Maras in History

 Maraş has a history spanning 12 thousand years. The earliest written references to the name Maraş can be found in New Assyrian Period texts from 8 BC to 9 BC during the reign of Assyrian kings Tiglatplazer and Sargon II. These records describe annual military campaigns into Anatolia to the Hittite Gurgum Kingdom and its capital Markashti or Markasi. These names are frequently found in Sargon II (722-705) period tablets, when during this time Maraş had become an important Assyrian state.

 According to recent research, the name "Markasi" or "Markaşti” is derived from two Assyrian words - ‘Mar’ meaning ‘son’ and ‘karşti’ meaning ‘good’. It can also be translated to Turkish as Okunoglu or Okçununoğlu.

 The late Gurgum Kingdom was one of the great Hittite states with its capital city of Markasi or Markaşti. When the Roman Empire occupied the region in 1 AD, the name changed to "Germanicia" in honor of Roman general Germanicus. In both the Roman and Byzantine eras the city was known by this name, but with the Arab Muslim conquest, it became Mer'aş or Maraş. In Arabic Zelzele means to ‘shiver’, while Re'aşa / Yer'aşü means ‘those who claim’, as in those who claim Mer'aş. During the Ottoman period the city was also known as Dulkadiroğulları or Zülkadiroğulları from the Zulkadiriye.