Area: 17.253 km²
Population: 2.349.478 (2012)
Geographical Location: Adana is situated on the Seyhan River in Çukurova Plain which is in the South of Taurus Mountains. Adana, which has approximately 160 km shore of Mediterranean Sea, is on the crossroads of important transportation that link Europe to Asia.
Neighbouring Provinces : On the east Osmaniye ( 90 km) and Hatay ( 190 km), on the northeast K.Maraş ( 187 km), on the north Kayseri ( 323 km), on the northwest Niğde ( 205 km), on the west Mersin ( 70 km).
Topography (Mountains, Rivers, Lakes etc.): Highway and railway connection with Middle East are enabled through Adana. These connections are enabled through Gülek Strait on Taurus Mountains. % 49 of total area is mountainous, % 23 is plateau and % 27 is plain. From south to north, the height of Taurus Mountains exceeds 2500 m. Foothills of Taurus Mountains turn into a plain shape towards the Mediterranean Sea. Seyhan and Ceyhan Rivers which rise from central Anatolia empty into the Mediterranean. Yedi Göller (Seven Lakes) is on the peak of Taurus Mountains. There are Seyhan and Çatalan dam lakes on Seyhan River. There is Aslantaş dam Lake on Ceyhan River and Akyatan and Ağyatan bird paradise lakes in Karataş.
Climate: Adana has a typical Mediterranean climate. Winters are warm and summers are hot and dry. Average rainfall is 625 mm. %51 of rainfall is in winter, % 26 in spring, % 18 in autumn and %5 in summer. The coldest month is January (average 9 C) , the hottest month is August (aveage 28 C).
Flora: You can see a flora which is specific to Mediterranean. To the heights up to 700-800 meters, mersin (murt) (myrte) (myrturs cummunis), sandal (sukhad)(arbutus andrachne), kermes meşesi (cermes oak)(quercus coccifera), çınar (plane tree)(platanus orientatis), yabani zeytin (wild olive tree)(oleaeuropea sylvestris), akça kesme (philyrea latifolia), menengiç (terebinth ) (pistacia terebinthus), sakız ağacı (gumwood)(pistacia lentiscus), funda (erica)(erica verticillata), erguvan (cercis)(cercis siliquastrum), kara çalı (blackthorn)(paliurus spina), zakkum (oleander)(nerium oleander), okaliptus (eucalyptus)(ecalypus spp) can be seen. Over 800 meters , meşe (oak)(quercus calliprinus), kızılcık (cornelian cherry)(cornusman), defne (daphne)(laurus canseriensis), in higher parts some sorts of pine (pinus nigra, pinus sylvestres), ardıç (juniper)(junipearus), kayın (beech)(fagun), toros göknarı (taurus fir/abies)(abies cilicica), sedir (cedar)(cedrus libani) can be seen. And over 2000 meters, a natural beauty of grasslands that resemble to those of Alps’ can be seen.
In Çukurova region, knobbly plants like kardelen (galanthus plicus), yabani siklamen (cyclamen mirabille hidebr), ada sogani, nergis (snowdrop)(narissus), sümbül (hyacinth)(hyacinthus) and similar plants can be seen in spring.
Also it is known that gelincik çiçeği (corn poppy)(pampal) which grows in rural areas is different from those in Europe.
HistoryIn 1900 B.C. Kingdom of Luwian ( a branch of Hittites), in 1500-1333 B.C. Arzava Kingdom (a group that has East origin but seperate from Hittites), in 1900-1200 B.C. Kingdom of Hittites , in 1190-713 B.C. Kingdom of Kue (Phrygians), in 713-660 B.C. Kingdom of Assyria , in 663-612 B.C. Kingdom of Cilicia, in 612-333 B.C. Persian Satrap, in 333-323 B.C. Hellenistic period , in 312-1333 B.C. Selökidler, in 178-112 B.C. Karsunlar period , in 395-638 B.C. Byzantines and in 638 A.D. Islamic period. Occupied by Kingdom of Armenian, Egyptian Turkish Memlukes, Ramazanogulları, Ottomans, and Frenchs respectively, Adana gained independence on 5 January 1922. Thus, Adana witnessed 10 great and different civilisations and 18 different political structures throughout the history.
Adana’s history dates back to 6000 B.C. because of its geographical location situated on the fertile and watery delta of Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers. Adana is one of the most important cities of ancient Cilicia. It is the cradle of lots of civilisation from The Hittites to The Ottomans. According to the Greek Mythology, the name “Adana” comes from the son of God of Heavens “Adanus”. It is located on the bank of Seyhan (Sarus) river which makes large bends on Taurus Mountains, plains and empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Tepebağ Mound which is in the center of Adana belongs to the Neolithic period when humankind started built-in life. It is one of the most ancient settlement places of the world whose history dates back to 6000 B.C. When Adana was the center of Kiznuwatna Kingdom, it joined The Hittite Federation in 1350’s B.C. In the 9th Century B.C. it passed into the hands of Assyrians and in the 7th Century B.C. into the hands of Persians. Hosting Alexander the Great and his army in 333 B.C. Adana passed into the hands of Macedonians after the war of Issos and into the hands of Selefkiler after the death of Alexander. When it was under the domination of Roman Empire in the 1st century when the famous orator Cicero was serving as the governer of the state in the region, Adana was the biggest comercial center of East Roman Empire. By passing into the hands of Sasanid Empire in 260 A.D., Byzantines in the 4th century A.D. Abbasids in the 8th century, again Byzantines in the 10th century, Seljuks in the 11th century, Armenians in the 12th century and Mamelukes in the 14th century , it became a Turkish land.
Turks, who came to Çukurova from Middle East during the reign of Turkish Mameluke Empire, pioneered in the establishment of a new civilisation on this fertile and watery land. The name of the Pyramos River became Ceyhan and the name of Sarus River became Seyhan.
Founded in 1352 in Adana, Ramazanoglu Principality continued until 1517. At that time Yavuz Sultan Selim who was going to Egyptian Expedition connected Adana to Ottoman Empire. Adana hosted to Suleiman the Magnificient who was going to expedition to the East in 1535, to Sultan VI. Murat who was going expedition to Baghdad in 1638, to the son of governer of Egypt who rebelled against Ottoman Empire , Ibrahim Pasha, and his army.
In 1918, the time of the end of the World War I, a new struggle for Turks began.
Arriving in Adana on 31 October 1918 and taking over the command of Lightening Army from German Marshal Liman Von Sanders , Mustafa Kemal Atatürk gave the first signs of War of Independence by saying “For allies the war may have ended, but what interests us; the war , the war of our own future, now begins.” In the meantime, enemy forces started to occupy Adana and around of it. Their objective was to found an Armenian state that provides support for European states. In the years 1918-1919 invaders applied torture and persecution. People of Adana who couldn’t bear these pressures established “Cilicia National Forces Organization”.
On 5 August 1920 Mustafa Kemal , Fevzi Çakmak and deputies came Pozantı, declared here a province and did Pozantı Congress there. In November 1920 The Frenchs were defeated and French Government officially recognized Turkish Grand National Assembly Government. On 20 October 1921 “Ankara Treaty” was signed with Frenchs. In accordance with this agreement on 5 January 1922 Frenchs were completely seperated from Çukurova. After this, provincial center was moved back to Adana.
Where to Visit
Anavarza Located in Ceyhan near the village of Dilekkaya , 20 km along the Kozan-Kadirli road, the ruins resemble an open-air museum. Anavarza Castle still has traces of Roman and Muslim history, with well-preserved relics including the castle walls, the triumphal arch, numerous columns and two pools decorated with mosaics in front of the guard house.
Sar 20 km northeast of Tufanbeyli, these ruins were the scenes of the most important religious Hittite ceremonies, performed in honour of the Mother Goddess Magda-Mater. In addition, there is a Roman theatre and a Byzantine church besides the 6-metre high Ala Kapi, which is made of marble blocks.
Magarsus An ancient port city, west of the modern town of Karatas, the city of Magarsus has the remains of a theatre, temple, church and baths.
Aegaea (Ayas) This ancient port city between Yumurtalik and Ayas has a three-storey watch tower, Ottoman and Roman baths beside the city walls.
Ulu Cami Built in 1507 in Syrian or Mamluk style, this attractive mosque has black and white marble and decorative window surrounds. Inside is the tomb of Halil Bey, Emir of the Ramazanoglu Turks who ruled before the Ottomans, which contains beautiful mosaics made from Iznik tiles.
Sabanci Merkez Cami This recently constructed mosque has an immense capacity of over 28,000, and is the third largest in Turkey, with the highest dome. Brand new in style, it has six minarets and lies next to the Girne Bridge. Much of its financing was from the Sabanci family, originally from the area and now the second richest in the country.
Yag Camii With one bay originally used as the Church of St James, until incorporated into the main body, the Yag Camii was built in 1501 and has an impressive portal.
Ulu Mosque and Kulliye (Ramazanoğlu Mosque, Center): It was constructed in 1507 by one of the famous governors of Ramazanoğlu Governorship, Halil Bey.The complex which was perched on a square plan composes of a mosque, theology school, mausoleum (Halil Bey Mausoleum), harem chamber known as the religious foundation of the palace and greeting hall also called as Tuz Inn. Being different from classical Ottoman mosques, Ulu mosque has no excessive vertical massive impact and reflects to the methods of Memluks and Seljukians. The mosque is famous with its colored rock and İznik tile decorations as well as its architecture. On square and hexagon plates,the dominant colors of the adornments of the tiles are turquoise, dark blue and red on a white background, complying with the unique colors of the period, which evokes admiration.
Yağ Mosque (Former Mosque, Center): Appanding further structures to Saint Jacques Church, Ramazanoğlu Halil Bey made this anew construction built in 1501. Halil Bey’s son Piri Mehmet Paşa constructed its minaret in 1525, and its theology school in 1558. It is similar to the Seljuk Ulu mosque architecture.
Hasanağa Mosque (Center): It is constructed by Hasanağa (Hasan Kethüda) during Piri Mehmet Paşa period in 1558. It is the only sample reflecting the mosque type of the classical era (1501-1703). It is mentioned that its plan is drawn by Mimar Sinan.
Hoşkadem Mosque (Kozan): It is understood from its inscription that it was constructed by Memluk Governor, Abdullah Hoşkadem in 1448. The mosque with a huge structure has rectangular plan.
Kurtkulağı Mosque (Ceyhan – Kurtkulağı Mosque): It is constructed by a philanthropic, known as Haydar Ağa in 1601. It was repaired in 1659 by Mimar Mehmet Ağa, and a part of the wall that encircle the courtyard was turned into a eyvan (a vaulted room with one side open to a court). It is one of the structures which could reserve a separate place within Turkish Architecture especially with its proportion to main structure and domes of the former minaret.
The unique highland beauty of Tekir, Burucek, Aladaglar, Horzum Findikli, Hamidiye, Asar, Asmacik, Armutoluk, Belemedik, Meydan, Camliyayla and Kizildag will appeal to tourists wanting to get back to nature.
Aladaglar, Tuzla Lake, Akyatan Lake, Agyatan Lake, Yumurtalik Lagoons and Gaver Lake are all Bird Protection Areas, and are in the vicinity of Adana province.
The Haruniye Thermal Tourism Centre in Bahce, Acisu Springs near Aladag, Tahtalikoy, Kokarpinar and Kurttepe springs in Ceyhan are known to be beneficial for those suffering from certain illnesses.
Surfing is possible in the dam lake of Adana. There are excellent trekking, cycling, and horse-riding trails in the highlands. Fishing is popular around the Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers, and the mountain streams have a good supply of trout. Adana also offers many possibilities for hunting, as well as various wildlife preserves breeding mountain goats, fallow and roe deer at the slopes of Toros Mountains.
How to Get
The products, places and activities that is recommended for the turists who visit the province …
• Regional Archaeological Museum in the city center, Atatürk’s house should be visited.
• Grand Mosque, Sabanci Central Mosque, church dolls, stone bridges and old houses to be seen Tepebağ (the houses of old Adana),also off-center the places of Anavarza,Şar and Misis Ören, Bird Sanctuary in Akyatan and Ağyatan.
• Adana Kebap should be absolutely eaten,turnip juice and should be drunk.Bici bici must be tasted.
• The old bazaar should be visited,the rugs of Karatepe should be taken.
• Archaeological Museum which includes the Works belonging to Hittite
Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Periods, Ethnographic museum,Atatürk Scientific
and Cultural Museum,Misis Mosaic Museum,Misis with the ruins of Sar Oren and
Anavarza,Karasus Ancient Cities are all worth to go around.
• Adana Region has a rich kitchen.The main ingredients of the meals are
flour, wheat, meat, vegetable varieties, spices, milk, yoghurt and curd.The famous unique dish of the region is ‘Adana Kebab’ .It is eaten with plenty of greens and onions salad.Turnip juice and Airan(buttermilk) can be drunk.The other famous foods are ‘Cartlak Kebap, Icli Kofte’ ,’Çig Kofte’ ,’Analı kızlı’ , ‘Humus’ ,‘ Bartefit’,
‘Sıkma’ ,Sırdan’,Mumbar’,’Etli kombe’,’Yüksük çorbası’
Don’t Leave Without…
- Visiting the Archaeology Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and Ataturk’s house centre.
- Visiting Ulu Camii, Sabanci Merkez Camii, Bebekli Church, the Stone Bridge over the river Seyhan, and the old house of Adana in Tepebag.
- Visiting the ruins of Anavarza, Sar, Misis and the bird sanctuary at Akyatan and Agyatan.
- Feasting on Adana kebap and drinking shalgam and aslama (a licorice drink).
- Browsing around the old bazaar and buying a Karatepe rug.