All About Turkey

Kahramanmaras

Known as "Markasi" or "Maraj" in earliest ages, this city, 78 km north of Gaziantep, stands as a site of history, having a long past filled with numerous invasions, was once the capital of Gurgum, a Hittite State in the 12th century BC. Romans called the city as Germanicia during the 1st century AD, and Ottomans renamed it as "Mer'as" later on.

There is an archaeological museum inside the citadel, where Hittite sculptures are on display. Other important remains in the area are the Ulu (Grand) Mosque and the Tas (Stone) Medrese, both dating back to the 15th century, together with the Hatuniye and Haznedarli Mosque of the Ottoman period.

This province, the original name of which was Maras, had shown such valour during the War of Independence, that it was then given the title "Kahraman", which means of "hero".

Today, Kahramanmaras is the 11th largest city in Turkey areawise, at 568 meters above sea level in the city center. It's population is a little bit over 1 million (2012), divided almost equally between its towns and villages.

The speciality of the region is its famous ice cream made of fine goat milk and wild orchid flower roots growing in the surrounding mountains. Carved wooden furnitures, copper and brass works and handworks of glided silver thread are also traditional. Nature sports such as caving, hunting and fishing, besides plateaus and picnicking areas, are also typical of this area.


 

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