Osmaniye - Aslandag National Park


Location: The park is on the river Ceyhan, around 40km northeast of Osmaniye, and west of Gaziantep in the southeastern Mediterranean region.

Transportation: It can be accessed via the Adana – Kadirli, and Adana Osmaniye highways.

Highlights: The park has a fascinating history and the Karatepe-Aslantas museum was the site of an area inhabited for almost 4000 years. The Hittites, who settled in Kisilirmak in Anatolia in 2000 BC, established a kingdom here in 1750 BC, and shortly afterwards it became the most important kingdom in the east. The Hittite Empire was demolished in Hattusas, and in 800 BC they governed this area led by King Assatiwada.
Some of the most interesting ruins are the lion sculptures at the north and south border gates between Karatepe and Aslantas, which can be seen from Domuztepe at the opposite shore of the Ceyhan.

Most of the ruins have been restored and are exhibited at the open-air museum at the site. Another important feature is the archaeological excavations that have unearthed many facts about Hittite hieroglyphics. Other interesting places to visit date back to the Roman and Byzantine empires, including colourful mosaics found on the ground of a temple near the village of Pinarozu, which is considered to be a unique piece of art. The museum is open between April and November.

Plant life includes cluster pine, tamarisk and oak trees. Species of wildlife inhabiting the park include roe deer, pigs, jackals, rabbits, foxes and partridges, with carp in the River Ceyhan.

Facilities: Tents and caravans are the only accommodation possible in the park.