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Kemaliye (Egin) district is located in the northwest of the Eastern Anatolia Region, in the south-west of Erzincan province, which is located in the Upper Euphrates Section. It has a surface area of 1168 square kilometers. It is located in the middle of the provinces of Erzincan, Elazig and Malatya. The east of Kemaliye settlement is surrounded by Munzur, to the west by Harmancık and Sarıçiçek, to the north by Çal, Palandöken and Avaz, and to the south by the Kırkgöz Mountains. Karasu, the largest tributary of the Euphrates, the longest river in southwestern Asia, passes east of the settlement. Kadı Lake and small stream waters, which are born in the district and mix with the Karasu River, are the most important elements that create the settlement.
When the Kemaliye settlement area, which starts from the Euphrates River and spreads to the foothills of Hotar Mountain, is examined, it is seen that the land has been used gradually. In the residential area, which sits on three main sets, dense green areas stand out in the first set, which is close to the river. These sections consist of vineyards and orchards, where a low-density construction can be mentioned. Within the vineyard areas, there are vineyard houses with the local name "Hinzan". In the second set, there are dense residential areas. Especially the water source of Kadı Lake and the land structure of its surroundings, suitable for settlement, made it possible for this place to be a district center. The third set, where the settlement ends, is Taşdibi Locality, and the steeper land conditions make it difficult for construction opportunities from here on. Although there is no construction in this area today, oral history studies have revealed that there are about 800 terrace houses and one church in this region that do not exist today.
Land conditions created two different street types in the settlement, parallel to the slope and perpendicular:
1. Streets parallel to the slope: In this street type that develops depending on the topography, the two silhouettes of the street differ from each other. The houses on one side of the street appear as one or two floors, while the houses on the other side appear as three or four floors. Due to the sloping land structure, the houses that are gradually settled on the embankments can only be fully perceived when viewed from the lower level.
2. Streets perpendicular to the direction of the slope: The other street type that determines the settlement character is the streets descending vertically towards the Euphrates River. When these types of streets are examined from both directions, they give symmetrical silhouettes in terms of floor height. The ground floor levels of the houses consist of stone walls that continue along the street. These sections, which are called the lower floor and the ground floor, are places where functions such as barn-merek, cellar, cellar are located and where light is not needed much. On the upper floors, where the living areas are located, the projections formed by orientation to the view and spatial needs strengthen the street perspective. The original state of the streets perpendicular to the slope consists of stairs with wide stone steps. Some of these streets have survived to the present day without deterioration.
In Kemaliye, where there are many water sources, the settlements are located around these water sources. Located in the center of the settlement, Lake Kadı has an important place among the water resources. Kadı Lake, which can be described as the lifeblood of the settlement, fed the whole settlement and created a dense green texture between the steep cliffs.
In addition to the natural circulation of the water flowing from this source, an irrigation network has been created thanks to the established arc systems. Thanks to this irrigation network, which is one of the important examples of creative human intelligence, water can reach the gardens of the houses, the fountains and the coldness in the courtyards or houses. The water channels continue along the street from the bottom of the garden walls and are included in the houses, providing natural air conditioning at the same time.
The establishment of Kemaliye Town in a location with rich water resources; allowed the development of four different water structures in architecture. These are: Mills, Baths, Bridges and Fountains.
Değirmenler, which is the production area, is located in many places above the water resources starting from the upper elevations of the topography and reaching to the banks of the Euphrates River, and is named as the Değirmenler District in the urban texture. Apart from these production areas, Dörtyolağzı Bath, ruined bath over the madrasah, numerous fountains, bridges are other examples of water structures.
In Kemaliye (Egin), before the Republic of Turkey, Ottoman, Seljuk, Ilkhanid, Akkoyunlu, Byzantine, Roman, Sassanid, Persian and Serderge administrations ruled. It is thought that Kemaliye (Egin), which was within the borders of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) with the division of the Roman Empire into two, was an important outpost named Teucila, located on the south-north military road connected to the Armenian supply in this period. During the Byzantine Emperor Plippikos period, the Jacobite people in Kemaliye (Egin) were exiled and Armenian peoples were settled here. In Egin, which remained under Muslim Arab rule until the 11th century, Arab-Byzantine struggles were seen for 200 years. With the 1071 Malazgirt Victory, Alparslan dominated the region. Before the Battle of Manzikert, Turkish raids were seen in Kemaliye (Egin), which was under the rule of Ilkhanid, Akkoyunlu and Seljuk. Traces of ancient Turks can be found in Dilli Valley, which is 4-5 km northwest of Kemaliye settlement. The data obtained by photometric imaging methods and ethnographic methods on the petroglyphs and stamps in the valley contain important information in terms of Turkish cultural history. In the Turkish cultural geography, the mountain goat / goat stamp, which is used to represent the khan from Mongolia to Anatolia, from Anatolia to Europe or to indicate loyalty to the khan, has also been detected in the Dilli Valley. In the Turkish cultural geography, the animal depiction with the highest frequency of transition, both as a depiction on the rock and as a stamp, is the mountain goat / goat, which symbolizes sublimity, accessibility to inaccessible places, independence, freedom, determination, nobility, courage and is believed to be the representative of God on earth.
In Kemaliye (Egin), which had a cosmopolitan structure, there were Greek people who did not speak Greek, but spoke only Turkish, as was the case in Muslim-Turkish, Armenian, Orthodox and other settlements in Anatolia (Konya, Karaman, Kayseri). There is not much difference between the social and cultural life of these peoples living in Kemaliye (Egin) and its villages. The fusion of the peoples of Kemaliye (Egin) with each other throughout history has been reflected in their language as well as their traditions. We see that there are many borrowings, especially between Turkish and Armenian. There are many examples showing this in the work of the author Hagop Mitzuni called "From the Arm to the Other Side of the Euphrates".
In Kemaliye, where the Anatolian Alawite-Bektashi tradition and mysticism still live and survive, especially Ocak Village (formerly Sheikhs) is the main representative of this culture in Anatolia. Hidir Abdal Sultan, one of the leaders of Islamic Sufism, who was appointed by the Anatolian people as saint, saint, saint, and who was appointed by Hacı Bektaş-i Veli, the founder of the Bektashi Sect and the practitioner of the Yesevilik Sect in Anatolia in the 13th century, comes to the region (Ocak Village). and here he establishes his lodge.
Kemaliye district, which was previously connected to the province of Elazığ, was separated from the province of Elazığ with the law no. 877 on 30.05.1926 and connected to the province of Malatya.
It is the last week of August 1921 and the Greek army is about to arrive near Ankara. There are debates in the National Assembly. Opponents accuse Mustafa Kemal Pasha. The people who learned about this situation established the National Pact Association and wrote articles declaring their devotion to Mustafa Kemal Pasha. They demand that they will send soldiers and weapons to the army and meanwhile that the name of the bow should be changed.
Ömer Lütfi Bey, who was the president of the association at that time, sends a telegram to Mustafa Kemal about changing the name of the bow, and demands that Mustafa Kemal's middle name, Kemal be given.
While Mustafa Kemal Pasha is speaking at the podium, a piece of paper is held in his hand. The Pasha immediately reads, “masters…” he says, “You are telling us that the nation has no trust left. Look, now I will read a telegram I received” and reads the incoming telegram. Declarations of allegiance give deputies some relief.
The next day, Mustafa Kemal Pasha sends a telegram to Ömer Lütfi (Aritan) in your affix, thanking him, and informing him that the name Kemal should be given to Eğin.
Following the proclamation of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's reply telegram addressed to the Mayor of Kemaliye and the name of the district was changed to Kemaliye on October 21, 1922, referring to his name.
The region's location on the Silk and Caravan routes has been an important factor in management changes and invasions. Kemaliye (Egin), an important junction point of north-south and east-west trade routes, is located on the Baghdad-Basra axis and the Iran Georgia axis. Trabzon-Erzincan-Harput-Diyarbakır; It is at the intersection of Tabriz-Erzurum-Erzincan-Malatya-Diyarbakır routes. Kemaliye (Egin), a stopover point for trade caravans, preserved this feature until the 19th century. The fact that routes such as İpek, Caravan and Iran roads pass through the district center paved the way for the development of settlements in line with this axis and the formation of villages with the characteristics of neighborhoods connected to the center, 1-1.5 km away from the city center. Kemaliye (Egin), which is located on the Silk Road and the domestic caravan route, has also become an important trade center in time with the transportation on the Euphrates River, and has become a strong trade center in the region with the establishment of the customs office outside Istanbul.
Since the land in Kemaliye district center and village settlements is wooded and mountainous, field agriculture and vegetable growing could not develop much, but remained in a self-sufficient situation. “Egin Mulberry”, which is identified with the gardening of Kemaliye, and products such as leuk, fruit pulp, molasses, etc. made from this mulberry are important sources of income. For this mulberry, it has been registered with the name of “Egin Mulberry” by taking geographical indication. In Kemaliye, business lines such as weaving, food making, blacksmithing, milling, carpentry, tailoring and production for livestock, beekeeping, silk pastry, silk weaving, fabric weaving and carpet weaving activities took place in daily life.
In the field of weaving, weaving named "gazenne" is unique to Kemaliye. This fabric, which is 100% cotton and produced on hand looms, specially ordered by the Ottoman Palace and the people of Istanbul, is used in many areas from clothing to home textiles. Since 2010, public institutions, local governments and non-governmental organizations have carried out many projects for the preservation and survival of the "gazenne" weaving. Gazenne production continues in the district by Kemaliye Municipality and Kemaliye Women's Association.
Famous European traveler Charles Texier mentions in his writings that Kemaliye (Egin) manuscripts and weavings are very valuable and important. The natural growth of the plant called "Cehri" used in weaving in the geography of Kemaliye (Egin) and the cultivation of it by taking its culture later on adds difference to Kemaliye (Egin) weavings and carpets. Egin Carpets are herbal motif-weighted weavings with blue weft thread and 1900-2500 Iranian knots, plant-root dyed, regional compositions and motifs (Hüseyin Efendi motif, etc.), seen not in Anatolia, but in Iran and Azerbaijan.
Carpeting has developed as a serious business in Eğin, and Eğin Turkish Carpet Company was established in 1915. A stone church building belonging to the 17th century, which was idle for a long time due to the lack of a congregation, was re-functionalized and allocated to the Eğin Turkish Carpet Company. The ground floor of this building, which was converted into an Ethnography Museum in 1999, is still used as a carpet weaving workshop.
The "Gazenne" fabric, which has been continuing from the past to the present and is a weaving product unique to Kemaliye, is still being produced and sold abroad
One of the most important design criteria of the Ottoman/Anatolian city is the intertwined relationship between the city form and the natural environment. This design feature, which brings an organic order to the inhabited urban space, has been applied to almost all Ottoman/Anatolian cities.
The Ottoman/Anatolian city reflects the unfolding of an urban composition that has no clear boundaries between the rural area and the inhabited area, or is not limited by walls. On the other hand, according to the Anatolian tradition, the need to hide the view of the courtyard from the outside and even to prevent the view towards the neighboring courtyards is absolute. The orientation of the façades and building blocks is due to the desire to make the most of the views outward and towards the sun.
The sloping structure of the region's land, the presence of the Euphrates River, other water resources and climatic features in the settlement are the natural factors that determine the position and formation of the examples of civil architecture in Kemaliye. Kemaliye maintains its existence with the opposite understanding of today, when people are trying to dominate nature. The way of life here is based on nature.
The main principle based on the positioning of the houses and the interior design is the tendency towards the Euphrates. The main spaces and rooms of the houses are located in areas with a view of the Euphrates, stand out with bay windows and are privatized. In this sense, the Euphrates River affected the urban space setup and architecture; settlements were created and designed according to this effect.
The use of local materials is essential in the formation of regional architectural languages in Anatolian settlements. However, there is a remarkable distinction between the natural environment and regional architecture in the Kemaliye settlement character. The basic components of the architectural language, which shows superior workmanship based on qualified materials, are wood and stone. While the use of stone material is considered a normal situation in Kemaliye, the use of wooden material is quite surprising. In the natural environment consisting of steep cliffs and orchards, there are no forest areas where wood can be used as building material. Despite this, the development of wooden architecture, which is the most important element of regional architecture, in this region is interesting. The closest forests to Kemaliye are in Refahiye, located in the north of the settlement, and there is no direct connection between these two settlements. According to the information obtained in the oral history study conducted in the area, the logs obtained from the Refahiye forests were transported here via the Euphrates River via Kemah. With the method called "Apart", which is a brilliant example of creative human intelligence products, the logs were tied together and transported to the Gümrükçü Mahallesi over the Fırat. Raw logs were turned into building materials by being processed in the timber shops and carpentry shops located here at that time.
Another reason for the use of wooden materials, which is not encountered in the surrounding settlements, is the ongoing migration relationship with Istanbul, which dates back to the Ottoman period. The material and spiritual accumulation of the Kemaliye people living in Istanbul has returned to the settlement as a unique architectural language.
Equipment such as street systems with stone steps shaped according to the topography, tortas, the intersections of houses with street corners, water arcs, garden walls integrated with green, hanging structures, fountains with iwans, simple urban furniture are worth examining in terms of their region specificity. There is a third street type that determines the urban character of Kemaliye settlement apart from the characteristic street types that develop depending on the topography. These streets, whose local name is "torta", have the characteristics of a passage. These passages, called "abbara" in Mardin and "kabaltı" in Şanlıurfa, are formed as a result of the continuation of the houses on the street. It is possible to come across tortas on streets running perpendicular or parallel to the slope.
In the stepped streets, which narrow from time to time and develop perpendicular to the slope, the concerns of relieving the exit points are felt. Chamfering is a frequently used solution for corner walls of houses that sit on the street, as a way to reduce the sharpness of street turns. These special details, in which an overlay system is used, play a decisive role in the street character.
It is thought that the figure in the ring, which is attached to the ropes that allow the baby cradles to swing suspended in the air, found inside the houses in Kemaliye, belongs to the protector Umay Ana. Unlike Umay, who wears a triangular headdress with three projections, the figure here has a pointed head. However, the fact that the figure in question is placed only in the ring at the head of the baby cradles makes us think that the figure is Umay Ana, who acts as a protector for the babies.
For centuries, the original settlement pattern and traditional architectural structures have been preserved intact and original until today. 126 examples of civil architecture in Kemaliye district center, 2 bridges, 2 baths, 13 fountains, 1 madrasah, 2 churches, 10 mosques, and 83 examples of civil architecture in villages, 6 bridges, 11 fountains, 3 293 buildings, including churches, 13 mosques, 1 tomb, 5 tombs, 4 cemeteries, 3 monumental trees, as well as castles, caves and various ruins, have been registered by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. With this cultural and architectural landscape, Kemaliye still has a traditional Ottoman/Anatolian urban identity. Today, many historical buildings such as mosques, madrasahs, tombs, baths and fountains are still standing. In Kemaliye, street rehabilitation and restoration works are carried out in order to preserve the cultural landscape and architectural texture of the settlement and transfer it to future generations. In addition, Kemaliye has been registered as an urban protected area since 2005.
Since 1974, traditional festivals have been held in our city. This year, the 43rd International Erzincan, Kemaliye (Egin) Culture and Nature Sports Festival will be celebrated in the first week of July. Kemaliye (Egin), located in the center of the Upper Euphrates Basin, is one of the most important gates to tourism in our Erzincan Province with its unique nature and historical city identity.
The steep rock walls, reaching 600 meters in places, are untouched and contain the most difficult tracks, creating an attraction for rock climbers. Again, the canyons descending steeply into the river valley offer extremely challenging lanes for "canyoning" sports. There is a wide range of safe and enjoyable trails from river skiing to rafting, from sea skiing to water skiing, especially for types that can be done in still water from river sports. The district is the point where the Euphrates river turns into a keban dam lake. For this reason, it offers unlimited opportunities for lake sports among the magnificent mountains, especially different branches of rowing discipline.
The transportation network is not suitable for bicycle use due to the fact that the physical structure of our city is rugged and the height difference is high. However, in the nature and water sports festivals held in our city, bicycle competitions are organized every year in cooperation with the Turkish Cycling Federation and international participants show interest in these competitions as well as national participants.
In Kemaliye, where the Anatolian Alawite-Bektashi tradition and mysticism still live and survive, especially Ocak Village (formerly Sheikhs) is the main representative of this culture in Anatolia. Hidir Abdal Sultan, one of the leaders of Islamic Sufism, who was appointed by the Anatolian people as saint, saint, saint, and who was appointed by Hacı Bektaş-i Veli, the founder of the Bektashi Sect and the practitioner of the Yesevilik Sect in Anatolia in the 13th century, comes to the region (Ocak Village). and here he establishes his lodge
In addition, festivals are held in our Villages;
- Aşağı Umutlu Village Molasses Festival,
- January Village Hıdır Abdal Remembrance Day, ,
- Başbağlar Village, 5th of July Martyrs' Day,
- Yuva Village Sacrifice Day,
- Kekikpınar Village Culture Festival,
- Yesilyurt Village In Creek Festival,
- Apçağa Village Sacrifice Day
- Surp Kiyork Church (Ethnography Museum, Culture House and Museum Cafe)
Since Eğin District is one of the cities where Muslims and non-Muslims live together, there were various places of worship, monasteries and schools belonging to non-Muslims in this city. The Ottoman State freed its non-Muslim subjects in education and religion, and gave each community the right to choose its own leader. Non-Muslims were members of a religious community. Each community was accepted as an independent religious group or nation. The following information about the buildings is given in the yearbook of Mamuratül Aziz, dated 1310 (1894). It is said that there is an ancient monastery known as Surp Perkiç in the distance.
Of these monumental structures, only the Surp Kiyork church has survived to the present day. This work, which reflects the identity of non-Muslims, lost its religious function due to the decrease in the Armenian population. Although the exact date of construction of the building is not known, it is written in one source that it was renovated in 1691 by Markar Ҫobanyan and in 1706 by his people. And in some sources XVII. century appears to have existed. The accounts of the church, which had 4 priests in 1847, begin in 1651. The exterior façade facing the main road has wide arches and is made of large cut stones, giving the building an aesthetic and splendor. The main entrance sections of the building and the first floor are made of very thick stone walls, and the upper floor and front parts, as well as the floor and ceiling tiles are completely wooden. The rear façade facing the Euphrates is made of wood. The windows and window railings of the building stand out as important parts that reflect the original architecture. It is a westernization period structure. French influence can be seen on the window jambs.
Natural History Museum
Prof. Dr. Ali Demirsoy Natural History Museum was established in 2009 within the scope of the project named "A Scientific Tour in the Nature Museum", which was established in Kemaliye district and supported by TÜBİTAK. On the foundation of the museum, Prof. Dr. Ali Demirsoy, Prof. Dr. Aydın Akbulut and Lecturer. See. Yusuf Durmus pioneered. An important part of the samples exhibited in this museum consists of geological and biological samples collected from the region within the scope of the "Investigation of Kemaliye and Its Environment in terms of Biodiversity" project, which is also supported by TUBITAK and in which 48 scientists from 10 different universities take part.
Since its establishment, it has been an important focus of attention in terms of local people, students and eco tourism.
Our villages with museums and cultural houses;
• Çit Village Enver Gökçe Museum,
• Ocak Village Private Ali Gürer Museum,
• Kekikpınarı Village Culture Museum,
• Yesilyurt Village Culture Museum,
• Apçaağa Village Ahmet Kutsi Tecer Museum,
• Başbağlar Village Martyrs' Memorial House,
• Bahçe Mahallesi Culture House,
• Kuşak Village Culture House,
• Sırakonak Village Culture House,
The idea of the stone road, which is thought to connect Kemaliye to Central Anatolia from the west, came to the agenda 135 years ago and could not be built for a long time due to economic reasons. Despite the years that have passed, the people of Kemaliye have not given up on this dream. In 1949, initiatives for the stone road started again and with the support of the Erzincan Governorate, the people of Kemaliye started the first works with primitive roads from the Şırzı Bridge.
The 8520-meter stone road, which shortens Kemaliye's Ankara-Istanbul road route, has been devotedly completed as a tunnel of 4722 meters and a split road of 3798 meters and put into service.
Stone road Karasu river is a route that allows to observe the wildlife in the Dark Canyon located at the bottom of the valley and the closed Eco-system in this Geography.
While walking on this unique road, you can watch the power of man, the wildness and beauty of nature, the sources of the streams pouring into the river, and the frightening flow of the Euphrates from the river, green, brown, turquoise and blue at the same time.
Dark Canyon is a natural wonder that has created a closed eco system consisting of 400-500 meters of steep rocky slopes, where you can see similar ones in the Colorado Grant Canion in the USA, in the Alps. Its unique geographical structure is one of the most magnificent canyons of Turkey, which is home to wild life such as Mountain Goat, Otter and Lynx.
The rock of the darkness descending perpendicular to the floor of the Karasu Valley consists of narrow passages that even the daylight does not reach, following a two-meter narrow floor in places. Especially in the spring and early summer, small streams and springs descend from the village of Sandık to the Karasu bed of the Euphrates, making it suitable for the unique canyoning sport, adding a different beauty to this valley. It has been registered as a Dark Canyon Qualified Natural Conservation area. With this;
- Koçan Waterfall
- There are also caves.
- Local Food
For Kemaliye Dutuna, it was registered as origin by taking geographical indication. They are listed as Dry Cream, Black Mulberry Molasses and Jam, Mulberry Molasses, Lok, Orcik, Pestil, Pestil Çullama, Tarhana, Dried Persimmon, Egin Cheese, Quince Galiyesi, Hışık, Çökelik Piyazı, Keshk.
Our city is on the UNESCO tentative list since April 2021
Representative of Cittaslow:
Mayor of Kemaliye: Mehmet Karaman
Telephone: 0 541 761 24 24
Official website of the city