cultivar group of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa and hybrids between this and other species in the genus Actinidia....

 plants are even planted in gardens around the town. The secondary activity is fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

. Rize is linked by road with Trabzon
Trabzon is a city on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road, became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Iran in the southeast and the Caucasus to the northeast...

 (41 miles [66 km] west), Hopa
Hopa is a city and district of Artvin Province in northeast Turkey. It is located on the eastern Turkish Black Sea coast about from the city of Artvin and 18 kilometres from the border with Georgia.-Geography:...

 (55 miles [88 km] east, on the Georgian
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 border, and Erzurum
Erzurum is a city in Turkey. It is the largest city, the capital of Erzurum Province. The city is situated 1757 meters above sea level. Erzurum had a population of 361,235 in the 2000 census. .Erzurum, known as "The Rock" in NATO code, served as NATO's southeastern-most air force post during the...

 (north). The nearest airport is in Trabzon.

Rize is a quiet town, a typical Turkish provincial capital with little in the way of night life or entertainment. However the border with Georgia has been open since the early 90's, the Black Sea coast road has been widened and Rize is now wealthier than in previous decades; there are more cars in the streets, higher buildings on the sea front, and some places for young people to go are opening up now. The visitors to the surrounding countryside also contribute to the economy of the town.


Notable mountains
  • Kaçkar (3.937 m)
  • Barut
    Liebenhain is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Jemielnica, within Strzelce County, Opole Voivodeship, in south-western Poland. It lies approximately east of Himmelwitz, north-east of Groß Strehlitz, and east of the regional capital Oppeln....

     (3.251 m)
  • Ziglat (3.511 m)
  • Verçenik (3.711 m)
  • Hipot
    Hipot is an abbreviation for high potential. Traditionally, Hipot is a term given to a class of electrical safety testing instruments used to verify electrical insulation in finished appliances, cables or other wired assemblies, printed circuit boards, electric motors, and transformers.Under normal...

     (3.560 m)


From east to the west
  • Fındıklı Deresi
  • Büyükdere
  • Pazar Suyu
  • Karadere
  • İyidere
    İyidere is a town and district of Rize Province on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey, 14 km from the city of Rize.Formerly known as Aspet, İyidere is a green rural district...


Rize has a borderline oceanic
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

/humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

: Cfb/Cfa); like most of the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey; with warm summers and cool winters. Snowfall is quite common between the months of December and March, snowing for a week or two, and it can be heavy once it snows. Rize and the eastern part of the Black Sea coast where it is situated has the highest precipitation in western Asia, with an annual precipitation averaging around 2500 millimetres (98.4 in), with heavy rainfall year round and a maximum in late autumn (October to December). The Black Sea coast receives the greatest amount of precipitation in Turkey and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year. The water temperature like in the whole Turkish Black Sea coast is always cool and fluctuates between 8 and 20 °C (46.4 and 68 F) throughout the year.


The economic structure of Rize is based primarily around its geographic location. Rize is a very mountainous city, making industrial development difficult and impractical. Given the lack of air and rail transit, most goods have to travel by truck or ship, which makes exporting and importing more difficult. Rize's primary trading partner is Trabzon, the most developed city of northeast Black Sea region. Rize's main exports are agriculturally based; tea and kiwi fruit are among its most popular commodities.


Rize University was founded in 2006. It consists of the following faculties:
  • Merkez Milli Piyango Egitim Kampusu - Central Milli Piyango Education Campus
  • Tıp Fakultesi Kampusu - Medical school Campus
  • Ilahiyat Kampusu - Theology Campus
  • Egitim Fakultesi (Cayeli/Rize) - Cayeli College of Education
  • Rize Meslek Yuksekokulu - Rize Vocational Higher Education School
  • Findiklı Meslek Yuksekokulu (Findiklı/Rize) - Findikli Vocational Higher Education School
  • Ardesen Meslek Yuksekokulu (Ardesen/Rize) - Ardesen Vocational Higher Education School
  • Pazar Meslek Yuksekokulu (Pazar/Rize) - Pazar Vocational Higher Education School

Notable natives

  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003 and is chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party , which holds a majority of the seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Erdoğan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He graduated in 1981 from Marmara...

     Politician and current prime minister
  • Mesut Yılmaz
    Mesut Yilmaz
    Ahmet Mesut Yılmaz is the former leader of the Motherland Party and was the Turkish prime minister in the 1990s.Mesut Yılmaz was a rising star in the Motherland Party of Turgut Özal, representing the Black Sea province of Rize in the parliament and serving as tourism minister in Ozal's cabinet...

     - Politician and former prime minister
  • Köksal Toptan
    Köksal Toptan
    Köksal Toptan is a Turkish lawyer, politician and a member of the Justice and Development Party. He earlier served as government minister in three cabinets. He was the speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey between August 2007 and August 2009.He was educated in the Faculty of Law at...

     Politician, Speaker of Parliament
  • İsmail Bilen
    Ismail Bilen
    İsmail Bilen was a Turkish politician of Hemshinli origin...

     Politician, Former General Secretary of Communist Party of Turkey (TKP)
  • Fahri Tatan
    Fahri Tatan
    Fahri Tatan is a Turkish professional footballer. He currently plays for Adanaspor in the Turkish Super Lig.-Club career:...

     - football player
  • Kazım Ayvaz
    Kazim Ayvaz
    Kazım Ayvaz , is a former Turkish Olympic medalist sports wrestler in the Lightweight class and a trainer. He won the gold medal in Men's Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1964 Olympics and became twice World champion....

     - Olympic medalist and world champion in wrestling
  • Mehmet Akif Pirim
    Mehmet Akif Pirim
    Mehmet Akif Pirim , is a former Turkish Olympic medalist sports wrestler in the Featherweight class , and currently a trainer...

     - Olympic medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling
  • Temel Kotil
    Temel Kotil
    Temel Kotil is an aeronautical engineer and serves as the president and CEO of the Turkish Airlines since April 2005....

     - aeronautical engineer and CEO of Turkish Airlines
  • Zafer Biryol
    Zafer Biryol
    Zafer Biryol is a Turkish professional footballer. He currently plays as a forward for Altay S.K. in the TFF Second League. He is 1.82 meters tall and weighs 75 kilograms.-Club career:...

     - football player
  • İsmail Türüt
    Ismail Türüt
    İsmail Türüt is a Turkish folk singer from the Black Sea Region.-Albums:*Laz Uşağı* Komşu Kızı Lazmısın Çerkezmisin*Ondan Kaynana Olmaz*Çay Güzeli* Güzellere Bayram Var Hamsi*Kara Sevdalı Fatma*Zorla Güzellik Olmaz...

     - Singer of folk music of the Black Sea region
  • Sedat Peker
    Sedat Peker
    Sedat Peker is a Turkish businessman and the current chairman of Turkish football club Antalyaspor. His main business areas are jewellery and pharmacy....

     - current chairman of Turkish football club Antalyaspor

Çaykur Rizespor
Çaykur Rizespor
Çaykur Rizespor is a Turkish sports club based in Rize. Çaykur Rizespor is currently playing in the TFF First League. The club was founded in 1953 in green-yellow colours and had professionalship status in 1968 as Rizespor and changed its colours to blue-green...

, the local football team, play in the Turkish Super League and are local heroes, occasionally capable of defeating even the big Istanbul teams. They play in green and blue, reflecting the blue of the sea and the green of the tea growing on the hillsides.

Others who have never lived in Rize but come from Rize families include:
  • Baris Manco
    Baris Manço
    Barış Manço was a Turkish rock singer, composer, and television producer. He composed about 200 songs, some of which were translated into a variety of languages including English, Japanese, Greek, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Persian, Urdu and Arabic...

     Famous singer and song writer.
  • Sezen Aksu
    Sezen Aksu
    Sezen Aksu is a Turkish pop music singer, song-writer and producer who sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her nicknames include the "Queen of Turkish Pop" and Minik Serçe ....

     Famous singer and song writer, born in izmir but originally Pazar/Rize
  • Tarkan the Turkish pop star
  • Asena
    Asena is the name of one of the ten sons, whom mythical female wolf gave birth to, in old Turkic mythology. It is associated with a Göktürk ethnogenic myth "full of shamanic symbolism"...

     television's best-known belly dancer
  • Murat Karayalçın
    Murat Karayalçin
    Murat Karayalçın is a prominent Turkish politician. He is a former foreign minister and a former mayor of Ankara .Karayalçın is the founder of Social Democratic People's Party...

     Politician, leader of the SHP
    Social Democratic People's Party (Turkey)
    The current Social Democratic People's Party or SHP is a Turkish left social-democratic political party established in 2002 by Murat Karayalçın, former Ankara Metropolitan Mayor and Foreign Minister ....

  • Onurhan Etik Politician and former prime minister

Population figures

Year Population
1975 36.044
1980 43.407
1985 50.221
1990 52.031
1997 73.420
2000 78.144
2009 96.503

External links

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