|• Mayor||Reşat Kasap (AKP)|
|• District||250.14 km2 (96.58 sq mi)|
|• District density||570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (TRT)|
Rize (Greek: ρίζα, Laz: რიზინი, Georgian: რიზე, Ottoman Turkish: ريزه) is the capital city of Rize Province in the eastern part of the Black Sea Region of Turkey.
The name comes from Greek as though ρίζα (riza) or Ριζαίον (Rizaion), meaning "mountain slopes",ρίζα in Greek means root. In modern times, its name in Greek was usually Ριζούντα (Rizunda). Its Latin forms are Rhizus and Rhizaeum, the latter of which is used in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees as the name of bishopric of the town, which was once part of the late Roman province of Pontus Polemoniacus). The name Rize is spelled ريزه in Ottoman Turkish, and რიზე in Georgian. The name in Laz is Rizini (რიზინი).
Main article: Rize Province
The first written mention of Rize is made by Arrian in a work named Periplus of the Euxine Sea, as a city founded at the mouth of the homonymous river (the ancient and Byzantine ῾Ρίζιος ποταμός).
Dated at 130–131AD and written as a letter to Roman Emperor Hadrian, 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 of Rize formed part of historic Georgian province of Chaneti (Georgian: ჭანეთი).
From 1547, Chaneti province was incorporated by the Ottoman Empire and became a part of the sancak of Lazistan. The city was claimed by the short-lived Democratic Republic of Georgia between 1918 and 1920. On the basis of the 1921 Treaty of Kars, Soviet Russia granted Rize to Turkey just as the other territories of Artvin, Ardahan, and Hopa (Georgian: ხუფათი).
The city is built around a small bay on the Black Sea 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 Rize Tea, the tea grown in the surrounding area. Tea was introduced in the region in the 1940s and 1950s, changing the destiny of the region, 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 and kiwifruit plants are even planted in gardens around the town. The secondary activity is fishing. Rize is linked by road with Trabzon (41 miles [66 km] west), Hopa (55 miles [88 km] east on the Georgian border, and Erzurum (south). Although the nearest airport was located in Trabzon, a newly constructed airport in between Artvin and Rize provinces, named Rize–Artvin Airport will start operating in 2022.
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 1990s, 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.
Rize has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa, Trewartha: Cf). However, as any mountainous region of Turkey, Rize is rich in climatic variety. The climate turns continental (Dfb/Dc) on the hillsides and subarctic (Dfc/Eo) on mountain slopes and yaylas, a term used for highlands and highland plateaus in the region.
The city's climate is defined by mild temperate conditions, with warm summers, cool winters, heavy rainfall year-round and a maximum in late autumn (October to December). The city has low sunshine hours, lower than many stereotypically cloudy locations in Western Europe. Snowfall is occasional, and can be very heavy once it snows. The water temperature, typical for the Black Sea coast, is always never too warm or cold, fluctuating between 8 and 20 °C (46 and 68 °F) throughout the year.
|Climate data for Rize (1991–2020, extremes 1928–2020)|
|Record high °C (°F)||24.0
|Average high °C (°F)||11.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.9
|Average low °C (°F)||3.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||223.1
|Average precipitation days||15.53||14.43||16.83||15.63||15.73||15.97||14.37||15.10||15.27||15.73||13.60||15.27||183.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||62.0||84.8||114.7||144.0||179.8||195.0||176.7||161.2||156.0||127.1||87.0||58.9||1,547.2|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||2.0||3.0||3.7||4.8||5.8||6.5||5.7||5.2||5.2||4.1||2.9||1.9||4.2|
|Source: Turkish State Meteorological Service|
Historically, Rize grew oranges. However, weather destroyed the crops in the early 20th century, and the industry declined. The area also produced small amounts of manganese.
The economic structure of Rize is based primarily around its geographic location since it 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 difficult. Rize's primary trading partner is Trabzon, the most developed city of northeast Black Sea region. Rize's main exports are agriculturally based; Rize tea and kiwifruit are among its most popular commodities.
Rize University was founded in 2006, and its name was changed to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University by the university senate's approval in 2011.
The Rize Castle, a partly in ruins medieval castle is located in the southwest of the city center.
Sports venues in Rize are Rize Atatürk Stadium, Yeni Rize Şehir Stadı and Rize Sports Complex consisting of Rize Sports Hall and Rize Indoor Swimming Pool.
The football team of Çaykur Rizespor play in the Süper Lig. Pazarspor football team compete in the TFF Third League.
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