Historical Residences and Tourism in Kahramanmaras City
Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Coğrafya Bölümü, Kahramanmaraş/Türkiye
Keywords: Tourism, cultural tourism, cultural heritage, historical residence, kahramanmaras
Material and spiritual elements belonging to a certain community and bearing the values of that society constitute the culture. These cultural elements are transferred from previous generations to today’s generation as concrete and intangible heritage. One of the most important concrete cultural heritage is historical buildings. Today, the issue of caring, protecting and promoting cultural heritage is of great importance. Because if the cultural values are not taken due care, all the items owned by the local people will become worthless. In addition, cultural elements have a great potential in socio-economic terms on a regional basis, as well as on a country and world basis. Cities can preserve their unique identity with cultural heritage values, young people can establish a bond from past to present and experience a sense of ownership. For this reason, the richness of a region’s cultural heritage values will change both the economic and social structure of that region and develop tourism in this context. It should be inevitable for an ancient city like Kahramanmaras to make good use of this heritage. An important part of the historical residences that constitute the traditional architecture of the city in Kahramanmaras and have survived to the present day, especially in the last period of the Ottoman Empire, started to be built from the second half of the nineteenth century. These houses were built as half masonry, half timber and mixed system. The historical residences in the city are frequently encountered in Onikişubat district and especially in Kayabaşı, Kurtuluş, Ekmekçi, Gazipaşa, Divanlı, İsa Divanlı, Turan, Fevzi Paşa and Yörük Yükselim districts, which are the old settlements of Dulkadiroğlu district.
The study was carried out in Kahramanmaras within the texture of the historical city, which has hosted many civilizations both historically and geographically, at the crossroads of three regions. Presenting the historical residences in the city to tourism with their past and architectural structure and using them as an attractive item will increase the tourism attraction of the city. Therefore, the study was carried out in order to reveal the current situation of the historical residences in the city in terms of cultural tourism and to create a perspective on the evaluation of historical residences in terms of cultural heritage tourism within the framework of the perceptions and attitudes of the local people. In the study, a questionnaire application developed by the researcher was used as a data collection tool. Depending on the cultural values in the region, the characteristics of the main houses in Kahramanmaras have been examined. One-on-one interviews were conducted with local people.
Local people participating in the study have a positive opinion about the necessity of promoting the residences for tourism purposes. She stated that the houses should be used by restoration, especially in the style of a hotel, cafe or museum, not as a residence. Therefore, importance is attached to both the protection of cultural values and the provision of economic input from these values. It has been concluded that, as Kahramanmaras is a very old settlement, there are many historical residences and local people are very sensitive about the use of historical residences for tourism purposes. In the sample of historical residences in the city, suggestions were made on the protection of other cultural elements and bring them into tourism