The current population of Trabzon is 1,230,399 (2009 census). Folklore is still a living tradition in Trabzon and the Black Sea region. Horon is a famous folk dance which is indigenous to the city and its surrounding area. It is performed in festivities, local weddings and harvest times. The people of Trabzon have a reputation for being religiously conservative and being nationalist. The people of the eastern Black Sea region are also known for their wit and sense of humor; with the Karadeniz fıkraları (Black Sea jokes) and the character Temel forming an important part of the Turkish oral tradition.
As a result of the general development of the country, Trabzon has also developed its economic and commercial life. However, progress has been slow in comparison with the western and the south-western parts of Turkey. The city may still have a small community of Greek-speaking Muslims (Pontic Greeks). At present Trabzon has a sizeable Russian minority, who began immigrating to the region after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Trabzon has changed especially in the possibilities to go out. The first time a theatre festival was held no one came to look, and those who did had no idea what it was about. But this has changed, and now theatre is very popular, all tickets sell out. There used to be a cultural centre, Hamamizade Culture Center, but it was demolished, and now there is a strong demand for a new building. The building of the Trabzon National Theatre is also going to be demolished within 2 years because of urban development projects.
In the STGM database a total of 99 NGO’s was listed of which 10 were dedicated to education and youth, 6 to culture and 6 to arts. There is one ‘Offshore activity here and another one in Ordu. Between 3-5 % of the Dutch Turkish re-migrated pensioners live around Trabzon.
Black Sea/Karadeniz Technical University
Black Sea/Karadeniz Technical University (KTU) is a public research university founded in 1955. It is the 4th oldest university of Turkey. The Faculty of Architecture has departments in Architecture, Interior Design, Town and Country Planning. The Fine arts department of the KTU has departments in painting, sculpture and photography.
Events and organizations that are relevant for art and culture in Trabzon are:
- A theatre group from Sofia was very influenced by their meetings in Trabzon and expects to be invited back by the artists in the city.
- Trabzon Art House (they achieved to get the historical building of Governor’s Residency to be allocated to them)
- Trabzon International Black Sea Countries Theatre Festival. (every year in May)
- Trabzon National Theatre, in 2010 it is 23 years old
- Trabzon Art Theatre
- Trabzon City Theatre
- Umut Theatre.
- Trabzon City Theatre wrote a project proposal that was accepted by the Sabancı Foundation, and which resulted in a women oriented play ‘Off Voice’, which toured around small villages and also did theatre workshops with women there.
- Değirmendere and Pelitli Youth Centres are worth a visit