The history of Adana

  • Published
  • By Mehmet Birbiri
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Question: Mehmet, ITT office and all other travel agencies have brochures about every city in Turkey, but Adana. We live here in this city and know very little about it. Can you tell us about its history and places to visit and see in the city?

Response: As a local of Adana I always feel that my hometown is neglected by its citizens and travel agencies. Adana is the capital of Adana province and also the largest city of the Mediterranean Region. It is situated in the middle of the Cukurova plain. Turkey's main highway D-400, most commonly known as the old E-5; goes through Adana in the east-west direction. The Seyhan river runs through Adana in the north-south direction. Adana is located around that junction about 50 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean Sea.

Cukurova plains has the reachest soil in Turkey and although cotton is the main product, almost every kind of vegetable and fruit grow in and around Adana. Since cotton is the main product here, Adana is the center of textile industry which is one of the leading industries of Turkey.

The Northern part of E-90 is called New Adana and the southern part is called Old Adana. Shopping in Old Adana can be very interesting. In some shops you can see the craftsmen making the goods that they sell. In many cases the craft has been handed down from generation to generation.

According to the legend, Adana was originally founded by Saurus and Adanus, the sons of the god Uranus, who in Greek mythology represented the great Bear. Thus, Adana derives its name from Adanus and the Seyhan river from Saurus. Being situated on a main trade route, it was subject to constant invasion. Excavations made in the vicinity show that the region, as the rest of Turkey, has been inhabited since early times.
Adana and its surroundings were first occupied by the Hittites in the 15th century B.C. and later by the Assyrians. In the 6th century B.C., it became part of the Persian Empire. The city was later captured by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. Later in the 1st century B.C. it was conquered by Pompey and became part of the Roman Empire. In 704 the area was captured by the Moslems, then by Byzantines and in 1082 the Seljuk Turks got the area from the Byzantines. In 1097, the first Crusaders acquired Adana. In 1375, the Seljuk Turks got the area back. The Ramazanoglu principality ruled the area between 1377-1517. In 1517, the region was captured by Sultan Selim I and became part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the First World War, Adana was occupied by the French armies. On January 5, 1922, Adana became part of modern Turkey.

Historical Monuments in Adana
TASKOPRU (Roman Bridge) was built across the Seyhan River by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D. and repaired by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. It is 319 meters long and had 21 arches of which 14 are still standing.
AGCA MESCID was built in 1409. It's the first and oldest mosque built in Adana.
CARSI HAMAMI (Turkish Bath) was built in 1529 and is still in use.
IRMAK HAMAMI (Turkish Bath) was built in 1594 and is still in use.
MESTAN HAMAMI (Turkish Bath) was built in 1703 and is still in use.
YAG CAMI (Old Mosque) was built in 1501. The entrance door is of yellow and black colored stone and is an important work of art.
ULU CAM─░ (Grand Mosque) was built in 1513. It has the mixture of Seljuk, Mameluk and Ottoman architecture. Its minaret is Mameluk style (octagonal).
COVERED BAZAAR was built in the 15th century.
BIG CLOCK was built in 1882.