1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adana

ADANA. (1) A vilayet in the S.E. of Asia Minor, which includes the ancient Cilicia. The mountain districts are rich in unexploited mineral wealth, and the fertile coast-plain, which produces cotton, rice, cereals, sugar and much fruit, and affords abundant pasturage, is well watered by the rivers that descend from the Taurus range. Imports and exports pass through Mersina (q.v.). (2) The chief town of the vilayet, situated in the plain about 30 m. from the sea in N. lat. 37° 1′, E. long. 35° 18′, on the right bank of the Seihan (Sihun, anc. Sarus), which is navigable by small craft as far as the town. Adana is connected with Tersus and Mersina by a railway built in 1887, and has a magnificent stone bridge, which carries the road to Missis and the east, and dates in parts from the time of Justinian, but was restored first in 743 A.D. and called Jisr al-Walid after the Omayyad caliph of that name, and again in 840 by the Caliph Mutasim. There are, also, a ruined castle founded by Harun al-Rashid in 782, fine fountains, good buildings, river-side quays, cotton mills and an American mission with church and schools. Adana, which retains its ancient name, rose to importance as a station on the Roman military road to the East, and was at one time a rival of Tarsus. The town was largely rebuilt by Mansur in 758, and during subsequent centuries it often changed hands and suffered many vicissitudes. Its position, commanding the passage of the mountains to the north of Syria, rendered it important as a military station in the contest between the Egyptians and the Turks in 1832. After the defeat of the Turkish army at Konia it was granted to Ibrahim Pasha, and though the firman announcing his appointment named him only muhassil, or collector of the crown revenue, it continued to be held by the Egyptians till the treaty of July 1840 restored it to the Porte. The chief productions of the province are cotton, corn, sesame and wool, which are largely exported. The population of the town is greatly mixed, and, having a large element of nomads in it, varies much from time to time. At its maximum it reaches nearly 50,000.  (D. G. H.)