Osmaniye is one of the newest provinces of Turkey. It is located on the east part of Ceyhan River in High Cukurova.
As it is stated in the resources, Osmaniye takes its name from Haci Osman Village which was here a long time ago. Osmaniye which has productive soil is also located on the important historical roads. The first one is the road which is known as Historical Maras Road across the Gavur Mountains (Amanos Mountains). Today there is an International road (D-400) and Gaziantep- Tarsus Highway (TEM) and also a railway on the same route. The second road which goes to the East from Osmaniye is known as Agyol, Kocayol among public. This road; originates from Orensar and Kastabala and turns to Karatepe.
High Cukurova has naturally been one of the most important setting areas with its productive soils, rivers, and its location on important roads since ancient times. High Cukurova which is located in the east part of Ceyhan River was famous for Karatepe, Kastabala, and Toprakkale in Ancient times and Kinik city during Ottoman Empire period. Silk Road and Maras Road which pass through Osmaniye strengthened commerce in here and made this region attractive.
Through the history the city saw Hittite, Assyrian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantium, Abbasi, Anatolian Seljuk and Ottoman periods respectively. Turkish domination in Osmaniye started when I. Rukneddin Suleiman conquered it in 1083 and then the city was added to the territory of Anatolian Seljuk. The region was occupied in 1096 by Crusaders and Cilicia Armenian Princedom was established. When Turcoman came to Anatolia and replaced in the region due to Mongolian pressure, Ramazanoglu Sultanate was established in 14. Century. Armenian Princedom came to an end with the pressure of Kinik people who lived there at that time. Kinik people founded a settlement based on agriculture and commerce in here. Today’s Osmaniye is replaced on the ruins of Kinik Residence.
In 1516, Ottoman domination started in Cukurova. Osmaniye was a district which was affiliated to Cebelibereket Starboard of Adana in 19. century and then was a town of Adana from June 1933 to the year 1996.
Gavur Mountains which are the continuing part of Cukurova are important tourism centre with their green plateau and nature. Tekir, Burucek, Namrun, Zorkun, Mitisin- Dervispinari, Olukbasi, Fenk, Urun, Maksutoglu and Bagdaş Plateaus are the residential area of the people who live in and around Osmaniye for summer period. These plateaus are gaining importance in terms of tourism due to their natural beauties, flora and fauna day by day.
Karatepe National Park
which takes place near Ceyhan River and is 22 km away from Kadirli town of Adana province is an important park. This park is the primary place to visit in Osmaniye both with historical art crafts, outdoor museum, and its flora, and various wild animals that it shelters.
Indeed Karatepe belongs to Late Hittite Principalities. This residential area was established by a Principal whose name was Azativatas in B.C. 8 and its name originated from its founder, as Azativataya. It is known that hieroglyph writing was used in this town which was known as Asitavanda in Hittite period and then it was occupied by Assyrian Empire after B.C. 720. Karatepe Tower is surrounded by ramparts. There are monumental relieves and sphinxes at north and south entrances of the town. There are Hittite hieroglyph (Luvice) and Phoenician language besides the reliefs. The reliefs are about dining festival of the King Azativatas. In addition, there is a statute of Baal who was Storm God.
Hierapolis Outdoor Museum (Kastabala Ruins) is located at the north of Osmaniye. The town is worth to be visited with not only archeological ruins but also natural beauties. It is thought that the oldest history of the town was started from Hittite period. The name Kastabala was first seen in Persian texts, and the town was named as Hierapolis on the coins stamped when the town was under domination of IV. Antiochos Epiphanes who was one of the kings of Seleukos (M.Ö. 175- 164). The region which had an important strategically position for Roman Empire experienced a dynasty period for about 80 years under the administration of Tarkondimotos who had been an ex-pirate and was faithful to the Roman Emperor. There is limited information about Tarkondimotos and his period in Ancient resources and tablets. The region was under the rule of IV. Antiochos until 72 A.C. The town was occupied by Sasanian King I. Hapur in 260 A.C. and entered into the rule of Byzantium Empire in 380. The town was significantly devastated with the earthquakes experienced in 524 and 561 in the region.
Kastabala town lost importance gradually in Middle and Late Byzantium periods, and abandoned after the Crusades. Today, nearly all the surface ruins are dated to Roman Period. Among the ruins, the 300 m columned street has been protected until now best. This street arrives at a monumental door. In addition to this, the other art crafts that have been protected until now are stadium, theatre, hamam ruins, as well as various grave structures (sarcophagus rock graves) and two churches that belong to A.C. 6 and also aqueducts which were built on Ceyhan River around Nergis ward in order to meet water need of the town.
In Osmaniye which is located on important historical roads, we see many ruins of castles which were built for the purpose of protecting the city. Cardak Castle which is dated to Roman Period is located on a hill in the east of Osmaniye. The castle which is structured in rectangular shape has ten towers.
Hemite Castle the building date of which is unknown is located 20 km away at North West of Osmaniye. There are Roman-Byzantium ruins and Hittite rock relieves in the Castle. The castle has got double ramparts of 1500 in length and 20 towers on the ramparts.
Savranda (Kaypak) Toweri s located in the east part of Osmaniye near Kalecik dam. The castle which is 800 m peripherally is in rectangular form and has 12 towers. It was built with a strong defense understanding with the help of natural conditions. The inside part of the castle is covered with pine trees and this property differentiates its scene from the other historical castles.
Toprakkale Castle was built in B.C 312- 64 during Seleucos period. The castle was rebuilt with black stone in Abbasiler period. The building which was called as Kinik Caslte by Ottomans was used as barrack in the voyages of Yavuz Sultan Selim in this region. There are 12 towers on its ramparts.
In the north of Toprakkale castle, Sar Ruins is located within the borders of Bahce town. The town is also known as old Kinik City. Among the ruins of the town which was the religious centre of Hittites, there are a theatre belonging to Roman Period and a Byzantium castle ruins and Alakapi findings.
Ala Mosque which is located in Hasanbeyli was used as temple in Roman Period and a church in Byzantium Period. The building was turned to a mosque by adding minaret in Dulkadiroglu Sultanate. Agacabey Mosque is located in Bahce town. The brilliant minaret of the mosque attracts attention.
Osmaniye city which is an attractive tourism centre with its historical and natural beauties presents alternative facilities to the visitors of Haruniye, Kadirli and Kokar thermal resorts.
The most delicious meals of the local food are made from boiled and pounded wheat; we advise you to taste icli kofte, mercimek koftesi, cig kofte, kisir.
In Kizyusuflu Village which is close to Hasanbeyli where Cherry Festival is organized in the second week of June, Karatepe Carpets which are the most famous carpets of Osmaniye are weaved. Karatepe carpets which are made from wools that are painted with madder are famous all over the world and exported abroad. In addition to this, wooden spoon, fork, and various ornaments which are produced in and around Karatepe are among fine examples of hand crafts. www.osmaniye-bld.gov.tr