| Central Anatolia|
Mehmet Özhaseki (AKP)
Kayseri is a large and industrialized city in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is the seat of Kayseri Province. The city of Kayseri, as defined by the boundaries of Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, is structurally composed of five metropolitan districts, the two core districts of Kocasinan and Melikgazi, and since 2004, also Hac?lar, ?ncesu and Talas.
Kayseri is located at the foot of the extinct volcano Mount Erciyes that towers 3916 m over the city. The city is often cited in the first ranks among Turkeys cities that fit the definition of Anatolian Tigers.
The city is rich in historical monuments, dating especially from the Seljuk period. While it is generally visited en route to the international tourist attractions of Cappadocia, Kayseri has many visitors attractions by its own right: Seljuk and Ottoman era monuments in and around the city center, Mount Erciyes as a trekking and alpinism center, Zamant? River as a rafting center, the historic sites of Kültepe, A??rnas, Talas and Develi, to name a few. Kayseri is served by Erkilet International Airport and is home to Erciyes University.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, as of 2011 the city of Kayseri had a population of 844,656; while Kayseri Province had a population of 1,234,651.
The city has been continuously inhabited since perhaps c. 3000 BC with the establishment of the ancient trading colony at Kultepe (Ash Mountain) which is associated with the Hittites. The city has always been a vital trade centre as it is located on major trade routes, particularly along what was called the Great Silk Road. Kültepe, one of the oldest cities in Asia Minor, lies nearby.
As Mazaca, the city served as the residence of the kings of Cappadocia. In ancient times, it was on the crossroads of the trade routes from Sinope to the Euphrates and from the Persian Royal Road that extended from Sardis to Susa. In Roman times, a similar route from Ephesus to the East also crossed the city.
The city stood on a low spur on the north side of Mount Erciyes (Mount Argaeus in ancient times). Only a few traces of the ancient site survive in the old town. The city was the centre of a satrapy under Persian rule until it was conquered by Perdikkas, one of the generals of Alexander the Great when it became the seat of a transient satrapy by another of Alexanders former generals, Eumenes of Cardia. The city was subsequently passed to the Seleucid empire after the battle of Ipsus but became once again the centre of an autonomous Greater Cappadocian kingdom under Ariarathes III of Cappadocia in around 250 BC. In the ensuing period, the city came under the sway of Hellenistic influence, and was given the Greek name of Eusebia in honor of the Cappadocian king Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator of Cappadocia (163–130 BC). Under the new name of Caesarea, by which it has since been known, given to it by the last Cappadocian King Archelaus or perhaps by Tiberius, the city passed under formal Roman rule in 17 BC.
Caesarea was destroyed by the Sassanid king Shapur I after his victory over the Emperor Valerian I in AD 260. At the time it was recorded to have around 400,000 inhabitants. The city gradually recovered, and became home to several early Christian saints: saints Dorothea and Theophilus the martyrs, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Basil of Caesarea. In the 4th century, bishop Basil established an ecclesiastic centre on the plain, about one mile to the northeast, which gradually supplanted the old town. It included a system of almshouses, an orphanage, old peoples homes, and a leprosarium (leprosy hospital).
A Notitia Episcopatuum composed during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in about 640 lists 5 suffragan dioceses of the metropolitan see of Caesarea. A 10th-century list gives it 15 suffragans. In all the Notitiae Caesarea is given the second place among the metropolitan sees of the patriarchate of Constantinople, preceded only by Constantinople itself, and its archbishops were given the title of protothronos, meaning "of the first see" (after that of Constantinople). More than 50 first-millennium archbishops of the see are known by name, and the see itself continued to be a residential see of the Eastern Orthodox Church until 1923, when by order of the Treaty of Lausanne all members of that Church(Greeks)were deported from what is now Turkey. Caesarea was also the seat of an Armenian diocese. No longer a residential bishopric, Caesarea in Cappadocia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see of the Armenian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church.
A portion of Basils new city was surrounded with strong walls, and it was turned into a fortress by Justinian. Caesarea in the 9th century became a Byzantine administrative centre as the capital of the Byzantine Theme of Charsianon.
The Arab general (and later the first Umayyad Caliph) Muawiyah invaded Cappadocia and took Caesarea from the Byzantines temporarily in 647. The city was called Kaisariyah () by the Arabs, and later Kayseri () by Seljuk Turks, when it was captured by Alp Arslan in 1067. The forces of the latter demolished the city and massacred its population. The shrine of Saint Basil was also sacked after the fall of the city. As a result the city remained uninhabited for the next half century. Later, during 1074–1178 the area came under the control of the Danishmendids and rebuilt the city in 1134. The Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate controlled the city during the period 1178–1243 and became one of their most prominent centers, until it fell to the Mongols in 1243. Within the walls lies the greater part of Kayseri, rebuilt between the 13th and 16th centuries. The city became Ottoman in the 15th century.
Thus, there were three golden-age periods for Kayseri. The first, dating to 2000 BC, was when the city was a trade post between the Assyrians and the Hittites. The second golden age came during the Roman rule (1st to 11th centuries). The third golden age was during the reign of Seljuks (1178–1243), when the city was the second capital of the state.
The 1500-year-old castle, built initially by the Byzantines, and expanded by the Seljuks and Ottomans, is still standing in good condition in the central square of the city. The short-lived Seljuk rule left a large number of historic landmarks; historic buildings such as the Hunad Hatun Mosque complex, Kilij Arslan Mosque, The Grand Mosque and Gevher Nesibe Hospital. The Grand Bazaar dates from the latter part of the 1800s, but the adjacent caravanserai (where merchant traders gathered before forming a caravan) dates from around 1500. The towns older districts (which were filled with ornate mansion-houses mostly dating from the 18th and 19th centuries) were subjected to wholesale demolitions starting in the 1970s. The city is famous for its carpet sellers, and carpets and rugs can be purchased ranging from new to 50 or more years old.
The building that hosts the Kayseri lyceum was arranged to host the Turkish Grand National Assembly during the Turkish War of Independence when the Greek army had advanced very close to Ankara, the base of the Turkish National Movement.
Kayseri received notable public investments in the 1920s and 1930s. Sumer Textile and Kayseri Tayyare Fabrikasi (airplane manufacturer) were set up here during the post Republican Era with the help of German and particularly Russian experts. The latter manufactured the first aircraft "made in Turkey" in the 1940s. After the 1950s, the city suffered from a decrease in the amount of public investment. It was, however, during the same years that Kayseri businessmen and merchants became transformed into countrywide capitalists. Families such as Sabanc?, Has, Dedeman, Hattat, Kurmel, Özye?in, Karamanlargil and Özilhan who started out as small-scale merchants in the city of Kayseri became prominent actors in the Turkish economy. These families set up their headquarters in cities such as Istanbul and Adana, nevertheless often coming back to Kayseri to invest.
Kayseri is renowned for its culinary specialties such as mant?, past?rma and sucuk. Mant? is the most popular dish in Kayseri for the local people and tourists. Stuffed zucchini flowers made with Köfte, garlic and spicies. Nevzine flavor kind of Kayseri is also a traditional dessert.