"My In-laws Live Here" Top 5 Page for this destination Adana Ili by ann500

Adana Ili Travel Guide: 124 reviews and 324 photos


Adana is a big, busy city surrounded by lots and lots of agriculture, therefore food is always delicious and cheap here (Adana is famous for its food). It is a very varied city with rich and poor sections, urban and rural. The population is mixed too, because of its location - Turks, Kurds and people of Arab descent. There are also many Alevis here, a different kind of Islam - very humanistic in their outlook, I think. They are sometimes looked at askance by Sunnis and are actually a somewhat sizeable minority in Turkey.

There is a big lake, great restaurants, nice shopping and cafe areas, fun clubs and a large university. There is also a large Roman bridge spanning a river (being refurbished, but I think it looked better before) near the largest park in Turkey and the largest mosque in Turkey (the mosque largely built by one of the richest families in Turkey). Also some lovely old hamams (Turkish baths) - the one I always go to was built in the 16th or 17th century, I believe. If you have a chance to go to a Turkish bath, definitely go, they are wonderful. Adana is a city with its own character.

I visited Adana at least one or two times a year because it is my husband's hometown and his family still lives there, so, I've gotten to know it a bit although direction-wise I still get very mixed up.

Agriculture is Very Important to the Local Culture

Adana is located in the large Cukurova area (Hollow Plain) which is well-known for having very fertile soil (some of the richest in Turkey) and is important in some Turkish literature (the famous beloved Turkish writer Yasar Kemal was born in this area and it is featured in some of his books, I recommend them). The people here value, love and feel very close to the soil as it has always sustained them, it's an extremely important part of the culture for many who live in Adana. My father-in-law (who speaks good English - he learned it working at the American Airforce base in Adana) tells me a lot of stories about the old times. Things were very difficult for people who worked the land when he was a boy and people extremely poor. Today things are better for them, but not good by normal western standards. And nobody knows what will happen when the government makes changes to comply with EU rules. There are too many farmers in Turkey. Already, many have migrated to the cities looking for a better life and this is causing problems because they are not equipped for life there and a lot of them are living in poverty. But the Turks will manage, they always do.

This picture shows the vast citrus groves, orchards and gardens in the neighborhood (Midik) around my in-law's house. They themselves have land here inherited from their families and grow many fruits and vegetables. The people in this neighborhood eat so much fruit, you would have to see it to believe it. Especially in winter when the citrus and persimmon crops are ready. They also make many other things from their crops that they eat, such as sun-dried vegetables for the winter, pickles and lots and lots of red pepper paste (which they use in many of their dishes). Food is very, very important to the people here. They also grow loofahs and make bath scrubbers by opening them up and sewing on a cloth backing. Everyone is this district speaks Arabic as their first or second language. Well, the older people at least, it is dying out with the young, though they do know some. This is because their ancestors immigrated from somewhere in the Hatay/Syria region, probably sometime in the 19th century, no one is sure.

My father-in-law tells me that when he was a boy, the street in this picture was filled with long, long trains of camels taking crops to the market. Now you rarely see camels in Turkey anymore since they have been replaced by trucks.

Ottoman Buildings

Throughout the city you will see some Ottoman buildings, sadly falling apart, but you can still see the beauty within them. Some, luckily, are being restored to their former selves. Here you can see a large old house or mansion in dire need of help. To the left you can see a restored building. We always feel so sorry when we drive past these neglected old buildings.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Excellent food and friendly people
  • Cons:Can be difficult to get around, hectic traffic
  • In a nutshell:A nice place to visit if you have a friend there or are passing through.
  • Last visit to Adana Ili: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (13)

Comments (5)

  • Feb 15, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    sounds awful!!! thanks for the warning, at least now i'll know what i'm being offered. Salgam!!

  • Latvija's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2008 at 3:35 AM

    About ADANA must say more more than because realy now more crowded than that time becase alway people moving to from shouteast and east now population 3million people live.

  • Mar 12, 2007 at 12:29 PM

    Ann, Your comments are very helpful. I'm planning to visit Adana within the next 2 mos. 6/2007. One concern, my look can easily pass for middle eastern and I can be confused for a local. Are the local women very conservative? going out alone, etc.?

  • Sirvictor's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2007 at 3:36 AM

    Our Alevi Brothers are not minority. They are pure Turks. They are owner of Turkey. We Sunni and Alevi Turks are unseperatable.

  • Jul 9, 2006 at 7:19 PM

    really nice page! i loved all your info on the local customs. the food looks sooo yum as well!

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