A view of the city center
Country  Turkey
Region Mediterranean
Province Kahramanmaraş
Elevation 67 m (220 ft)
Population 2008
 – Total 1.037.492
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 – Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code
Area code(s) 0344
Licence plate 31
City and province of Kahramanmaraş
The minaret of Grand Mosque of Kahramanmaras (Kahramanmaraş Ulu Camii), one of the city's many historic mosques

Kahramanmaraş is a city in southeastern Turkey and the administrative center of Kahramanmaraş Province . The city lies on a plain at the foot of the Taurus Mountains and has a population of 412.252 as of 2010. The region is best known for its production of salep, a flour made from dried orchid tubers, and its distinctive ice cream. It is connected by air to Istanbul and Ankara. Turkish Airlines has daily direct flights from İstanbul and also Anadolu Jet operates direct flights from Ankara.



Kahramanmaraş was called Germanicia Caesarea (Γερμανίκεια, Germanikeia, in Greek) in the time of the Roman and Byzantine empires. (According to an article published in newspaper Cumhuriyet on 20 December 2010, the first ruins of Germanicia have already been unearthed in the Dulkadiroğulları quarters of the city.[1])

Germanicia was taken from the Byzantines by the Muslim Arabs in 645 AD, to whom the city was known as Marʻaš (Arabic: مرعش‎ [ˈmarʕaʃ]), which is also the Syriac name (Syriac: ܡܪܥܫ). Marash was an important Syrian Orthodox diocese. Mor Dionysius Bar Salibi (+ 1171) was its bishop.

Maraş was used as a base for incursions into Asia Minor by Arabs. It was destroyed several times during the Arab-Byzantine struggles. It was rebuilt by the Umayyad caliph Muawiya I and was expanded to 800 by the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid. It was also part of Tulunids, Ikhshidids and Hamdanids before Byzantine reconquest in 962.

After the defeat of Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, Philaretos Brachamios, former Byzantine general founded a principality, stretched from Antioch to Edessa. Germanikeia was centre of him.

Germanikeia was captured by Baldwin I of Jerusalem in 1098 during First Crusade and was part of County of Edessa. It was centre of a seniority during Crusaders rule. According to the Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa, it was destroyed by an earthquake and 10,000 people were killed, which is probably exaggerated. In 1135, Danishmends besieged Germanikeia unsuccessfully. Baldwin of Germanikeia died a war in 1146. He aimed trying recover Edessa Nur ad-Din Zangi on the side of Joscelin II of Edessa. His succersor, Reynald of Germanikeia also died in battle of Inab against Zengids and Mesud I, Sultane of Rum conquered it in end of 1149.

Maraş was captured by Zengids in 1151 but recaptured by Seljuks in 1152. But, Maraş was recaptured by Zengids and was left to Mleh, his collaborator. Maraş passed to Ayyubids in 1182.

View along Trabzon Avenue (Trabzon Caddesi)

Kaykhusraw I, Sultan of Rum captured Maraş. Seljuk rule lasted to 1253. In 1253, Maraş fell to the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, following the invasion of Anatolia by the Ilkhanate. Maraş was left to Armenians on condition as vassal of the Mongols. Maraş was captured by Al-Ashraf Khalil, Mamluk Sultan in 1292. But, it was recaptured by Hethum II, King of Cilician Armenia with Mongol alliance. Maraş finally passed to Mamluks in 1304.

Maraş was ruled by Dulkadirs, as vassals of Mamluks between 1337-1515 before being annexed to the Ottoman Empire. In Ottoman times, the city was at first centre of Eyalet of Dulkadir (Also called Eyalet of Zûlkâdiriyye) before first half of 19th century, later in was sanjak centre in the Vilayet of Aleppo before 1918.

Until 1973, Kahranmanmaraş was known as Maraş, pronounced Marash. It gained its modern name on October 7, 1973, when the Grand National Assembly of Turkey added "Kahraman" to the name. The addition of "Kahraman" ("Hero" in Turkish) was in commemoration of the victory against French forces during the Battle of Maraş in the Turkish War of Independence. After the war, Maraş also received the Turkish Medal of Independence, given to the city as a whole for such actions as the Sütçü İmam Incident.

In December 1978, Kahramanmaraş was the site of a massacre of leftist Alevis. A Sunni nationalist group, the Grey Wolves, incited the violence that left over 105 dead. The incident was of key importance in the Turkish government's decision to declare martial law, and the eventual military coup in 1980.[2]


Kahramanmaraş has a semi-arid climate. Summers are hot and dry with an average of 35°C (95°F) but can go higher than +40°C (104°F). The highest recorded temperature being 45.2°C (113.36°F) on 30 July 2007. Winters are cold and damp with temperatures ranging from 0-5°C (32-41°F). The coldest temperature recorded was -9.6°C (14.72°F) on 06 February 1997.

Climate data for Kahramanmaraş
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.4
Average high °C (°F) 9.1
Average low °C (°F) 1.3
Record low °C (°F) −7.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 125.4
Avg. rainy days 12.4 12.2 12.3 11.6 8.1 2.7 1.5 1.3 2.7 6.7 9.1 12.1 92.7
Sunshine hours 108.5 117.6 173.6 204 263.5 312 341 319.3 273 213.9 135 102.3 2,563.7
Source: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü [3]


The Covered Market (Kapalı Çarşı) of Kahramanmaraş

Kahramanmaraş's industry is mainly based on textile and ice cream. Kahramanmaraş is one of the biggest textile industry cities of Turkey. Companies like Kipaş, İskur, Arsan and Bozkurt are one of the richest companies in the city. Also, many of the American clothing companies like Aéropostale and American Eagle are supplying their yarns from Kahramanmaraş.

Some of the internationally-known ice-cream companies like Mado, Yaşar Pastanesi, EDO and Ferah Pastanesi started their business in this ice-cream city and thousands of people visit Kahramanmaraş, just because of its ice-cream (dondurma in Turkish).

The town was (and may still be) the home town of the 172nd Armoured Brigade of the Turkish Second Army.


The city has a local football team called; Kahramanmaraşspor which is currently in Turkish 2nd Division Category B Group 5. Kahramanmaraşspor plays its home games in Hanefi Mahçiçek Stadium. Some famous Turkish players like Mehmet Özdilek and Kemalettin Şentürk played in Kahramanmaraşspor before transferring to bigger clubs.

Notable natives

  • Leo III - Byzantine Emperor (717 - June 18, 741)
  • Nestorius - 5th century religious leader
  • Karacaoğlan - 17the century Turkish Poet and Ashik
  • Sünbülzade Vehbi - Turkish poet
  • Necip Fazıl Kısakürek - Turkish poet and writer
  • Mehmet Akif İnan - Turkish poet and writer
  • Erdem Bayazıt - Turkish poet and writer
  • Cahit Zarifoğlu - Turkish poet and writer
  • Nuri Pakdil - Turkish poet and writer
  • Nazif Gürdoğan - Turkish writer and academician
  • Alaaddin Özdenören - Turkish poet and writer
  • Rasim Özdenören - Turkish poet and writer
  • Bejan Matur - Turkish poet and writer
  • Aşık Mahzuni Şerif - Turkish folk singer/songwriter
  • Kıraç - Turkish singer/songwriter
  • Şeref Eroğlu - European and World champion, Olympic medalist wrestler

See also


  1. ^ Cumhuriyet , 20.December 2010 p.20
  2. ^ Zurcher, Eric. "Turkey: A Modern History". I.B. Tauris: London, 1993: 276-277
  3. ^ http://meteor.gov.tr/veridegerlendirme/il-ve-ilceler-istatistik.aspx?m=K.MARAS

External links

Coordinates: 37°35′N 36°56′E / 37.583°N 36.933°E / 37.583; 36.933

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  • Kahramanmaras — Original name in latin Kahramanmara Name in other language Caesarea Germanicia, Germanicea Marqasi, Gurgum, Kahramanmaras, Kahramanmara Kakhramanmarash, Maraache, Marache, Maras, Marasch, Marash, Marasion, Mara Meres, Кахраманмараш State code TR… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Kahramanmaras — Admin ASC 1 Code Orig. name Kahramanmaraş Country and Admin Code TR.46 TR …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

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