The Seljuk Han of Anatolia







This han is located in a place called Derbend Ağzi, which is between Besni and Elbistan. This area is known as the Sirikli Yaylasi. It is situated on the Elbistan-Aleppo caravan route.



The han, located in a region which constantly changed hands between the Seljuks and the Mamluks, is not mentioned in any Seljuk period documentation.



mid 13th century (est)



There is no inscription for this han so its construction date and patron are unknown.



Seljuk emirs in this region were generally responsible for the construction of this type of building. The first name which comes to mind is Emir Kamereddin. It is believed that he also built a large han, now in ruins, in the Golbaşi province of Adiyaman.


This Seljuk statesman, also known as Emir Kamereddin Hadim, was an emir in southeastern Anatolia during the reigns of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I and his son Giyaseddin Keyhüsrev II. It is known that Emir Kamereddin was appointed as a governor called Malik-ül Ermen in the region immediately before the death of Alaeddin Keykubad in 1246. In that case, this han must have been built after 1237.



Covered section with an open courtyard (COC)


The han, in a north-south orientation, is completely ruined down to the ground level. However, the details of the plan can be established from the ruins. It has a combined plan with two sections:  a covered section to the north which was used for lodging, and a wider courtyard in front of it. Its off-axis entrance faces west.



The crown door of the courtyard is not on axis with the door leading into the covered section. Rooms for the various services of the han were located all in a single line at the southern end of the covered section. The entrance door to the service areas was to the west, similar to the entrance of the rooms on the long wall of the Zazadin Han.


An arcade with five sections of the same width was probably situated on the east side of the courtyard, and are covered with barrel vaults in the east-west direction. Another rectangular room, covered by a vault in the east-west direction, is seen in the southern section of the courtyard.


Covered section:

The covered section is divided into three naves with two support walls. The covered section was probably covered by a pointed barrel vault in the north-south direction. There were five square support towers along the west side of the covered section.



Two support towers were located in the corners of the covered section. The han was built for the most part of pitch-faced stone filled with stones.



The structure is in ruins. It was in fairly good shape until the 1930s but deteriorated since.



Bayhan, Ahmet Ali-Fikri Salman. “Adıyaman/Gölbaşı’nda bir Anadolu Selçuklu Kervansarayı: Kamereddin (Derbend Ağzı) Hanı.” Sanat-Atatürk Üniversitesi Güzel Sanatlar Fakültesi Dergisi (7), Erzurum, 2005, pp. 1-10.

Erdmann, Kurt. Das Anatolische Karavansaray des 13. Jahrhunderts, I, Berlin, 1961, (IIc, 6), no. 83.

Özergin, M. Kemal. “Anadolu’da Selçuklu Kervansarayları”, Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 153, n. 153.

Özkarcı, Mehmet. “Kahramanmaraş’ta Selçuklu Mimarisine Bakiş,” Uluslararasi Selçuklu Döneminde Maraş Sempozunu, 17-19 November, 2016, pp. 14-53.



















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