The Zile district is located approximately 70 km to the West of the Tokat province. Zile is surrounded by the Turhal district the East; the Artova district and the Kadışehri district of the Yozgat province to the South; the Çekerek district of the Yozgat province and the Göynücek district of the Amasya province to the West; and the Amasya province to the North. Zile is one of the largest districts of the Tokat province. Nowadays, the population of the Zile district center/capital is 40,000. Together with its 116 villages, the total population of the Zile district exceeds 110,000. The main sources of income and livelihood in Zile is agriculture, animal raising and commerce.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ZILE
War of Zela
A very important war was made in Zile in B.C. 47. At the end of the war made between the famous Roman Emperor Julius Caesar and Pharnekes Il of the Pontus Emperor, Caesar won the war even though big losses and send the shortest and concise letter to Rome by a courier. In this letter, Caesar wrote VENI-VIDI- VICI (I came , I saw, I conquered). This expression is stil used as a slogan for years. The area where Caesar made the War of Zela and historical Castle of Zile are historical places worth seeing. War of Zela, one of the biggest wars made in Anatolia, attracts the history enthusiasts.
Castle of Zile
It was made half-filled and has a place just in the center of the Zile city center, which is a tumulus which sees panoramically the plains. The castle was built by the Semiramis the queen of Nineveh by fılling. A water cistern with 182 stairs was found inside the castle as it was opened by the rain waters on 1985. There is a Roman amphitheater in the rocky place in the eastern side of the castle. The stage and backstage of the amphitheater, which is the last amphitheater in Northern Anatolia, are stil underground, an excavation should be made. The restoration works of the entrance and the citadel of the castle are in progress and the activities to turn the old military barracks inside the castle to a museum contunies. It is possible to see Zile by birds-eye view on the top of the castle. Historical Zile Castle also serves as a national historical park for picnic purposes. It is one of the most important historical sites which everybody visits Zile should see.
There are 3500 historical Turkish houses in the city center of Zile. In Zile, which has the most untouched street texture in the Anatolia in the sense of texture,the restorations of the historical houses were started by the cooperation of the municipality and citizens. One of the most important ones of these streets is Amasya Street in which there are wooden houses of 300 years of the most beautiful samples of traditional architecture. You fell as if you are in an Otoman city while you are walking in the Zile streets. One of the most important characteristics of Zile house is the traditional grape molasses plants where the white Zile molasses are produced. These are called as vineyard roofs of Zile. In zile, old houses , old streets , and old life continue to stand even though the destructive effects of time.
The birdhouse made by carving the block stone on the entrance doors of the New Hammam of the Ottoman public baths made in the Cedit Street of Zile in 15th century is called as the SPARROW PALACE by Ziles people. Sparrow palace, that hosts the sparrows in winters and summers for five centuries is virtually the symbol of Zile. People of Zile ask the location of the Sparrow Palace to check whether a person is from Zile or not, by the way of humor. Not knowing ones are not accepted as from Zile.
Zile is a city of waters. Fountains, which is one of the oldest water supply network in the Anatolia was built in Zile. In the water mains passing from one house to another in the underground, the potable waters were supplied from the stones with round stone shape. Zile fountains which were made inspired by the Uighur Karizs in the Central Asia lost its functionality except some fountains.
Zile bat food is the regular main dish of the women when they come together in houses. People of Zile even compose a balled for the bat food they love too much.
Zile Vineyard Leaves
The properties of the vineyard leaves collected before they become tough, that is grow old are that they are lightly yellowish, sour and thin. Stuffed wine leaves, small and tightly rolled made from Zile vineyard leaves are very delicious. They are sold in various packages in.
Flavor of the Zile Churchkhela comes from Tokats oily, thin crusted, large grained walnuts; thin crusted, aromatic Narince grape and hasuda, which is cooked in copper boilers on wood fire.
When the Zile Churchkhela is being prepared, firstly the walnuts are stringed and roasted by the local people. Later, the leaves and stalks are cleaned and grape syrup is obtained by milling the grapes. Roasted walnuts, grape syrup, wheat starch and wheat flour are boiled, sopped in hasuda and dried as the final step.
And also Zile Churchkhela is protected designation of origin by Zile Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Zile Molasses, which may not be found in any other region due to its unique color, taste, smell and endurance, has been making a name for itself since the Ottoman Period. The writer of the 1890 Ottoman almanac says It is very delicious and famous about Zile Molasses.
Delicious and famous Zile Molasses is made from fresh, seasoned, tasty grapes grown in Tokat vineyards. By milling grapes, a special product called mayse is produced. The second step is pressing mayse and transforming it into grape syrup. At this stage, the syrup has a blurred appearance. When molasses soil is added, the grape syrup is as clear as water and it is left to rest.
The authenticity of Zile Molasses comes from the traditional processes of bleaching and hardening. Hardening is adding former solid molasses to the grape syrup that has become molasses after being cooked. Bleaching in adding the egg whites to the grape syrup and whipping.
Zile Roasted Chickpeas
One upon a time, producing chickpeas was a handicraft in Zile. Zile was though speaking of chickpea. In Zile, where famous with its molasses and chickpeas for ages, today the there arent many producer of Zile chickpeas. The infamous yellow roasted chickpeas of Zile are made up of dried chickpeas.Turning chickpea to roasted chickpea is the product of work of one and a half As it can be seen by its production process; that much of work, labor and unique taste are the most important reasons that the reputation of Zile roasted chickpeas were brought today. There are many consumers and enthusiasts of burned, broken, roasted, chickpeas, called as Lalek Eye, only produced in Zile.
Vineyards are virtually the breathing lungs of Zile. Zile is surrounded by vineyards all around. People of Zile also call fruit gardens as vineyards. Every person in Zile definitely has a vineyard. People of Zile dont earn income from vineyards. They use vineyards for resting, recreation like resorts, summer houses. In summers and springs, people of Zile move to the vineyards in weekends, as if Zile is a ghost town Vineyards are free areas. We dont exaggerate if we say that metal mandolin, musical instrument sounds come from all trees in the vineyards. Going wild in vineyards is met with smiles and tolerances in Zile. When someone drinks alcohol, other people pray reads Koran in vineyards. No one interferes with other people.