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The history of the bathroom and its role in Turkish culture.. from the Romans to the Turks

The rituals of the Turkish bath developed over the centuries. The Ottomans and the Seljuks, as soon as they conquered any city, were keen to build the bath next to the mosque and the school because of its importance in their lives.

Ankara- The bathroom in the life of the Turks is not only a place for bathing and hygiene, but also for practicing social and cultural rituals, relaxation and psychological comfort as well. It is one of the advantages that distinguish their way of life from others, and it has historical origins.

Turkey includes many Roman and Turkish baths, which spread widely during the time of the Ottoman Empire, and are still present to this day and frequented by citizens, tourists and intellectuals, and they celebrate social events, such as weddings, the 40th day of the newborn, circumcision, and others.

The hammam in Turkey for a long time was an institution in itself with a deep-rooted social character, and this explains the presence of the Turkish hammam in many countries ruled by the Ottoman Empire.

The rituals of the Turkish bath developed over the centuries. The Ottomans and the Seljuks, as soon as they conquered any city, were keen to build the bath next to the mosque and the school because of its importance in their lives.

The historic “Karacabek Hammam”, which is located on the outskirts of the old city in Ankara, where it was opened in 1440 AD (Al-Jazeera)

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Al-Jazeera Net correspondent visited the historical “Karacabey Hamam”, which is located on the outskirts of the old city in Ankara, where construction began in 1427 AD by order of the military judge in the Ottoman army, Jalal al-Din Karacabek bin Abdullah, and it was inaugurated 1440 AD. It is considered a masterpiece and one of the oldest historical monuments in Ankara, and the area around it was named Hamamönü after him.

Qaraca Bey Bath was built in the Ottoman architectural style of glass domes and bells. It consists of 9 rooms, a kitchen, and 3 indoor and outdoor courtyards. It has an area of ​​about two thousand square meters, and consists of two parts, one for men and another for women, and can accommodate 94 people.

The historic Qaracabek Bath in Ankara has an area of ​​two thousand square meters, and it has a section for men and another for women (Al-Jazeera)

According to a panel written in the Ottoman language and translated into Turkish, the marble used in the bathroom floor was brought from the cities of Elazig and Afyon Karahisar, and the wooden sections were treated with great dedication, and the heating system in it is still true to the original, as dozens of tunnels under the bathroom provide hot water. Using special firewood to be burned, the domes’ light sections do not require electricity during the day.

While laying on a heated bench in the bathroom, Mr. Ersin Jevek told Al Jazeera Net, “I suffer from muscle tension, pain in my back, and psychological pressure resulting from work pressure and sitting for long periods in front of my office, so I came to the bathroom to shower and relax myself and exchanged conversations with the people”.

Qara Jabek Historical Bath from the inside (Al Jazeera)

Jifk added, “The bathroom is not only for bathing. In our tradition, the bathroom has 5 stages: the first is steaming, then rubbing the body with a coarse silk cloth to get rid of the dead skin layer, and after massaging the body with a mineral clay that is useful for the skin and helps in exfoliating it, the bathroom-goer lays on a very hot bench. To get out the rest of the sweat with the accompanying toxins, as the body covers a thick foam of soap to open the pores of the skin, so that the ritual ends with a shower, and after that it is rubbed with lavender blossom oil.

“Many of the newlyweds go to the bathroom,” said the supervisor of the Qara Jabek bath. “The bathrooms were not only for the purpose of hygiene, but also social places, so our ancestors built the bathroom in the center of the historic city,” noting that the bathrooms remain open until morning because The high turnout, especially on the eve of Eid.

He stressed the importance of the ancient baths in promoting the tourism sector in Turkey, which is famous for its distinctive cuisine, in addition to its historical heritage.

Hammam al-Pasha Museum, which was opened by the Gaziantep municipality to introduce the culture of Hammamet (the island)

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The Turkish municipalities are making important efforts to preserve the Hammamet culture, and the popular heritage associated with it. About 3 years ago, the Gaziantep municipality opened a museum in “Hammam Al-Pasha”, which was founded by “Lala Mustafa Pasha” in 1557, to introduce the culture of Hammamet, and receive visitors and tourists who are nostalgic for these. the culture.

Lala Qara Mustafa Pasha (1500-1580) was an Ottoman military commander of Albanian origin, who held the position of Qaim Maqam for the region of Egypt in 1549, and was the commander of the Ottoman forces in the conquest of Cyprus in 1570, and the Caucasus in 1578.

The museum displays different types of aprons, wooden clogs, wooden and silver combs, Ottoman soap types, and soap seals.

Hammam El Pasha Museum attracts the interest of local and foreign tourists (the island)

The museum attracts the interest of domestic and foreign tourists; Especially the sections on carvings made of wax and soap.

Historians say that the Turks who arrived in Anatolia brought with them the traditions of bathing in addition to some of the customs of the Romans and Byzantines that were present in the region, and these traditions merged to form a unique system.

Baths represent an important cultural value throughout Turkey, as they occupied an important place in literature and folk songs.



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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