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Tarsus pictures - Turkey

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I quote heavily from the Enc. Brit.: Tarsus is an ancient city, on the alluvial plain of ancient Cilicia. It’s the birthplace of St. Paul. Excavations show that, with some interruptions, settlements had existed there from Neolithic to Islâmic times. Tarsus' prosperity between the 5th century BC and the Arab invasions in the 7th century AD was based primarily on its fertile soil, its commanding position at the southern end of the Cilician Gates (the only major pass in the Taurus Range), and the excellent harbour of Rhegma, which enabled Tarsus to establish strong connections with the Levant. The first historical record of Tarsus is its rebuilding by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (705–681 BC). Thereafter, Achaemenid and Seleucid rule alternated with periods of autonomy. In 67 BC Tarsus was absorbed into the new Roman province of Cilicia. The famous first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra took place there in 41 BC. And of course Paul of Tarsus was born here. During the Roman and early Byzantine periods, Tarsus was one of the leading cities of the Eastern Empire, with an economy based on agriculture and an important linen industry. Modern Tarsus continues to be a prosperous agricultural and cotton-milling centre.

A viewer contributed: In medieval times, Tarsus had a stirring history: in 831 the Byzantines lost the city to the Abbasid caliph Al Ma’mun. In 882 the Tulunids (from Egypt) took over, and some decades later the Hamdanids (from Syria). In 965 Nicephorus Phocas restored the Byzantine rule over the region for the next century.
After the Byzantine defeat against the Seljuk Turks in Manzikert (1071), the majority of Byzantine land in Central and South-Anatolia was overrun by the Turks, including the Tarsus region. The First Crusade (1097) drove them away, and Tarsus was handed over to a Byzantine garrison.
In 1132 a new chapter of Tarsus’ history opened, when the Armenian princes of Cilicia established themselves as independent rulers. Tarsus became one of their capital cities; when the Rhoebenian prince Lewon II was crowned ‘King of Lesser Armenia’ in 1198 (the title was granted to him by the Holy Roman - German - emperor Henri IV, and confirmed by the Byzantine emperor Alexios III), this important event took place in the cathedral of Tarsus.
The city experienced a period of great prosperity that ended in 1266, when the Arabs destroyed the royal palace and the cathedral. The Armenian king Osjin (1308-1320) managed to retake the city, and had himself crowned here, but half a century later Tarsus was lost definitively to the Ramazanoğulları, who acted in name of the Mamluk sultan of Egypt (1359). In 1515 the whole region became Ottoman, under Selim I.
These two centuries of Armenian rule (1132-1359) explain the prominent presence of Armenian churches in Tarsus, and the important Armenian minority in the city’s population up to 1915.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: (amongst others) ‘Guides Bleus: Turquie’ – Edition 1986 & Wikipedia.

TARSUS

Büyük oranda Brittannica Ansiklopedisi’nden alıntı yapıyorum: Tarsus eski Klikya’nın alüvyal ovasında tarihi bir şehir. Aziz Paul’un doğum yeri. Kazılar göstermektedir ki; belli boşluklar dışında, Neolitik Çağ’dan İslami döneme kadar orada hep yerleşim olmuştur. Tarsus’un MÖ 5. yüzyıldan MS 7. yüzyıldaki Arap saldırılarına kadar sahip olduğu refah temelde sahip olduğu verimli topraklara, güney Klikya kapılarındaki hakim konumuna (Toros Dağları’ndaki tek ana geçiş) ve Tarsus’un Levent’le güçlü bağlantılar kurmasını sağlayan mükemmel Aynaz (Rhegma) Limanı’na dayanır. Tarsus’la ilgili ilk tarihi kayıt, onun Asur Kralı Sennacherib (MÖ 705-681) tarafından yeniden inşa edilmesiyle ilgilidir. Daha sonra, otonomi yönetiminde Achaeminad ve Seleucid sırayla kenti yönettiler. MÖ 67’de, Tarsus, yeni Roma vilayeti Kilikya’ya katıldı. Mark Antony ve Kleopatra’nın ünlü ilk buluşmaları MÖ 41’de burada gerçekleşti. Mark Antony’nin büyüleyici bir tasvirini buldum. Roma döneminde ve Bizans döneminin başlarında, Tarsus, tarıma dayalı ekonomisi ve önemli keten endüstrisiyle, Doğu İmparatorluğu’nun lider şehirlerinden biriydi. Modern Tarsus da tarım ve pamıkta bir refah merkezi olmaya devam ediyor.

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