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Human settlements in the Black Sea region started as early as the 12th century BC. Situated on the transit routes between Europe and Asia, this region has always been a highly coveted land. It has changed hands frequently, with the Romans, the Greeks of Pontus, the Romans, the Turkish tribes and the Mongols all competing to take control of the area and actually ruling it for some time in turn. After the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the region was gradually absorbed by the Ottomans.

All these cultures have left their mark on the shores of the Black Sea, cultures which are reflected in the lifestyle and traditions of the inhabitants.