The land of the white gold: Adana
Adana is Turkey’s fourth largest city with an area of 14,030 square meters and nearly 2 million people. Adana is one of the most dynamic cities and the fifth largest city in Turkey after Istanbul , Ankara , Izmir and Bursa. The city has four districts, Yüreğir, Çukurova, Sarıçam and Seyhan.
Adana’s located at a very interesting spot, on the south lies the Mediterranean sea, north you have the central Anatolian plains, in the west you have the Taurus mountains and finally in the east you have the multicultural southern-eastern region. The city is an industrial and commercial centre that controls a vast, cultivated land called the Cukurova plain.
Agriculture is thriving in the city; cotton, citrus, tobacco, vegetables, bananas, flax and sesame seeds in large quantities are produced by farmers and huge farming companies on the fertile Cukurova plain.
Due to its rich soil and high production of cotton, Adana is also known as the land of the white gold (cotton).
The history of settlements in Adana goes back to the Hittites (14th century BC.). The Greeks settled here from the 10th century BC. The Assyrians captured the territory that was later included in the kingdom of Antiochus IV. And afterwards the region came under the control of the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk and Mamluk Turks until Ottomans conquered it in 1515. The city was also temporarily annexed by Mehmed Ali Pasha (Kavalali, governor of Egypt) in the first half of the 19th century. After the First World War the French occupied the city from 1919 to 1922 but was recaptured by Turks after the Treaty of Ankara, January 5, 1922.
Some historical monuments of interest are:
Roman bridge: This beautiful bridge is among the oldest remains of the city. It was built in the second century by Emperor Hadrian and later was restored by Justinian. It epitomizes the talent of Roman architects. The bridge spans the Seyhan River, which divides the city in two.
Ulucami: The mosque was erected in 1507. The portal and the minaret are dressed in beautiful bands of black and white marble. The building also houses a Medrese (a school), and features beautiful ornamental earthenware from Iznik and Kutahya. You can also visit the mosques Eski Yag (15th century) and Akça Mescidi (15th century).
Adana has three museums: the archaeological museum houses Hittites excavations, Roman and also objects to the days of the Ottoman Empire. You can see beautiful sarcophagi, statues of deities, mosaics, glass collections and portraits. There is also a pleasant ethnographic museum and cultural Ataturk Museum. The Ethnographic Museum is housed in a former church. Here you will find music instruments, weapons, manuscripts, jewellery, Korans, the embroideries and authentic Turkish carpets.
Famous for its gastronomy, the city of Adana promotes his name closely linked to some regional specialties such as kebab or Adana kebab. Adana’s cuisine is almost a cuisine on its own. You must taste the delicious Adana Kebab which is made from minced and spiced meat and served with local drink Salgam, made from beetroot. To help you understand the richness of Adana’s cuisine, here we list Adana’s local culinary treasures:
- Adana Kebabi: The spicy shish kebab owes its name to the city
- Şalgam Suyu: Strong yet refreshing juice made from beetroot.
- Bamya Dolmasi : You can find all kinds of dolmas in Turkish cuisine however Bamya dolma (stuffed okras) is an Adana specialty.
- Etli Dolma (etli patlican dolma, etli kabak dolma): Similar to other stuffed eggplant or zucchini, Adana version has more meat and spices.
- Icli Köfte: Icli kofte may look like falafels, but it is in fact a meatball with special coating fried to perfection.
- Aşlama şerbeti (Meyan Kökü): Local liquorice sorbet.
- Anali kizli corbasi: Similar to Yuvalama, Anali Kizli soup (literally, ‘with daughters and mothers’, daughters being the chickpeas, mothers the little semolina (bulgur) balls, all in a soup like a yogurt sauce) includes meatballs, tomato, bulgur, and chickpeas.
- Karakuş tatlisi: A dessert made using flour, walnuts and yoghurt
- Bici tatlisi: A unique dessert made from watermelons.
It is very hot in Adana during summer. Locals enjoy the Seyhan Dam lake on the north of the city. The nearest beaches are at Yumurtalik, an ancient castle overlooking the picturesque fishing port, and also at Karatas, a small fishing village on the Mediterranean Sea.
Things to know
The international airport is 4 km from the city centre. There are regular flights with Istanbul and Ankara.
Bus services: Regular services to Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Ankara, neighbouring cities and also other provinces of Turkey.
Tourist information office (Provincial Division) Phone: +90 322 3631448.
Information from the Adana Airport , tel: +90 322 436 92 14.
Official website : www.adana.gov.tr in English and Turkish language.