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ÇORUM

Turkey's chickpea capital                    Population: 218,000

17Çorum is hardly an obvious holiday destination although it’s known to all Turks as home to the best leblebi (roasted chickpeas) in the country. The town has a good choice of hotels, so makes a possible base for visiting the Hittite sites of Hattuşa, Yazılıkaya and Alacahöyük. It also has an excellent museum.

Around town

Çorum has an excellent museum which is well worth visiting before or after a trip to the nearby Hittite sites. Otherwise it won’t take you more than an hour to explore the town’s sights.

The focal point of the town centre is a column-like clocktower dating back to 1894 and built for Çorumlu Yedi Sekiz Hasan Paşa, the illiterate resident of Beşiktaş who has also given his name to a bakery there. Facing it is the town hall, originally built in 1923 as a library and turned into government offices in 1960.

The narrow streets around here house several crumbling wooden Ottoman houses whose facades bear plaster and mirror decoration. One has been restored to house the Katipler Konağı restaurant.

DSC03246The Ulu Cami dates back to Selçuk times although it was considerably rebuilt and given a dome supported by 12 huge wooden columns. The şadırvan (ablutions fountain) in front is decorated on the inside with sayings and quotations from the Koran about cleanliness.

Between the Ulu Cami and the roundabout lie the ramshackle shops of Çorum’s old bazaar; don’t miss what must surely be Turkey’s most curious conservation area, a narrow cobbled alley, barely wide enough for two men to pass that is lined on both sides with the wooden kiosks of old-fashioned shoe repairers.

Also here is the lovely but derelict 19th-century Veli Paşa Han, its facade adorned with plaster patterns and small glass insets in a reminder of the days when Turkish architecture gloried in regional variations.DSC03249

Çorum Kalesi (Castle) is on top of a hill to the south of the centre. Probably built in Selçuk times, it incorporates older masonry including some Greek gravestones. Inside the gate there’s a small mosque and a window onto what was the dungeon. The houses inside are slated for demolition.
 

Don’t leave town without: Sampling a handful of leblebi (chickpeas), either plain (sade) or sugar-coated (şekerli)

Sleeping

Anitta

Büyük Hotel

Real Residence Hotel

Eating

Katipler Konağı

Transport info

Çorum is one of those increasingly rare towns that still has a bus station within walking distance of the town centre. Lider runs hourly buses from Ankara (4hrs). Buses to local destinations leave from the same bus station.

Day trip destinations 

Alacahöyük

Hattuşa and Yazılıkaya

İskilip

Merzifon

Ortaköy-Şapinuva

Osmancık

Read more: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-243889-in-search-of-the-corum-beyond-the-chickpeas.html

 

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