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Bayburt is a city in northeast Turkey lying on the Çoruh River and is the provincial capital of Bayburt Province.

Bayburt was once an important center on the ancient Silk Road. It was visited by Marco Polo and Evliya Celebi. Remains of its medieval castle still exist. There are several historical mosques, Turkish baths, and tombs in the city. There are also ancient historical sites such as the Çatalçeşme Underground Complex and natural wonders like the Sirakayalar Waterfall in the other parts of the province.

The name of the town was formerly written in English as Baiburt.[3][4] It was known as Paipert under the Byzantines.[citation needed] The name derives from the medieval Armenian Baydbert (Բայտբերդ), which derives from its ancient name Ambatavan (Ամբատավան)

Bayburt strattles the Çoruh amid an open and fertile plateau on the route between Trebizond and Erzerum.[4] It was originally founded by the Azzi people.[citation needed] It was subsequently settled or conquered by the Cimmerians in the 8th century bc, the Medes in the 7th century bc, then the PersiansPontusRome, the Byzantines, the Bagratid Armenian Kingdom, the Seljuk Turks, the Aq QoyunluSafavid Persia, and then the Ottoman Turks.[citation needed]

The town was the site of an Armenian fortress in the 1st century and may have been the Baiberdon fortified by the emperor Justinian.[3] It was a stronghold of the Genovese in the late middle ages[3] and prospered in the late 13th and early 14th century because of the commerce between Trebizond and Persia.[5] It contained a mint under the Seljuks and Ilkhanids.[5]

Under Ottoman rule, the town was the center of the Bayburt Sanjak in Erzurum Eyalet. When Erzurum was devastated in the early 16th century, Bayburt served for a time as the de facto capital of the province.[5] The area was raided by the Safavids in 1553. Bayburt was captured by a Russian army under General Paskevich[4] and its fortifications thoroughly demolished in 1829.[3] It was the furthest westward reach of the Russians during that campaign.[4] The British traveller William John Hamilton commented on the ruins in the 1840s,[6] though the population grew to 6000 by the 1870s.[3] The bazaar, however, remained poor and the town long lacked industry.[4] Prior to the First World War, the population of 10,000 was mostly Turkish with some Armenians.