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Kahramanmaraş is the capital city of Kahramanmaraş Province in southeastern Turkey. The city lies on a plain at the foot of the Taurus Mountains and has a population of 326,198 as of 2000. The region is best known for its production of salep, a flour made from dried orchid tubers, and its distinctive ice cream.
Kahramanmaraş was founded as a Hittite city-state ca. 1000 BC. Later, the city was called Germanicia Caesarea (Γερμανίκεια, Germanikeia, in Greek) in the time of the Roman and Byzantine empires.
Prior to 1973, Kahranmanmaras was known as Maraş pronounced Marash. It gained its modern name on October 7, 1973 when the Grand National Assembly of Turkey added "Kahraman" to the name. The addition of "Kahraman" ("hero" in Turkish) was in commemoration of the victory against the French Armenian Legion during the Battle of Maraş in the Turkish War of Independence. After the war, Maraş also received the Turkish Medal of Independence, given to the city as a whole for such actions as the Sütçü Imam Incident. more
In December 1978, Kahramanmaraş was the site of a massacre of leftist Alevis. An ultra-nationalist group, the Grey Wolves, incited the violence that left over 100 dead. The incident was of key importance in the Turkish government's decision to declare martial law, and the eventual military coup in 1980.
Kahramanmaraş's industry is mainly based on textile and ice cream. Kahramanmaraş is one of the biggest textile industry cities of Turkey. Companies like Kipaş, Iskur, Arsan and Bozkurt are one of the richest companies in the city. Also, many of the American clothing companies like Aéropostale and American Eagle are supplying their yarns from Kahramanmaraş.
Some of the internationally-known ice-cream companies like Mado, Yaşar Pastanesi, EDO and Ferah Pastanesi started their business in this ice-cream city and thousands of people visit Kahramanmaraş, just because of its ice-cream (dondurma in Turkish).
The town was (and may still be) the home town of the 172nd Armoured Brigade of the Turkish Second Army.
The city has a local football team called; Kahramanmaraşspor which is currently in Turkish 2nd Division Category B Group 5. Kahramanmaraşspor plays its home games in Hanefi Mahçiçek Stadium. Some famous Turkish players like Mehmet Özdilek and Kemalettin Şentürk played in Kahramanmaraşspor before transferring to bigger clubs.