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Tepebağ from the Seyhan river
Country Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
Province Adana
District Seyhan
  TypeMuhtar - Seniors Council
  BodyTepebağ Muhtarlık
   Muhtar Serkan Toktay
23 m (75 ft)
 (2009) [1]
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s) 0322
Licence plate 01

Tepebağ (English: Orchard Hill) is a historical neighborhood in the old town of Adana. It is situated on a hill overlooking the Seyhan River on the west, steps away from the Taşköprü, and reflects the traditional housing architecture of the city. Tumulus at Tepebağ is the area of the first settlements in Adana.

Adana Metropolitan municipality in Mediterranean, Turkey

Adana is a major city in southern Turkey. The city is situated on the Seyhan river, 35 km (22 mi) inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia. It is the administrative seat of the Adana Province and has a population of 1.75 million, making it the 5th most populated city in Turkey. The Adana-Mersin polycentric metropolitan area, with a population of 3 million, stretches over 70 km (43 mi) east-west and 25 km (16 mi) north-south; encompassing the cities of Mersin, Tarsus and Adana.

Seyhan River river in Turkey

The Seyhan River is the longest river in Turkey that flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The river is 560 km and flows southwest from its headwaters in the Tahtalı-Mountains in the Anti-Taurus Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea via a broad delta. Its main tributaries are Zamantı and Göksu, which unite in Aladağ, Adana to form the Seyhan River. The Zamantı River originates from the Uzun Plateau in Pınarbaşı, Kayseri and crosses Tomarza, Develi and Yahyalı districts in Kayseri.

Taşköprü (Adana) bridge

Taşköprü is a Roman bridge spanning the Seyhan River in Adana that was probably built in the first half of the second century AD. The bridge was a key link in ancient trade routes from the Mediterranean Sea to Anatolia and Persia. Until its closure in 2007, it was one of the oldest bridges in the world open to motorized vehicles. Since 2007 it has only carried foot traffic, and now hosts social and cultural events.



Throughout the history, Adana was re-built several times at the area of the Tepebağ Tumulus. The city architecture did not develop much until the mid 19th century due to the nomadic living styles of the Turkmens and Yörüks living in the city, and the re-construction of the buildings along the Seyhan River which get frequently destroyed by the floods.

Turkmens ethnic group

Turkmens are a nation and Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia, primarily the Turkmen nation state of Turkmenistan. Smaller communities are also found in Iran, Afghanistan and North Caucasus. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Eastern Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages. Examples of other Oghuz languages are Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai, Gagauz, Khorasani, and Salar.

Yörüks ethnic group

The Yörüks, also Yuruks or Yorouks, are a Turkish ethnic subgroup, some of whom are nomadic, primarily inhabiting the mountains of Anatolia, and partly in the Balkan peninsula. Their name derives from the Turkish verb yürü-, which means "to walk", with the word yörük or yürük designating "those who walk on the hindlegs, walkers". Yörüks lived within the Yörük Sanjak which was not a territorial unit like other sanjaks but a separate organisational unit of the Ottoman Empire.

Until the late 19th century, Adana consisted of one-story houses made of mud brick. During this period, the city had a rapid development with the improvements on the Seyhan River, the increase in the cotton yield and with the development of the manufacturing industry. The period of development also affected the architecture in which the mud brick homes were replaced with 2-3 story structured durable houses. These are the building styles which could exist to present and were named the Traditional Adana Houses. [2]


The developments in Tepebağ was on the hill and down the hill to the plain. Houses were designed depending on being built on the areas with slope or at the plain areas. Most of the houses are 2-3 story and made up of ground, mezzanine and main floors. Depending on the land, some houses are made up of basement, ground and main floors. Building were built mostly by brick stacking or with wooden structure. In the neighborhood, there are also concrete structured newer buildings.

Rowhouses of Tepebag Tepebag Rowhouses.jpg
Rowhouses of Tepebağ

Despite the heavy use of stone in neighboring towns, the residential architecture of Adana is mostly made of bricks. Traditional architecture of the city is developed with the effect of the hot and humid climate of the Mediterranean. At the traditional houses, thick walls, few windows, stony places and inner courtyards are seen on the ground floors. At the upper floors, row windows and projections are common, and together with the plain earth roofs and eaves, the architecture corresponds to the climate.

Mediterranean Sea Sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean between Europe, Africa and Asia

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually referred to as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

Traditional homes are built attached on narrow and curly streets to very small lots. At the urban sprawl that is formed with lining up of these houses, streets have different widths and there are many streets with no exit.

Suphi Pasa Mansion converted into Ataturk Museum Ataturk Museum in Adana.jpg
Suphi Paşa Mansion converted into Atatürk Museum

The mansions that were built along the Seyhan River at the end of the 19th century, and at the beginning of the 20th century are the elegant samples of the traditional residential architecture. These buildings can go up to 4-story and have rooftop terraces that have extensive view with a cooling breeze. They differ significantly from the modest houses of the hill, with the architecture, street-building and courtyard-lot relation, lot size and the roof styling. Besides being taller, these mansions have bigger lots and the ground floors directly open up to the street without courtyards and the buildings are fit on the entire lots. The mansions, which are referred to as Row Mansions locally, are the first registered buildings with historical value. Among these the Hacı Yunuszade Mehmet Efendi and the Bosnalı Salih Efendi mansions at the south end are noteworthy to mention. The latter's main hall is lighted with an octagon bright lantern. At the northwest of these row mansions, Suphi Paşa mansion stands in well shape and has been used as a museum (Atatürk Museum) since 1981. This building has seen an extensive restoration after the Adana–Ceyhan earthquake in 1998.

Atatürk Museum (Adana)

Atatürk Museum exhibits War of Independence and the first years of Republic at the mansion, Atatürk stayed during his trips to Adana. Overlooking to the Seyhan River, the museum is located on Seyhan Street and it is open to public every day except Mondays. Atatürk's visit to Adana is officially celebrated in this building every year on 15 March.

1998 Adana–Ceyhan earthquake

The 1998 Adana–Ceyhan earthquake occurred at 16:55 local time on 27 June with a moment magnitude of 6.3 and a maximum intensity of IX (Destructive) on the European macroseismic scale. The total economic loss was estimated at about US$1 billion.

Houses at Tepebağ have characteristics very different from those of the older Kuruköprü, Hanedan, İstiklal and Döşeme neighborhoods. The differences can be noticeable from the building fronts which tend to be larger. [3]

Buildings and the surrounding area

Buildings are located in a way to receive the cooling effects of the winds easily. Buildings are fit on the street fronts of the lots and courtyards are formed in the rear section. Fully surrounded by walls or building sections, the inner courtyards are small and shaded. By facing the living spaces toward the courtyard, each house has a distinctive open, semi-open and closed settings. During the early 20th century the houses with courtyards are replaced with houses that are fully fit on the lots without courtyards. At these buildings, entrance is directly to the living spaces.

Internal design

Traditional Adana houses are mostly two-story and the samples of bungalows are rare. Besides this, there are also three-story buildings which are made up of a ground floor, mezzanine and an upper floor. At the three-story houses entrance is usually from the stony place, but there are also samples where the courtyard is at the street front and the entrance is from the courtyard. At the ground floor, after the stony place which is at the height of two floors, the courtyard and the stairs are placed. At this floor, there are also storage rooms, pantry and similar spaces for service. The mezzanine, which is built above the service spaces of the ground floor, functions as a floor used only in the winter with the low ceiling and with the thick walls that have small windows. It is typical to have a kitchen with oven at this floor. At the houses with no mezzanine floor, kitchen is usually placed at the corner of the main hall or the courtyard.

At the traditional houses, upper floors are the main living spaces and are designed mostly with outer or inner halls also seen in many settlements of Anatolia. According to the function and the location of the hall many different designs are created. At the plans with outer hall, halls face south and the rooms are located with sides to the street and to the hall. The rooms are placed next to the hall in a way that will leave two or three sides of the hall open. The plans with inner halls possess a long, narrow hall with rooms at both sides and enriched with a side hall, stair hall or an iwan depending on the need. Front of the houses with inner halls are generally faced southward.

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2010-08-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Adana Metropolitan Municipality. Retrieved on 2010-08-16.
  2. Payaslı-Oğuz, Gülin and Aksulu, Işık, 2007. Adana Tepebağ’daki tarihi yerleşim dokusunun incelenmesi, koruma sorunları ve öneriler (Turkish). Gazi Üniversitesi Mühendislik-Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, Cilt 22, No 2, 207-216
  3. "Sivil mimarinin eşsiz örnekleri: Adana Evleri(Turkish)". adanadan.biz. Retrieved May 27, 2010.

Coordinates: 36°59′17″N35°19′38″E / 36.98806°N 35.32722°E / 36.98806; 35.32722