Gurdal Bozkurt

PRESENTATION "Hammam Culture at Ottoman Era -Thermal Tourism of Turkey Today  "





Group Coordinator-Expert of Culture and Tourism

Ministry of Culture and Tourism



Taner PİRİ

Expert of Culture and Tourism

Ministry of Culture and Tourism



The spa and bath tradition in Anatolia can be dated to Roman baths in Anatolia. Baths served as health centres among the ancient Greeks and have been an important part of daily life in Istanbul since Roman and Byzantine times. Under the Romans, Byzantine baths were more than places to wash, but social clubs where people met their friends and conversed or argued over politics. In Central Asia, the Turkic people had steam baths, which they called “Çerge (Steam Bath)”. Bringing their Asian tradition with them, they merged it with the Roman bath culture they found in Anatolia, and a new synthesis was born, the “Turkish bath.” The tradition of Turkish bath (hamam) and thermal spa bath (kaplıca) can be traced back to when the Turks arrived in Anatolia where they were confronted with the existing bathing traditions of the Romans. In the Ottoman period, Turkish baths were built not only in the cities of Ottoman Capital İstanbul, İznik and Bursa, but also in complexes outside of the cities, where trading took place. During the Ottoman period, baths were often built as part of large religious charity complexes. The Turkish bath buildings were consisting of three main parts: cold, lukewarm and heat parts. The baths were not only used for cleaning but also used for social purposes; like marriage rituals, entertainment, religious ritual, health and treatment activities, art discussions and were a part of social life.

The tradition of healing with water at kaplıca hamams (spas) is still vivid and widely used in the treatment of chronic disorders especially rheumatic diseases through Turkey. There are approximately 1600 geothermal resources with water flow rates between 2 - 500 liter/second in Turkey. Turkey is among the first seven countries in the World for its potential hot mineral resources and is the third country in Europe with 240 thermal spas having hot mineral springs. Comes after Italy(300 spas) and Germany(with 260 spas).Planning and land allocation studies ara continuing in Announced Thermal Tourism Ares in order to create modern thermal cure complexes. According to 2017 numbers there are 187 facilities having 58.935 beds as licenced thermal tourism establisments in Turkey.

KeywordsOttoman Baths, Turkish Bath Tradition, Thermal Tourism of Turkey