Historic Town of Kemaliye

Historic Town of Kemaliye

The town of Kemaliye (or Eğin) is located in the northwest of the Eastern Anatolian Region and southwest of Erzincan province, which is in the Upper Euphrates. The east, west, north, and south sides of the settlement are encircled by mountains. The Karasu River, which is the longest river in Southwest Asia, runs through eastern Kemaliye. The most significant water resources that have aided in sustaining this area's permanent settlement are a group of lakes known as Lake Kadi and several streams that flow into it.

Before the Turkish Republic was established, Kemaliye (Eğin) had been governed by the Ottoman Empire, Seljuks, Ilkhanids, Akkoyunlu Dynasty, Romans, Byzantines, Sassanids, Persians, and Serderges.

Historic Town of Kemaliye

Kemaliye (Eğin) was an important outpost called Teucila located on the south-north military highway under Armenian control after it became part of the eastern Byzantine Empire following the collapse of the western half of the Roman Empire (Byzantine). After the Jacobites had been driven out, the Armenians were established in Kemaliye (Eğin) during the Byzantine Emperor Philippikos's reign. Eğin was governed by Islamic Arabs for about 200 years until the 11th century, when it became part of the Seljuk empire. Following his victory at Manzikert, Sultan Alparslan captured Kemaliye.

Significant data on the history of Turkish culture may be found from the petroglyphs and scratches, as well as through photometric scans and ethnographic methods. Kemaliye (Eğin) became an important commercial center after it was included into the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Mehmed I, who is the fifth sultan of Ottoman Empire, between 1413 and 1421.

The city was founded over the Silk Road and caravan routes, which resulted to alter rulers many times and invasions of Kemaliye. The junction of Baghdad-Basra and Iran-Georgia routes is located in Kemaliye (Eğin), which is a significant crossing point on both north-south and east-west trade routes. Until the 19th century, caravans traveled through Kemaliye (Eğin).

Kemaliye was a multicultural metropolis. The Muslim-Turks, Armenians, Orthodoxes and Rums resided there. In terms of social and cultural issues, the people of Kemaliye and its villages were virtually identical. Stone, wood, and mud-brick are the primary construction materials used to build Kemaliye homes.

The Kemaliye homes are constructed using the "hımış" method, which entails erecting a foundation made of wooden beams and rubble stone before extending upwards. An area from the main storey to the roof is built using wood framework and mud-brick filling. The construction of a house solely utilizes mud brick as a filler in the wooden framework system.

The exterior of the masonry wall facing the street is unplastered, but its interior is coated. The finishing coat, which resembles a gypsum plaster made from pur stone, is applied over the scratch coat before polishing it with a cloth on the inside of the wood walls with stone and mud-brick filling. The 15-30 pine timbers, referred to as the alignment woods, are vertically positioned on the outside surface of the wooden framework wall. Metal sheets are now used in place of timber since maintaining wood is difficult.

Historic Town of Kemaliye

The Karasu River has carved out straight valleys by splitting the Munzur Mountains, which are located between Erzincan and Elazig and are 3000 m above sea level in the north-south direction. The Kemaliye Strait is one of them. The Karanlik (Dark) Canyon, which runs along the section of the strait between Bağıştaş and Dutluca villages (Kemaliye) in the north and south, is known as a gloomy place. The length of Karanlık Canyon is 25 kilometers, with a depth of 1000 meters, a slope of 90%, and occasionally a valley floor width of 10-15 meters. Within the context of mountaineering activities, it allows rock climbing and canyoning activities since to its features.

The local people built The Taş Yol (The Stone Road) over the Karanlık (Dark) Canyon by employing old techniques to connect caravans to Giresun Port over Central Anatolia in 1870 and completed it in 2002, which indicates that the road's construction lasted 132 years. There are 38 tunnels on this 7-kilometer route with heights ranging from 400 to 500 meters. The Taş Yol is one of the “world's most dangerous roads.”

Karanlik Canyon, which is one of the world's largest canyons and has taken centuries to form its geological structure, has great significance not just for its geology but also for "Taş Yol/Stone Road," which was carved out of hard rocks.

The Historic Town of Kemaliye has been listed into the Tentative List of UNESCO in 2021.