Denizli

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Denizli is a province of Turkey in Western Anatolia. Neighbouring provinces are Uşak to the north, Burdur, Isparta, Afyon to the east, Aydın, Manisa to the west and Muğla to the south. Its traffic code is 20.

Contents

Geography

Denizli province lies in the Aegean Region, between 28˚ 30’ and 29˚ 30’ East and 37˚ 12’and 38˚ 12’ North. It covers an area of 11,868 square kilometers. Approximetely 28-30% of the land consists of plains, 25% is high plateu and tableland, and 47% is mountainous. Mount Honaz is the highest mountain in the province, and indeed in Western Anatolia with an elevation of 2571 meters. Babadag (Father Mountain) in the Mentes mountain range has a height of 2308 meters. The biggest lake in Denizli is Acigol (Bitter Lake). Only a part of the lake is within the borders of Denizli. Industrial salts (sodium sulfate) are extracted from this lake which is competely sterile. There is a thermal spring at the west side of Sarayköy that is shares the same source as the Great Menderes River. This hot spring contains bicarbonates and sulfates. There is a hot spring in Kizildere which reaches 200˚C.

A geothermal steam source was first found in the region in 1965 during drilling work. Today there is a power plant producing electrical energy from geothermal steam energy as well as a dry ice (compressed Carbon dioxide) factory, greenhouses and hot springs. Only 11% of the geothermal energy source is used to produce electricity and 89% of it, which flows into the Great Menderes, is 150˚C at source (it is contains energy equal to 35,000 – 40,000 tonnes of fuel oil).

Climate

In general the mild climate of the Aegean region is dominant in Denizli province. However, the climate becomes harsher at altitude . Temperatures can rise to 40˚C during summer and fall to -10˚C in winter. There are about 80 days with precipitation, mainly during winter.

History

It is common to see the traces of prehistoric cultures troughout the province. Evidence of pre-Hittite cultures and the Hittites themselves are abound. Phrygians, Lydians and Persians have also left ruins, unearthed throughout the province by archaeologists. Traces of cities founded by the ancient Greek culture also abound, starting during the Kingdom of Alexander the Great. The first real settlement was the city of Laodicea which was established by King Antiochus II for his wife Laodice. Laodicea is located 6 km North of the city of Denizli, near Eskisehir. There is insufficient information about the city’s later development. The city of Hierapolis was established around 190 BC by the Pergamene Kingdom, one of the Hellenistic states of Anatolia. Calcified terraces and pools of Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) exist on the foundations of Hierapolis. Those two cities came under Roman rule with the expansion of the Roman Empire, and with the division of the Empire in 395 were left as the boundaries of the East Roman Empire.

The province has strong biblical connections: in the Book of Revelation, John the Evangelist hears a loud voice which sounded like a trumpet when he was on the island of Patmos. The voice says: "Write down what you see and send the book to the Churches in these seven cities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea". The Church of Laodicea, a sacred place even in pre-Christian times, is an important place of pilgrimage for Christians today. It has lost its importance to a great extent during Byzantine rule. Turks were first seen in Denizli 1070. Afsin Bey who were under the control of the Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan raided the area and took the first steps to establish Turkish rule in the region. The second and third Crusades attempted to cross through the region, and the Crusaders fought Kazikbeli, who was about to be held as hostage after a severe defeat, but managed to flee with a small force and continued to reach Antalya. After the Turks established their domination the settlement moved South of the ancient city in time, and developed at the site of the present city of Denizli, where drinking water was brought through stone pipes. After Turks established their sovereignity in Laodicea this name had slowly changed into “Ladik” when the city moved to its current location, the name gradually changed to “Tonguzlu”, ”Tonuzlu”, ”Tenguzlug”, ”Donuzlu” and finally “Denizli” (lit. ”with sea”, although the city is inland). These changes have happened since the 17th century.

Turkish traveller Evliya Celebi also visited Denizli and mentioned the town as follows in his “book of travels” 300 years ago: "The city is called such as there are several rivers and lakes around it. In fact it is a four day trip from the sea. Its fortress is of square shape built on a flat place. It has no ditches. Its periphery is 470 steps long. It has four gates. These are: painters gate in North, saddle-makers gate in the East, new Mosque gate in the South, and vineyard gate in the West. There are some fifty armed watchmen in the fortress, and they attend the shop. The main city is outside the fortress with 44 districts and 3600 houses. There are 57 small and large mosques and district masjids, 7 madrassahs, 7 children's schools, 6 baths and 17 dervish lodges. As everybody sat in vineyards the upper classes and ordinary people do not flee from each other."

After World War I, when the Greek army arrived in Izmir on May 15, 1919, one of first centres of Turkish resistance formed in Denizli. Resistance against the Greek invasion began with the first open air meeting held in Denizli. Turkish militia forces formed their lines on the Menderes front organized by Yoruk Ali and Demirci Efes, involving large numbers of volunteers from the local peasantry. Stiffened by the Turkish regular army, Greek forces were repelled, and Denizli remained in Turkish hands throughout the Greco-Turkish War.

Historical Places

  • LAODICEA

Laodicea is a city 6 km North of Denizli near the village of Eskihisar, established by Seleucid King, Antiochus II in honor of his wife, Laodice. This trading city was famous for its woolen and cotton cloths. A letter written by a Laodecian says; “I am happy. I have fortune and I am not in need of anything.” Following a large earthquake which destroyed the city, what remains of the ancient city are one of the seven churches of Asia Minor, the stadium, the amphitheatre and the odeon, the cistern and the aqueduct.

  • HIERAPOLIS

Hierapolis is located 20 km North of Denizli’s provincial center near the Pamukkale traventines woven like a lace by the healing thermal waters. It was founded by the Pergamon King Eumenes II in 190 B.C. Its closeness to Laodicea created commercial and military rivalry. The town was built in Greek style. Although suffering a violent earthquake in 17 A.D., it reached its peak during the Roman and Byzantine periods. It was reconstructed during the 2nd and 3rd Centuries with the use of stone blocks dug out from quarries in the area. Later, the Roman construction style became dominant. The town lived through its most glorious years during the reign of Roman Emperors Septimius Severus and Caracalla and became an episcopal seat during the expansion of Christianity. As a result of several earthquakes, the most violent of which was in 1354, a great part of the town was destroyed, and its people migrated.

The great baths were constructed with huge stone blocks without the use of plaster, and consisted of various closed or open sections linked together. There are deep niches in the inner section of the bath, library, gymnasium and other closed or open locations. The complex, which was constructed in the 2nd century, consitutes a good example of vault-type architecture. The complex is now an Archaelogical Museum.

Theater: the first amphitheatre was constructed to the northeast as the ancient city was destroyed during Hellenistic times, and later existing theatres were constructed on a slope further to the east in the 2nd century, with a capacity of 15,000. It is now under restoration. It has several relics and statues depicting mythological figures. The excavation of the Temple of Apollo has revealed that a huge temple was constructed for Apollo in Hierapolis during the Hellenic period. The temple was reconstructed in the 3rd century with a smaller area, and only its marble floor remains. Next to this temple there is a section called the Platonium which has an entrance, beyond which stairs go down, and from which carbon dioxide gas emerges. It is said that during the early years of the town priests descended into the Platonium together with criminals or animals, held their breath and then came up in order to show that they were decorated with superior powers.

The 2nd century Nymphaeum was repaired during the Byzantine era. The Nymphaeum has a U-shaped plan on the continuation of the main colonnaded road. The stone pavement columns and other architectural remains mark a great part of the colonnaded road which ran through Hierapolis in a north-south direction, which has statues and shops around, underneath which passed canals. The road had a base covered with stone blocks, now kept under the pool of the Private Administration. There are two huge doors which were constructed at the end of the 1st century and left outside the city walls. The Byzantine gate was constructed in the 6th century.

All types of tombs from Hellenic to Christian times can be seen at the necropolis in Hierapolis. People who came for medical treatment to Hierapolis in ancient times and the native people of the city buried their dead in monumental tombs of the tumulus, sarcophagus or house types according to their traditions. The necropolis extends from the Northern to the Eastern and Southern sections of the old city. Most of the tombs have been excavated. The St. Philip Martyrium was constructed in the name of St. Philip, one of Christ’s twelve disciples, outside the Northeastern section if the city walls, and has an octagonal structure. It is said that St. Philip is buried in the center of the building.

  • TRIPOLIS

The ancient Tripolis near Buldan’s Yeine village, 44 km from Denizli City, is a city dating back to the Hellenistic period. Tripolis, which was on the Sardis-Laodecia road extending down to Mesopotamia, was established for military and commercial purposes. Tripolis became famous with the expansion of Christianity with its people working in agriculture and weaving. The present weaving industry in Buldan’s dates back to ancient times. Few remains of the city walls; theatre, hippodrome and tombs survived the great earthquake of 1354.


  • KOLOSSAI

Unfortunately we have no information about the history of the ancient city of Kolossai located on the lower slopes of Honaz Mountain, 3 km to the North of the Honaz township. Like the other ancient cities of the region, Kolossai was destroyed by an earthquake, with nothing surviving but a few remains. It is known that a city named Khonae was established at the location of the present Honaz township during Byzantine times. Moreover, there is a Seljuk fortress in Honaz, and the Murat Mosque which dates back to the reign of Ottoman Sultan Murat II (imperabat 1404-1451).

  • BEYCE SULTAN

During an excavation carried out by the British achaeologists Prof. Seton Lloyd and Prof. James Mellaart between 1953 and 1959 at Beycehöyük, 6km South of the town of Civril, several antiquities of the Copper Age dating back to 3000 BC were found. It is assumed that Beycehöyük was the centre of the Arzawa kingdom, contemporaries of the Hittite Empire. Later on Phrygians, Carians, Lydians, Persians and Macedonians passed through the region during recorded history but left very few traces. It is assumed that the relics of raiders and chariots in mounds and on rocks found at Yavuzca farm, 20 km from Civril, date back to the Phrygians. The tomb on Beyce Höyük is from Seljuk times.


  • AKHAN CARAVANSERAI

The Seljuk caravanserai Akhan, which is 6th from Denizli City on the Ankara highway, and a great part of which still remains, was constructed by Karasungur bin Abdullah in 1253-54 when he was acting as the commander of Ladik.


  • HANABAT CARAVANSERAI

The Cardak Hanabat Caravanserai built by Esedüddin Ayaz during the reign of Seljuk ruler Alaattin Keykubat is a typical Seljuk caravaserai. The fish, cow and human relics on the caravanserai were brought from the nearby ancient ruins.

  • AHMETLI BRDIGE

The Ahmetli Bridge over the Great Menderes river, 15 km from Sarayköy township, dates back to the Roman era. The middle section of the bridge was blown up as a precaution during the Greco-Turkish War but was reconstructed with reinforced concrete later.

Denizli Rooster Cock

The cock of Denizli is a breed of cock identified with the province of Denizli, being a focus of interest with its appearance and colour, along with its prolonged and melodious crows. The cocks of Denizli only live in Denizli, and have been able to survive by adapting themselves to all kinds of environmental conditions and resisting many poultry epidemics throughout many centuries.

A good cock of Denizli must have a vigorous appearance, its legs must be long, its neck long and strong, its breast wide and deep, its tail upright and slanting towards the head.

Its Characteristics: its eyes are black and with kohl, its legs are dark grey, its neck is long, its auricles are red or mixed with black and dirty white, its approximate weight, when alive, is 3-3.5kg, its ability of fecondation is normal. Generally, a ratio of one cock for 5-6 hens is kept.

Voice and characteristics of crow:

  • High-pitched.
  • Deep
  • Bass

The beginning and the end of the crow are important. At the start, the tempo of the crow must be gradually accelerated, at the end the tempo must be gradually declined and not suddenly ceased. It is said of such a bird among the breeders that 'its starting and ending are good'. The starting and the ending of the crow is in a way more important than the prolongation of the crow. In the first year, the duration of the crow is about 68 seconds. in the second and third years, this duration is increased.


External links

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