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Kozahan - Bursa, Turkey

BURSA

An early symbol of the Ottoman Empire...

Bursa & Cumalikizik, Turkey (UNESCO World Heritage-2014)

The ancient name of Bursa was Prusia Ad Olympium which meant the city of King Prusias at the skirts of Mt. Olympos Mt. Uludag in Turkish. The earliest settlement in the region dates back to 7th millennium BC, but the primary settlement of the city is from Prusia (228-182 BC) of King Prusias I of Bithynia. We know that Hannibal, the legendary military commander of Carthage was welcomed here as a hero after having lost the battle with the Roman Empire. Hannibal, with the help of his army, organized the establishment of Prusia in the name of the king.

It is a symbol of the early stages of the Ottoman Empire. It was made capital in the 14th century after it was captured from the Byzantine Empire and was paid special attention by the Sultans. The city has marvelous examples of Sultana and public architecture and was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List of Turkey together with Cumalikizik Village where the best-preserved examples of early Ottoman civil architecture can be seen.

Ulu Camii (The Grand Mosque) is a landmark from late 14th century displaying elegant Seljuk architectural elements and Yesil Cami (Green Mosque) from the early 15th century is a perfect example of the harmonious blend of stonework and embellishment. Additionally, the Koza Han from 1451 is another “must see” in the city which has been the heart of silk trade for hundreds of years and now is a great spot for silk goods and rest in the tea garden.

Bursa houses some temples dating from the Sephardic Jews who had to leave Spain after Alhambra Decree and was helped out in 1492 by the Ottoman fleet sent by Sultan Bayezid II; best-known ones are Gerush, Etz Ahayim, and Mayor Synagogues.

Another major attraction of the city has been its numerous hot springs that fed many large or small baths throughout the history, of which many are still in use and popular among both tourists and people from Turkey.

Uludag (2.543m), ancient name Mysian Olympus, is a very well-known ski resort and a popular summer outdoor activities center today.

Birth of the Ottoman Empire

The city and the nearby village has been certified as Bursa and Cumalikizik the Birth of the Ottoman Empire which is a series of six components; districts of khans including Orhangazi (founder of the Ottoman dynasty) Kulliyesi (Sultan's tomb and the religious institutions around), Hudavendigar Kulliyesi (Sultan Murad I), Yildirim Kulliyesi (Sultan Bayezid I), Yesil Kulliye (Kulliye of Mehmed I), Muradiye Kulliyesi (Sultan Murad II) and Cumalikizik Village. A kulliye is a sizable complex of social and economic buildings such as mosques, religious schools, medical centers, public baths and a kitchen for the poor.

The first substantial Capital of the Ottoman Empire, the city, is an explanatory model of Ottoman urban and rural development which evolved around the Kulliye whereas the critical role of the town in commerce manifests itself with hans (inns), covered bazaars and trade markets. District of the Khans has been the heart of commercial life since the 14th century. This early pattern of growing around a communal center has set the example for the following Ottoman-Turkish settlements.

The economic relationship between the village, the surrounding communities and kulliye and hans have played a significant role in elevating the young Ottoman Dynasty to the Imperial Palace with all its institutions.

Cumalikizik, Bursa today exemplifies early Ottoman-Turkish rural life in the best way by sustaining the old traditions in trades and conventional daily life of Turkey.