Sakarya

The Area: 482,109.70 hectare
Population: 1.029.650 (2019)
Traffic Licence Plate Code: 54

With its history, culture and natural beauty, Sakarya can be identified as a city at the cross point of Turkey. The city located on the historical Silk Road connecting east to west, has been a transit point for centuries.

Sakarya has been the settlement for diverse cultures throughout history such as the Hittites, Lydians, the Kingdom of Bithynia, the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire. When the Turkish Republic was founded in 1923, it was a district and then became a province in 1954. Sakarya, which became a metropolitan city in 2000, has a population of more than 1 million. Sakarya is located on the east of Marmara Region and has always been a centre of attention because of its logistic situation as well as its economic and social structure.

Explore Nature in 30 Minutes
Sakarya is in a location that can be reached easily by motorways, railroads and airways. Trans European Motorway (E-5) and D-100 State Road pass through the city. Other transportation choices are the High-Speed Train running between İstanbul and Ankara, and the historical Adapazarı Express, running between Sakarya and İstanbul. For those who wish to come to Sakarya by airways, Cengiz Topel Airport in the neighbouring city, Kocaeli is 33 km away, Sabiha Gökçen Airport in İstanbul on the Anatolian side is 110 km away and New İstanbul Airport on the European side is 180 km away from the city.

Sakarya has 16 districts located over a fertile land and is waiting for tourist to explore its coasts, beaches, lakes, rivers, plateaus, hot springs and many other natural beauties. From the city centre, you can reach sea, lake and forest in approximately 30 minutes. Sakarya inviting you to the very heart of nature within 30-minutes’ travelling, is also one of the healthiest cities in Turkey to live in due to its rich nature.

Diverse Cultures Together
Sakarya is a unique city with its colourful cultures and diverse social structure. In the city where many ethnicities hailing from the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus all live in harmony, it is possible to observe traditions originating from Bosnia, Thessaloniki, Batum and Aleppo. Sakarya is the land of co-existence and fraternity with its longstanding historical and cultural conglomeration where people continue passing on historical and cultural knowledge to the next generations. With this special identity, Sakarya is considered an example in terms of peace, solidarity and co-existence. As a result of immigration of people fleeing from the war in the Middle East, Sakarya has experienced a population growth in recent years. Sakarya has welcomed the immigrants from the Caucasus, the Balkans and the Middle East for two centuries and in doing so has established its own social identity. The Metropolitan Municipality of Sakarya has been offering support and training activities for the Iraqi, Syrian and Afghani refugees.

Sakarya, City of Education
Sakarya is a city of education. Sakarya University (SAU) 80 percent of whose students come from different cities has been growing fast since 1992. The University, which shares its academic knowledge with the city, makes a scientific contribution to the ongoing growth of Sakarya. Sakarya University is the first and the only state university in Turkey to hold İSO-2002 Certificate of Quality Perfection and Competence Level Quality Certificate (EFQM).

According to 2019 data, 3,000 of 52,000 students at Sakarya University are foreigners. Sakarya University opens its door to students from Europe, Asia, Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Gulf Countries and the USA, and gives foreign students the opportunity to explore Turkish culture through student exchange programs.

SUBÜ, Sakarya University of Applied Sciences, was established as the second university in the city in 2018-2019 academic year. SUBÜ providing education especially in applied sciences is on its way to become one of the ambitious universities in Turkey with its motto “University that integrates knowledge with skill”.

Young Population
The youth population in the city is high due to the crowded population of Sakarya University and Sakarya University of Applied Sciences. Kafeler Street in the city centre, Çark Avenue the heart of Sakarya, Historical Uzun Çarşı (Long Bazaar),  Sapanca and Kırkpınar with their unique lake views, Agora Mall, Serdivan Mall and Ada Mall hosting many famous brands in, and Bağlar Avenue the symbol of Serdivan, are the favourite places where youths can meet.

A Modern City in Touch With Nature
Sakarya is a modern city that is in touch with nature. Natural richness of the city makes great contributions to its identity. One of the most important factors contributing to its history and identity is the earthquakes. Sakarya located on a first-degree seismic zone experienced four great earthquakes in the last century, one of which occurred on August 17, 1999. The city learned a lesson from all these unpleasant experiences and it was reconstructed after the 1999 earthquake. The buildings that are newly constructed are maximum 10 meters high. This re- construction and urbanisation integrated the city with nature and has become a new model for Turkey in terms of modern urbanisation and horizontal architecture. With the horizontal architecture application, Sakarya has succeeded in uniting safety with aesthetics.

The Heart of Culture and Art in Sakarya
Sakarya is a rich and conspicuous city in terms of culture and art. Cultural and artistic activities all through 12 months a year reveal the intellectual identity of the city. The mission of people in Sakarya is to be the cultural and artistic capital of Anatolia. The city trying to approach this target hosts many cultural facilities like art galleries and concert halls. The Ofis Art Centre, Sakarya Art Gallery, Adapazarı Cultural Centre, Orhan Gazi Cultural Centre, Serdivan Intellectual-Artistic Academy, Serdivan Municipality Cultural Centre and Ziya Taşkent Concert Hall, Faik Baysal Library are some of them. These venues are hosting activities such as exhibitions, concerts, theatrical plays, talk shows and conferences in every month of year. Culture and art come to life in these modern venues, and enhance the lives of its citizens.

Sakarya has also inspired novels, poetry and traditional arts. It is an ideal location for shooting films with beautiful natural landscapes, being popular with Turkish filmmakers since the early days of Turkish cinema.

Sakarya; A City Rich of Water
Sakarya is also known as a “water town”. Astounding views of sea, lakes, hot springs, beautiful waterfalls and streams attract attention as natural wonders forming the natural identity of the city.

Are You Ready to Explore Nature
Sakarya has more than 20 upland plateaus that are frequent destinations for nature lovers. Throughout four seasons, people meet on these plateaus that are natural wonders of the city. They can be visited on organised daytrips and by suitable vehicles. Crowded groups of visitors meet on Sakarya plateaus especially on weekends via organized activities. To explore the natural beauties around, visitors can join in hiking trips organised by Sakarya Metropolitan Municipality.

Uplands Plateaus in Sakarya
Soğucak, Kırca, Katırözü, Kirpiyan, Keremali, Sultanpınar, Acella, Yanık, Sulucaova, Yörükyeri, Çiçekli, Akar, Davlumbaz, Turnalı, Çiğdem, Dikmen, Karagöl, Hamzapınar, Belen germe, İnönü, Güzlek, Oflak, Haydarlar-Kuloğlu, Kılıçkaya, Kıranyurt

An Extraordinary Experience
Taraklı is an extraordinary historical town waiting to be explored. It is one of the most important touristic destinations in Sakarya. Taraklı is one of the towns situated on the historical Silk Road, and it has survived intact through centuries as if time has stopped and the town stayed free from the devastating effects of modernisation unlike other cities of concrete buildings. The mansions in Taraklı date 300 years back and are still in use. Taraklı is a member of the “Cittaslow” Council organisation, which means “Quiet Town”.

Taraklı is a fantastic place with its baths constructed in the period of the Byzantine Empire. Clay baths and hot springs from the Byzantine period are famous for healing many illnesses. The hot springs and historical Yunus Paşa Mosque are important tourist attractions in this town. Within the borders of the town, canyons and caves are popular among mountain climbing fans and speleologists.

Museums in Sakarya
Sakarya Museum
You can see architectural fragments, tombstones, altars, inscribed stones, a sarcophagus, baked clay cubes to store food in, and column stands all belonging to the prehistoric ages of Roman and Byzantine inhabitants of the Sakarya Province. Also exhibited are a group of archaeological works belonging to the Roman and Byzantine period, and ethnographic works belonging to the Ottoman and Republican periods.

Ali Fuat Paşa Kuvayı Milliye Museum
In the museum located in Geyve are photographs belonging to the Kuvayı Milliye period, and texts related to Amasya, Erzurum and Sivas congress. Photocopies of Atatürk's handwritten 10th Year Speech, and chronology, photographs and maps belonging to the Kuvayı Milliye period are also on exhibition.

Earthquake Museum
This museum consists of an exhibition hall, cafeteria and cinematic room. Exhibited here are before and after photographs of the 1967 and 1999 earthquakes that occurred in Adapazarı. There is also an electronic earthquake simulator in the museum. On display, you can see sample materials from the buildings destroyed in the earthquake. Construction materials, seismographs and other elements related to the earthquake are also exhibited.

Experience Tranquillity and Peace Here
The forests covering Sakarya offer tranquil environments to people to rest. These forests mostly made up of trees like oaks or black, scotch, red and maritime pines welcome their guests with every shade of green.

Spaces such as Korucukpark, Donatım Park, Sapanca Seyir Terası, Sakaryapark, Ormanpark, İl Ormanı, Poyrazlar Gölü and Pamukova Seyir Terası, Maltepe Park are meeting points for residents of the city and guests and they provide a special area inside the city for leisure time.

Presents of Mother Nature to Humanity
Sakarya is rich in mineral and spring waters. Because of having been located on the seismic zone, there are many spring water sources around the city and some of the most important ones are in Akyazı, Sapanca and Geyve, namely Kuzuluk, Şerefiye, Kristal, Kardelen, Reşadiye, Mahmudiye, Memnuniye and Çamdağı spring waters. As for the spas, Taraklı Thermal, Akyazı-Kuzuluk, Geyve Acısu, Geyve Ilıcasu and Taraklı Clay Baths are the ones to keep in mind with accommodation facilities with the capacity of hosting thousands of people.

Mass Production, Strong Economy
Apart from its natural beauties, Sakarya is also a good example for Turkey in terms of ‘clean and green’ industrial applications.  Many Turkish and international giant companies transferred their production into the city. Especially, automotive industry and its suppliers and machinery industry are the prominent ones. Automotive Companies such as Toyota, Otoyol, Otokar, Türk Traktör and Tırsan have been making great scale investments in Sakarya.

The city founded by immigrants, Sakarya creates wonderful results with strong manufacturing and labouring culture in terms of export to Europe. The ‘zero-defect policy in production’ concept has increased the export rate. The city has a very important contribution in the increase of export rate in Turkey. Important state owned companies such as TÜVASAŞ (producing railway cars) and 1st Military Main Maintenance Centre are in production in Sakarya.

Sakarya is one of the cities that control industrial production. It keeps a tight rein on production by Organized Industrial Zones, which prevents pollution. In the city, five separate Organized Industrial Zones own a huge volume of marketing and employ 100.000 people. Furthermore, those figures are intended to increase with new Organized Industrial Zones to be built.

Sakarya will soon be able to export worldwide via Karasu Port that has been completed recently. A new railway, which will combine these OIZ with Karasu Port, is under construction. When the railway is completed, the logistic costs will significantly decrease. Karasu aims to hold a key position in shipping to all ports in Black Sea. Sakarya’s target is to be one of the most productive port cities in the world with its huge volume of production.

Agriculture in Sakarya
Agricultural and industrial production in the city strikingly work together in an organised and planned way. These two sectors do not interfere with each other and do not affect each other’s activity or quality. Sakarya is a city with fertile agricultural lands. The soil and climate are very suitable for agriculture, especially for growing outdoor plants, an industry, which brings Sakarya to an important position in Turkey.

Acarlar Longozu, the biggest floodplain forest in Turkey, is the only place in the world where a particular endemic plant species can be found. Sakarya has a fertile agricultural land and the second most important plain in Turkey called Akova. Many delicious fruits are grown in the districts of Sapanca, Geyve and Pamukova due to their climatic advantage.

Taste Festival
Sakarya’s cuisine is almost like a multicultural festival. Due to the migration from the Balkans and different parts of Anatolia, diverse cuisines meet in Sakarya. Islama köfte, kabak çorbası, kabak tatlısı, yoğurtlu döner, Çerkez tavuğu, köpük helvası and keşkek are just a few examples from these cuisines. Pumpkin desert (kabak tatlısı) has become a symbol of taste for the city in the last few years and is one of the most popular dishes. Tunatan Restaurant also contributes to representation of the city with deserts made of pumpkin.

Alikoka, well known since 1884 in Sakarya, has been producing a favourite drink called “boza” and providing it all through Turkey.

As for traditional Turkish coffee, Nuri Kurukahve, a tiny shop at Uzunçarşı, an old market in Sakarya, is a rare point where you can see traditional production of Turkish coffee. Helva by Mazlum Şekerleme founded in 1900’s, is another traditional taste from Sakarya.

Sakarya, City of Sports
Sakarya is a city that has adopted the mission of supporting sports and athletes. Apart from the professional sports clubs supported by the Metropolitan Municipality, there are also 150 sports clubs affiliated with the Federation of Amateur Sports Clubs operating in different sports branches in the city.

Sakaryaspor, which bears the name of the city, is one of the important values of the city with its developed substructure in the city. The name Sakaryaspor comes from the River of Sakarya. Tatangalar is the fan group of the club. Tatangalar, who have travelled for miles in away games, do not leave the team alone even for a moment.

Tatankalar also an American football club, represents Sakarya successfully in the Super League. This club which consists of university students displays a successful graphic in the American Football League and Super League among Universities.

Sakarya is a city which raised many successful athletes such as Semih Saygıner, BWA and UMB World Three-band champion, Kenan Sofuoğlu, Motorbike Supersport World Champion and also Enes Erkan and Şeyda Burucu in Karate.

In Sakarya, citizens have the opportunity to do many sports with an indoor olympic swimming pool, bicycle paths, off-road fields, basketball courts and hills that allow paragliding. Serdivan Kırantepe hosts international paragliding festivals and competitions. Kırantepe, which creates a natural sailing band at the edge of the slope, has 250 Takeoffs, but yet it provides athletes with a longer flight time.

Sakarya will host UCI (Union Cyclist International) 2020 Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship on 25-28 October. Furthermore, the New Sakarya Stadium was a candidate among 10 finalists in the world's best football stadium competition in 2017.

Social City, Social Municipality
Metropolitan Municipality of Sakarya has breathed new life into the city with the projects named ‘’Social Development Centre’’. The disabled, elderly, children, women, youths and families benefit from these centres that are in the city centre and its districts. ‘’Social Development Centres’’ are working for the aim of better future with its diverse services and units which serve all citizens of the city. For example, ‘’Disabled Services’’ support disabled people to make their life easier in the city. ‘’Children Clubs Services’’ enable the children to discover their talent and to develop them. ‘’Family Advisory Units’’ support families experiencing difficulties and protect them against possible problems. ‘’Elderly Service Units’’ meet many physical and psychological needs of elderly individuals in the city.

Sakarya, The Second Most Habitable City in Turkey
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI) data, Sakarya takes second place in the most habitable cities in Turkey. At the same time, in the province where people live, Sakarya takes the first place in the civil participation in the matter of enabling people to announce their demands, wishes concerning their daily lives and their contribution to the management.

Sakarya, which is a relaxing city, has easy access to natural food and has a wide range in terms of transportation, continues its efforts to become a more beautiful and livable city with its units that govern the city.