Tarsus History: Tarsus is one of the most ancient inhabited cities in the world. While the first founders of the city are anonymous, the excavations in Gözlükule revealed relics from the Neolithic period (5000 B.C) when the first settlements began indicates that the city existed since very early periods.
Tarsus Industry Today and In the Past
The amenability of Çukurova to all kinds of agriculture and the abundance of raw materials for industry was the most important factor in the development of Tarsus industry. In the second half of the 1800s, foreign countries which have always been aware of the strong potential of the region, were quick to open the scutching factories, the first means of processing cotton. In 1863, an English merchant called Gont opened a scutching factories in Tarsus, Adana and Mersin. During the Ottoman period, the majority of the industrial companies were located in Istanbul, while a small portion were on the coast, which shows the importance of the benches and factories which existed in Tarsus at the time. Ottoman almanacs dated 1868 list 2 scutching establishments, 50 fabric processing workbenches, 3 print works, 1 flour factory, 11 mills, 7 dyehouses, 1 bazaar, 9 trade inns, 3 stores and 830 shops which existed Tarsus that year. The first transition from scutching establishments to thread factories was is 1887, with the establishment of a thread factory by Movromati and Partners. The factory which employed 350 people in 1914 produced 200 tons of thread with a value of 7.9 million kurushes in current prices. In 1910 another factory was opened, which housed 600 weaving workbenches. In 1911, this factory employed 480 people (10800-thread facility produced 13 million kurushes in current prices). These two factories were among the most important factories across the country at that time. In 1920, Tarsus Canned Food Ottoman Inc. was established in Tarsus with a capital of 100 TL.
During the first years of the Republic, Tarsus industry has blossomed. The first electrical energy in Turkey was generated in Tarsus on 15 September 1902. A transmission belt from a water mill transformed water power through 2 kw dynamo, and the electrical energy generated was transmitted to the district. Today, the industry in Tarsus is an active player in the overall endeavors. The industry in the region is geared towards the processing of the agricultural products grown in the region or the manufacturing of the agricultural tools and machinery needed in the region.
Important Incidents and “First Evers” in Tarsus History
Very important and interesting incidents took place In Tarsus, a city with a history of about 7000 years. To remind a few, Seth, the son of St. Adam who is believed to be the first human being created, had his offical assignment in Tarsus. Luqman and the Seven Sleepers, who have two seperate suras in the Holy Quran dedicated to them, were from Tarsus. Aristotle, the greatest philosopher of the antic ages, lived in Tarsus for a long period of time.
The only surviving remains of the Silk Road, the first commercial route of the world, is in Tarsus. The passing away of St. Daniel the Prophet in this city makes Tarsus the home of the only prophet grave in Turkey. Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia, visited Tarsus and married Stateira, the daughter of Iranian Ruler Darius. The famous philosopher and orator Cicero was assigned to Tarsus as the Cilician governor. Julius Caesar came to Tarsus. Egyptian queen Cleopatra and the Roman commander Antonius met in Tarsus. St. Paul, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ was born and raised in Tarsus. Bilal al-Habashi, the first muezzin of Islam, visited Tarsus. The tomb of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma’mun is located in Tarsus. The first sewage system of the world was built in Tarsus.
The first chamber of commerce of Turkey was established in Tarsus. The first electricity in the country was generated in Tarsus. The first thread factory was established in Tarsus. The grape dubbed as “Tarsus White”, the highest quality of consumer grape in the world, is grown only in Tarsus. The first white cement factory was established by the private sector in Tarsus.