Karaman (Laranda) is a city and region in the central part of southern Turkey

Karaman (Laranda) is a city and region in the central part of southern Turkey, the center of the Turkish province (vilayet) of Karaman.

During the Chalcolithic period, there was an ancient proto-city near Karaman, conventionally called Dzhanhasan.

Karaman was founded in ancient times and was called Laranda. During the conquests of Alexander the Great, the city was captured by one of his commanders – Perdicca. It later became a seat of Isaurian pirates. Then the city was captured by the Romans, and in the 4th century it became Byzantine Empire and remained so until the capture of the Seljuk Turks in the 1070s.

In 1190, during the third crusade, the city was occupied by the troops of Frederick Barbarossa. In 1275, Karaman becomes the center of the Turkish emirate (and then the province) of the Karamanids.In 1468 the city was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

  • 8000 – 5000 BC. – first settlements
  • until the VI century BC. – the territory of the Hittite kingdom
  • before 1100 – Roman Empire and Byzantium
  • XI century – Seljuks
  • 1256 – Karamanids
  • from 1306 – Sultanate of Karaman (Konya)
  • 1466 – Ottoman Empire
  • 1919 – wars of liberation
  • 1923 – foundation of the Republic of Turkey, Karaman became part of the province of Konya.

Il Karaman is divided into 6 districts:

  • Ayrancı
  • Başyayla
  • Ermenek
  • Karaman
  • Kazımkarabekir
  • Sarıveliler

Karamanids was the oldest, most powerful and longest-existing Anatolian beylik. Founded in Ermenek around 1256, it resisted Ottoman expansion the longest and was the most dangerous rival of the emerging Ottoman state. The Beylik Karamanids were also a constant threat to Seljuk Empire in central Anatolia.

According to all sources: Karaman-name, late chronicles, inscriptions on buildings, as well as documents in the archives – the father of Karaman-bey, the founder of the dynasty was Nure Sufi Bey, the son of Hodja Sad al-Din. Ali Yazıcıoğlu, the author of Oguz-name (1423), wrote that they were from the Afshar tribe who emigrated from Arran to Sivas due to the Mongol invasion in 1230․

The 16th century historian Jenabi called Nure Sufi an Armenian, this version was mentioned by J. Hammer and was followed by V. Gordlevsky. However, in the same work, Gordlevsky called the “Karaman tribe” to be Oguz. Karaman’s contemporary Smbat Sparapet pointed out the origin of Karaman “from a clan of nomadic Ismailtians”․

All versions agree on one thing: son of Nure Sufi, Kerîmeddin Karaman Bey, ruled in the mountains of Cilicia in the middle of the 13th century. A stable legend claims that the Karamanids received these lands from the Seljuk sultan Keykubad I. Karaman Bey expanded his territories, capturing the castles in Ermenek, Mut, Eregli, Gulnar and Silifk. Basically, he increased the territory at the expense of Cilician Armenia.

In the photo there are granaries in the village of Tashkale (qale/qare/քարե) 45 km from the center of Karaman (Qaraman/ՔԱՐաման․ These unique structures are 800 years old․ There are 252 storage facilities/barns carved into a high limestone rock. Niches carved in the rocks were used as steps leading to granaries in which wheat and barley were stored.The cavities had square doors from 50 to 60 centimeters made of juniper wood․

by Nana Herouni

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