The tomb in the Melik Gazi cemetery south of Niksar is often attributed to Danishmend Ghazi, the founder of the Turcoman Dynasty that ruled north-central Anatolia between 1097 and 1178. There is no inscriptive evidence to prove this claim. Moreover, the masonry and the structure of the tomb suggest that it was repaired or rebuilt in the mid-fifteenth century during Ottoman rule. It was most recently restored in 1987 by the General Directorate of Religious Endowments (Vakiflar Genel Müdürlügü) and Niksar Municipality.
The tomb is almost square, measuring about eighteen meters by seven and a quarter meters on the exterior. Its dome collapsed in the 1939 earthquake, leaving only the belt of triangles in the zone of transition. It now has a tiled roof over a flat wooden ceiling, constructed during the repairs in 1987. The modern portico with its shed roof is a replacement of the original three-bay domed portico.
A doorway topped by a pointed arch leads into the tomb from the north. Two casements, also crowned by pointed arches, flank the doorway; their tympana are paneled with monolithic pieces of stone. Another window is placed high up on the southern wall. The tomb originally housed a carved stone sarcophagus in the place of the wooden casket seen today. The interior is unadorned except for the Quranic inscription that envelopes the east, west and north walls below the belt of triangles.
The tomb's walls are about eighty centimeters thick and have a composite structure made of cut stone, rough hewn stone and brick. The northern wall is covered entirely with cut stone panels.
Akar, Hasan. Niksar'da Vakiflar ve Tarihi Eserler
, 242-243. Tokat: Niksar Kaymakamligi, 2002.
Çal, Halit. Niksar'da Türk eserleri
, 25-30. 1. Baski ed. Istanbul: Kültür Bakanligi Yayinlari, 1989.
Tokat Il Emniyet Müdürlügü Website. "Melik Danismend Gazi Türbesi". Accessed March 4, 2005; inaccessible September 23, 2013. http://www.tokat.pol.tr/Tokat_Tarih.asp