In the mid-15th century, the Ottomans - one of the many heirs of the wreckage of the first Turkish state in Asia Minor - set out to systematically rebuild an eastern Empire. Mehmet II, known as Fatih "the Conqueror", knocked out decrepit Byzantium in 1453. In 1458 he took Amasra, the last Genoese holdout on the Black Sea. That same year saw the end of the Isfendiyaroklu, the Turkish dynasty of Sinop and Kastamonu. In 1461, a sweeping campaign along the Black Sea coast brought the Trebizond Empire to an end.
After a break of 400 years, the Pontic shores, along with the rest of Anatolia and the Balkans, were again integrated into a centralized administrative structure. Removed from the vortex of political rivalries, the cities of the coast reverted to a marginal status. Until the 17th century, they lived on as peaceful and prosperous, if uninteresting, provincial centers.
In keeping with Ottoman practice, two thirds of the Greek population of Trabzon were removed to other parts of the Empire at the time of the conquest. A majority were settled in Istanbul where they formed the core of the capital's "Phanariote" famillies of Christian Greeks, exercising immense influence in the 17th and 18th centuries. They included the Ypsilantis, whose descendants would eventually lead the Greek independence movement.
Few Turkish immigrants were brought into the newly conquered territories apart from Trabzon. The Çepni tribesmen already formed an important element of the population of the Giresun highlands, but further east, the penetration of Turkish control proceeded very slowly. During the governorship of the future sultan Selim I in Trabzon (1490-1512), many highland clans came to terms for the first time with Ottoman rule. The Laz were converted to Islam; others followed suit after the collapse of Georgian power in the Caucasus during the 1540s. Yet others, like the Greek-speaking valley-dwellers of and Macka, and possibly the highlanders of Hemsin, came around in the 1680s. Some retained their ancestral dialects. Evliya Celebi, traveling to Trabzon in 1641, reported at least three languages spoken there in addition to Turkish and Greek. Some who had earlier adopted Greek now learned Turkish, developing their own inimitably accented version of it.