Adana, Turkey. The city where I live. It’s bustling streets alive with commerce and the busyness of everyday life. In a lot of ways its a city just like any other city around here; people going here and there, earning bread for the table. Men coming and going from the local mosque. Shopowners sitting outside their shops enjoying cups of tea with their neighborhing shop-keepers until customers walk in.
In some ways though, my town is quite different. If it had a welcome sign on the freeway into Adana, and was accurate to history it would read, “Welcome to Adana; est. 6,000BC”. Many of the places around here in the Middle East obviously are places where the first people alive setup tent ages and ages ago. It’s just no surprise that this whole area is as old as…well dirt. What makes Adana a bit different is it’s name; Adana. It is one of the worlds oldest city names; it has changed the least over time. The Hittites called it Adaniya. Homer’s “The Illiad” calls it Adana, and later Armenians called it Atana. One of the names comes from Adanos, the son of Uranus, one of the Greek gods. Since moving from an important port city in history, Mersin (or Pompeiopolis as it was known in the Roman times), to Adana, we have enjoyed getting to know our new 1.5 million peopled village.
If you were to take a stroll through the city center area, and go to a specific district called Tepebah, all you would realize to be different about it is that it is situated slightly on top of a small hill. Under that hill, under a good layer of earth, lies the city of the early Hittites, the people group that largely inhabited Turkey in Biblical times. The city center as a whole is honestly in need of a facelift. It’s quite dirty and drab. Dilapidated buildings suffering from not being kept up. After reading up on some history, I guess it used to be some of the most developed and nicest places in Adana. I recently learned that the reason why it may be remaining so dirty and unkept, may have something to do with a massacre committed there, not too long ago. The year was 1909, and the nominally Christian Archbishop of the Armenian Church who was there under the Ottoman Empire, rallied up some Armenians and they attacked some Muslims. We aren’t sure exactly who threw the first stone, but it was the Muslims who finished it; 20,000 Armenians were killed there, and 2,000 Muslims. The place was burned as well. From this occurence, and together with earthquakes throughout the years, the area has just not recovered, or been restored.
I would like to share some pictures of the area with you if you don’t mind. You can click one of the pics to enter a slideshow if you want.
So much more could be said and shared. That will have to wait for another time.