The city of Adana is situated on the Ceyhan River, in south-central Anatolia. It lies in the heart of Cilicia, a region locally known as Çukurova. Its location at the foot of the Taurus Mountain, beside the Syrian plains has been of a lot of influence to its history.
The origin of this city’s name is shown in mythology. Historians believe that Adanus, the son of Cronus (God of Weather, Zeus’ father) established this city. Another older legend depicts Adad, the god of Thunder in the Akkadian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Hittite mythologies, gave the name to this region. The middle of Adana is home to Tepebağ tumulus that dates to the Neolithic Period, 6000 B.C., at the time of the first human settlements.
History of Adana
Adana is said to be the oldest city of the Çukurova region. Due to its fertile center, Adana has played an important role in many civilizations for centuries dating back to the Hittites. According to the Hittite inscription of Kava, Kizzuwatna was the first kingdom that ruled Adana.
The history of Adana intermingles the history of Tarsus. Adana was the Roman province of Cilicia Prima, whose capital was Tarsus. The Roman played little importance to the city of Adana while nearby Tarsus was the metropolis of the area.
After the permanent split of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the Byzantine Empire took control during the time of Julian the Apostate. Adana and Cilicia were the most important trade centers of the region.
It became a Christian bishopric, a suffrage of the metropolitan see of Tarsus. Today, the Catholic Church listed it as a listed titular see, as it is no longer a residential bishopric.
In the mid-7th century, Arabs captured the city. According to an Arab historian, Adana is named after Ezene, the prophet Yazene’s grandson. The Byzantines recaptured Adana in 964. After the victory of Alp Arslan, the Great Seljuq Empire invaded Adana sometime before 1071. They continued to hold the place until a leader of the First Crusade, captured the city in 1097.
In 1132, the forces of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia captured the city, under its king, Leo I. Adana remained a part of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia until 1359.
Constantine III relinquished the city to the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. The Mamluks’ capture of the city allowed many Turkish families to settle in it. The Ramadanids family ruled Adana until the Ottomans captured the city.
A Free City
The Ottoman Empire ruled the area until the World War I. Moreover,, the Ottoman government surrendered the city to French troops. Muslim elements within the city, loyal to Mustafa Kemal Pasha, helped regain the city. The French troops withdrew from the city on 5 January 1922.
Districts and their Famous Local Products
City of Adana consists of four metropolitan districts; Seyhan, Yüreğir, Çukurova, Sarıçam.
Seyhan district is an urban city, whereas Yüreğir, Çukurova and Sarıçam are in rural areas outside the city. Although, Adana is the marketing and distribution center for Çukurova agricultural region. Cotton, wheat, corn, soy bean, barley, grapes and citrus fruits grow in great quantities.
Moreover, Çukobirlik is also famous for marketing of cotton, peanut, soybean, sunflower and canola.
Natural Attractions in Adana
Adana’s coastline appears short, especially when compared with that of other provinces. Karataş Beach, just half an hour from Adana, is next to the ruins of the ancient city of Magarsus. The exceptionally beautiful beach at Yumurtalık is within striking distance of the ruins at Ayas and the area is home to other fortresses and sites of historical interest. Horzum, Çulluuşağı, Belemedik, Akçatekir and Armutoğlu are among the plateaus that nature-lovers can enjoy visiting.
Famous Tourists Attractions
The Abbāsid caliph, Hārūn al-Rashīd built a fortress on the right bank of the Ceyhan river, in 782. It is a popular tourist attraction and war monument within this region.
Many famous mosques within the vacancy of Adana attract a lot of interest due to their unique architecture. The primary mosque, the Ulu Cami, dates from 1542. Moreover, the oldest mosque in Adana is the Akça or Ağca Masjid completed in 1489.
Mestanzade Mosque, built in 1682, is one of the earliest examples of the Western influence in Ottoman architecture. Next to the Mestanzade Mosque stands the Mamluk architecture influenced mosque known as, Yeni Mosque, built in 1724. The only example of classical Ottoman architecture in the city centre is the Hasan Ağa Mosque, completed in 1558.
In addition, the famous ancient city of Misis is located on the banks of the Ceyhan River, You can reach the ruin of this historic city on the highway between Adana and Ceyhan. The religious centre of the ancient city of Mallos, was located within this city. Futhermore, the ancient city of Anazarbus also lies near Adana. It became the capital of Cilicia in 408.
The Tuz Inn and the 18th century Kurtkulağı Caravanserai in the village of Kurtkulağı still exists as preserved state. Tuz is one of the oldest Turkish mansion, the Ramazanoğlu Mansion,built in 1495.
Hadrian built a 310m-long bridge, acroos the Ceyhan River, known as Taşköprü. The bridge is known to have a lot of historical significance.
Famous Museums in Adana
Few of the major museums of this region are as follows; Adana Archaeology Museum, the earliest museums in Turkey, Atatürk Museum, exhibiting artifacts from War of Independence, Ethnographic Museum of Adana, Adana Ethnography Museum and Misis Mosaic Museum.
Many of the famous foods in Adana include Adana Kebab, Grafting, Bear Share, BiciBici, Spinach, Turnip, Şırdan, Radish Salad with Tahini, Taş Kadayif, Sweet Sausage, Sweet Dessert. Hence, these regional cuisines will delight the palate of the most discriminating gourmet.