All About Turkey

Osmaniye

Osmaniye is a small town (974 square kilometers) in Southeastern part of Turkey, just north of the Gulf of Iskenderun of the Mediterranean Sea. It's one of the latest towns of Turkey as until recently it was a district of Adana, it got the status of province in 1996. Its population is approximately 485.000 (2012) and growing.

Zorkun plateau near OsmaniyeOsmaniye has a mild Mediterranean climate and is surrounded by fertile agricultural fields and forests where carpentry and woodworking once dominated the economy. Today the town is a processing center for the region's production of cotton, wheat, corn, soybeans, and pistachios. Kilim weaving also has a great value in some districts of Osmaniye.

Some if its districts are; Bahce, Düzici, Kadirli, Hasanbeyli, Sumbas, and Toprakkale. Today there are many sites of interests in the towns' city limits such as Kastabala Castle, Hemite, Frenk (Cardak), Toprakkale and Savranda (Kaypak) castles. There is also Zorkun high plateau just 26 kilometers to southeast of the city and Olukbasi high plateau just 16 kilometers, both providing refuge from the intense summer heat of Cukurova plain and ample grazing for the domestic animals.

The lands surrounding the city was inhabited by a nation called Lelegs in the Calcolithic and Early Bronze Age. In the following centuries, Great Hittite State, Assyrian civilization, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Seljuk's and finally Ottoman Empire reigned in the region.

Karatepe-Aslantas open air museum

releif from Aslantas in OsmaniyeThe Hittite fortress of Karatepe-Aslantas (used to be in the province of Adana, now Osmaniye's Kadirli district) was founded in the 8th century B.C. by Azatiwatis, ruler of the plain of Adana as a frontier castle against the wild hordes lurking in the north. He named it Azatiwadaya. A caravan road leading from the southern plains up-to the Central Anatolian plateau, skirted it on the west, the Ceyhan river (antique Pyramos, now Aslantas dam lake) on the east. Two monumental T-shaped gate-houses flanked by high towers gave access to the citadel. An entrance passage between two towers led up to a double-leafed wooden gate, which swung on basalt pivot-stones, from there to two lateral chambers and further on into the citadel. In a holy precinct at the inner entrance of the southwest gate stood the monumental statue of the Storm-God on its double bull-suckle. The inner walls of the gate-houses were adorned with sculptures of lions and sphinxes, inscriptions and relieves, depicting cultural, mythological and daily-life scenes carved on blocks of basalt. A bilingual text in Phoenician and Hieroglyphic Luwian, the longest known texts in these languages, was inscribed on slabs of each gate with a third one in Phoenician on the Divine Statue, constituting the key for the final decipherment of the Hieroglyphs, being thus reminiscent of the famous Rosetta Stone.

After the fall of the Hittite Empire (which ruled Central Anatolia in the 2nd millennium B.C.), due to the invasion of the so-called "Sea People" around 1200 B.C., small kingdoms such as those of Malatya, Sakcagözü, Maras, Kargamis, and Zincirli, sprang up south of the Taurus mountain range. They were conquered and destroyed in the course of various Assyrian campaigns. The reign of Asatiwatas coincides with this period. His citadel was probably looted and burnt down to the ground by Salmanassar V around 720 B.C. or by Asarhaddon around 680 B.C.

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