Kayseri is a modern city built at the end of the Anatolian plate, at the foot of an extinguished volcano, the Erciyes mount which culminates at 3917 meters. Its economic and cultural dynamism, its harmonious development, the broadmindedness of its inhabitants and the quality of their reception make this city a model for all Turkey and well beyond.
The city however is ancient and well attached to its traditions. The sale of "pastirma", a local speciality, is an example. Many people work to the manufacture of carpets or to artisanal production of shoes, caps,...etc.
It seems that the place has been inhabited since nearly 6000 years. The city has been developed at the Assyrian time, then became a capital hittite. At the time Roman, Caesare of Cappadocia was capital of province and its volcano was called Argeus. It saw soon arriving the first Christians, with their very new faith. In the 4th century, Basile the Great defines the rules of monastic life for the cave dwellers monks of Cappadocia. Then the Arabs, the Seldjoukides Turks, the Mongols and the Othomans make a Moslem city of it.
The citadel was built by the Justinien emperor at the 7th century, then renovated at 13th and the 15th centuries. It is close from there - but the Tourist office did not know that - that nearly 600 French soldiers were prisoners of the kemalists from October 1920 to September 1921.
On August 31, 1921, the French prisoners are transferred to 15 km from Kayseri, in Talas, in a church. Why? The Service of French Information notes a great agitation in the town of Kayseri. Mustapha Kemal has a particular recognition for the women of the area.
Here is what we can read at the foot of the monument which marks the entry of the “Market of the women”:
Photo 6 : "BAZAAR OF WOMEN"
Here's a holy place where were started the dispaching ammunition to the fronts by Turkish women in 17 September 1921. Those women said "I am mother of martyr and other soldiers are my sons. I will give those clothes for them from my doughter's dowry as small scale gift" These clothes and equipments sold and incomes spent for ammunition.(1)
"Not to prevent development of individuals, all points of view, especially not to prevent their freedoms and enterprises in economic fields, is the important essential that is equivalent of democracy."
Signature M. Kemal Ataturk.
(1) Turkish forces had been fighting at leasts for ten years in 1921. The Army had came to the end of its power. Mustapha Kemal ordered "the national obligations". According to these orders, people would give a certain part of their guns,clothes,goods.. etc. to the Army..and Any family would dress a soldier in. so peoples all over the country has sent to the fronts those materials. The bazaar above now has restored by Municipality of Kayseri. Women still sells hand or homemade products there.
Translation and note by Kadir Polat.