The information concerning Karacabey’s location name is mentioned in the history sources as follows: In H. 737 (1336) when Orhan Bey went on the Karesi campaign, he passed
through Uluabad and entered Kirmasti. The judge of Kirmasti was one of the children of the Byzantium Kaiser, a lady called Kiramastorya (according to some sources, Kir Mastorya, Kiri Mastorya, Kalomastorya…) The province was renowned with the lady’s name. Kirmastorya’s brother Mihaliç (according to some sources Mihalici, Mihalce) was also a judge in the province of Mihaliç. That region was also renowned by this name. He joined up with his sister and went to welcome Orhan Bey with presents and declared their submission. The brother and the sister presented their provinces without opposition. Their so presentation was acceptable. Therefore they were complimented by the Ruler and were left in their positions, places.
The history of Karacabey:
It is known that the settlement in the region dates back to B.C. XII. Century to the Mysians and that at that time there was a city by the name of Miletepolis within the boundaries of Karacabey. However, the information on the settlement is connected to a much later period, to the years of the Byzantine ruling. According to this information Karacabey was at that time known as Mihaliç.
The Kingdom of Bithynia:
Bithynia was neighbor to the Mysians and was under the rule of King Kroisos (Cresus, the Islamic historians call him “Karun”) of the Lydians who had migrated there from the southern regions around 560 B.C. and we see that about 14 years after that the Persian King Kyros II (Keyhüsrev) (559-529 B.C.) defeats the Lydian King Karun and becomes the ruler around the region and manages the area as a province. Bithynia had its most glorious era under King Prusias I, and later on his son King Prusias II established good relations with Rome. Nikomedes, with the help of Bergama, killed his father Prusias II in Nikomedia (İzmit) and took to the throne under the name of Nikomedes. During the era of this king who ruled during the years 149-94 B.C. the kingdom of Bithynia developed economically, lived through a period of peace away from wars. While still alive the king shared his throne with his son Nikomedes III (107-91 B.C.). His successor Nikomedes IV (91-74 B.C.) was cruel and was a satellite of Rome in the full meaning of the word.
The Period of the Pontus Kingdom and the Roman Empire:
Nikomedes IV, with the help of Rome, declared war on the Kingdom of Pontus that was founded by Mithridates of Persian origin. However, the Pontusians won the war and Nikomedes left his throne and ran away. Following the defeat of the Pontus by the Roman General Flavius, Nikomedes regained his throne of the Kingdom of Bithynia. Upon the directive of the Senate of Rome, he willed that upon his death the Bithynia lands were to joined up with the lands of Rome. According to the will and testament of the last Bithynia King Nikomedes IV the lands of the kingdom became under the Roman rule. Thus the ruling of the Roman Empire started in the region.
The Ottoman Period:
The author Hodja Saadettin Efendi, in his book of Tac-üt Tevarih depicts how Mihaliç and Kirmastı came under the rule of the Ottomans as follows:
“The Ruler Sultan Osman started on a campaign to destroy the Karesi government. They passed through the Uluabat region. The fortresses called Kanolyas and Vanolyas were taken over from the enemy. Kirmastı province was entered into. The Judge of Kirmastı was a lady remnant of the Byzantium Kaiser by the name of Kirmastorya.
The province was renowned with the lady’s name. The Lady Judge went to welcome Sultan Orhan with presents and was complimented by the sultan. Kirmastorya’s brother Mihaliç was also a judge in the province of Mihaliç. That region was also renowned by this name. He joined up with his sister and together they submitted to Orhan Bey. The brother and the sister presented their provinces without opposition. Their so presentation was acceptable. Therefore they were complimented by the Ruler and were left in their positions, places. In some resources Mihaliç is named as Mihalici and Mihalce. After Mihaliç’s coming under the rule of the Ottomans, Turk families were brought into the region to settle there and the ruling of the province was left in the hands of Osman Bey’s friend at arms Emir Karaca Ali and his lineage.
Having come under the Ottoman Rule in 1337, in Mihaliç generally the kettle and the sheep of the Sultans were raised. It was the meat-warehouse of the Palace. According to the log of 1888 this town consisted of 20 quarters. At that time in Mihaliç there were: 87 mosques and smaller mosques, 6 churches, 1 theological school, 1 dervish lodgings, 9 Inns or caravanserais, 2 public baths.
As of the beginning of the 19th century developments began in the town. In 1844 the rivers pouring into the Mihaliç Valley were organized, in 1846 a Gren paint mine were discovered here, in 1987 the Silver mine was tendered, and in 1895 stones were excavated from Karadağ nearby the town for the purpose of road constructions.
Karacabey under Greek Occupation:
The Greeks had, for the purpose of cutting off the retreating roads of the Turkish forces forming the northern front and destroying them, chosen Bandırma and surroundings as landing areas. The forces brought in by ships for this purpose started landing on the Erdek beaches on the 2nd of July. As Bandırma was left to the Greeks without defending it, some of the Greek forces went Susurluk way while others moved in the direction of Karacabey. Karacabey was occupied on the dates of 2/3 July 1920. The dark days had started for Karacabey. Along with the occupation the expected Greek cruelty also starts up. Along with the occupation there were wrong doings to the properties and the lives of the Muslim population.
Liberty of Karacabey from the Greek Occupation:
Following the 30th of August victory, certain unrest amongst the Greek soldiers in the area had already started. The same uneasiness was also dominant over the Greek origin Turkish Nationals in Karacabey and its villages. The Greek Occupation Commander Alexander located at M. Kemal Paşa received the expected telegram in the first week of September. With the wide-spreading of the words; “The Greek forces at Susurluk, Kirmastı and Karacabey are to withdraw towards Bandırma”. “The Greek and Armenian quarters are to be evacuated”. “The Turkish soldiers are coming”, the feverish activities amongst the greek were increasing, properties/goods were being uploaded on the animals and wagons that could be obtained. Finally, on the days of 6-7 September they started on their way from Karacabey to Bandırma. Following the Greek occupational troops the Greek vengeance forces arrive in Karacabey and burn down and destroy everything there. In Karacabey, all the houses were bunt down except for the house of Sergeant Bekir. The losses are very great. Amongst the towns of the Bursa district the heaviest losses were suffered in Karacabey and at its villages. While 15,977 shops were burnt down in Bursa, in the catastrophe that the town centre of Karacabey and Hacı Farm, Dağkadı Emin Ağa Farm, Fevzipaşa (Hacet pınarı)Hotanlı, İkizce, Karacaoba, Kemerbent, Kızıllar, Orhaniye, Şahinköy, Uluabat and Yunus Ağa Farm were burnt down completely, and Arızköy, Bakırköy,(Makriköy), Büyük Karaağaç, Doğla, Camandıra Farm, Karaköy Farm, Karasu, Kirmikir, Mahbubeler, Seyran, Subaşı and Taşlık villages in part, a total of 7,158 houses were burnt down to ashes. In addition to these buildings there are also 14 Mosques and 8 Inns that were burnt down. And on September 14th, 1922, Thursday around 11:15 hours, after the Greek occupation that had started on 2/3 July 1920, The Turkish soldiers are again in Karacabey. The 3rd army corps Cavalry Brigade on assignment to catch up with and destroy the enemy forces running in the direction of Bandırma, enters the town amidst demonstrations of much joy. Karacabey is officially liberated from the enemy occupation and cruelty.
Karacabey is Burning:
Following the 30th of August victory, certain unrest amongst the Greek soldiers in the area had already started. The same uneasiness was also dominant over the Greek origin Turkish Nationals in Karacabey and its villages. The Greek Occupation Commander Alexander located at M. Kemal Paşa received the expected telegram in the first week of September. With the wide-spreading of the words; “The Greek forces at Susurluk, Kirmastı and Karacabey are to withdraw towards Bandırma”. The commander verifies the information in the telegram by telephone, dispatches some soldiers to Karacabey to inform the occupation commander named Damlaki in Karacabey: At the same time the wooden Uluabat Bridge is being repaired to allow the passage of the Greek forces to come from the direction of Bursa. “The Greek and Armenian quarters are to be evacuated”. “The Turkish soldiers are coming”, the feverish activities amongst the Greek were increasing, and properties/goods were being uploaded on the animals and wagons that could be obtained. Finally, on the days of 6-7 September they started on their way from Karacabey to Bandırma. In the meantime the gangs were not missing the opportunity either. While the bandit Davut’s mob were racketeering the Kirmastı and Karacabey area, collecting the tributes (!) of Kirmastı during those days, was the Yağcı mob of Karacabey in collaboration with the Greeks stay idle? The mob that Yağcı Mehmet was running together with Bekar Ali has increased their robberies in these days when there was no apparent authority. It is so told that if the ring would not come out of the finger it would be taken off together with the finger, and the earrings?, there is no time to take them off anyway, they are collected together with the eras. Of one of the rich families in Karacabey, the mother of Şekerci Hilmi is one of those whose ears were gone together with the ear-rings. On September 10th, the Governor of Karacabey, together with some of the locals, asks the Greek occupation commander “to intervene in preventing the burning down of the town”. The Greek Commander, addressing the townsfolk who realized that the town was going to be burnt down, says: “I cannot take the responsibility of protecting the lives of the folks and I cannot help you in anyway,. Because the brigade coming after us is the vengeance brigade assigned to destroy and burn down. They will kill of the folks who are older than 8 years of age”. So there was nothing could be done. Whatever there is light in weight but dear in value are gathered together and packed. This time the animals and wagons leftover from the Greeks when they ran are used. As the Greeks retreated towards Bandırma the safest place was either Çalı mahalle (Taşlık Village), or the Mustafakemalpaşa direction. While a large group went over Sakalar Çesmesi, Tepesi delik way to Çalı Mahalle and from there to the mountainous lands, another group ran to Istanbul in motor-boats from the pier. Those who passed through Çalı mahalle and took shelter in Akçasusurluk were owned up by Hacıoğlu Çerkeş Mehmet. Another group stayed in Çalı mahalle (Taşlık Village). The Greek forces that the occupation commander predicted would take revenge suddenly raided the village and Taşlık Village dwellers Mistan oğlu Hüseyin, Çobanİbrahim, and Dayı Mustafa were captured and martyred right then and there 11 September 1922). Some of those that stayed behind in Karcabey have gathered at the Menzilci slope where the hospital was located at, and others have gathered in front of the kettle on the way leading to top slope. Göçen Halin, who protected those that have gathered in front of the kettle from the Armenian cruelty, but who had joined the Çerkez Davut mob for having beaten up a Greek during the occupation days and so was afraid of reprisals, he was to be court-martialled later on for that but will be saved with the intervention of the Karacabey dignitaries for his success in saving the above folks. A short while after smoke rises over Kirmikir and Uluabat, the vengeance forces mentioned by the Greek commander arrives in Karacabey also. The losses are extensive. Amongst the towns of the Bursa district, the greatest losses have occurred in Karacabey town centre and its villages.
While 15,977 shops were burnt down in Bursa, in the catastrophe that the town centre of Karacabey and Hacı Farm, Dağkadı Emin Ağa Farm, Fevzipaşa (Hacet pınarı)Hotanlı, İkizce, Karacaoba, Kemerbent, Kızıllar, Orhaniye, Şahinköy, Uluabat and Yunus Ağa Farm were burnt down completely, and Arızköy, Bakırköy,(Makriköy), Büyük Karaağaç, Doğla, Camandıra Farm, Karaköy Farm, Karasu, Kirmikir, Mahbubeler, Seyran, Subaşı and Taşlık villages in part, a total of 7,158 houses were burnt down to ashes. In addition to these buildings there are also 14 Mosques and 8 Inns that were burnt down. And on September 14th, 1922, Thursday around 11:15 hours, after the Greek occupation that had started on 2/3 July 1920, The Turkish soldiers are again in Karacabey. The 3rd army corps Cavalry Brigade on assignment to catch up with and destroy the enemy forces running in the direction of Bandırma, enters the town amidst demonstrations of much joy. Karacabey is officially liberated from the enemy occupation and cruelty. Çerkez Davut of Kirmastı and Yağcı Mehmet and Bekar Ali from Karacabey are also among those who ran away with the Greeks. Karacabey and its villages have taken great wounds from the Greek cruelty.
The heavy losses are both property wise and lives. And insults, beating ups, arrests, exiles, wounding, raping… these are all in addition to the above losses. Besides the Greek soldiers, the staff of the Çeşnigir and Çamlıca stations, local Greeks, the Kurşunlu Greeks, Topal İstrati of Çamlıca, Yani and his crowd from Seyran, and in fact the Central Commander are amongst the ones who have committed murder.
Karacabey after the Fire:
Some of those who suffered due to the fires in Karacabey were brought over to Kirmastı and settled in the houses that were evacuated by the Turkish national Greeks. From amongst the Turks from the Karacabey area whose dwellings were destroyed, the Ademzadeler, Yüksel Brothers settled down in Kirmastı and founded their businesses here. While running away, the Greeks were not satisfied by burning down whatever was on their way. They were also destroying everything. In order to prevent the Turkish Army coming up behind them and catching up with them soon, they were both burning down and destroying the bridges behind them. The Uluabat and Canbalı bridges were also destroyed in the meantime.
Because the Canbalı Bridge on the Bursa-Karacabey highway was also destroyed by the Greeks, while the transportation was being carried out over the river by rafts, the military engineers corps tried very hard in order to make usable these burnt down and destroyed bridges. While the destroyed Canbalı was being repaired an unfortunate accident happened
8 soldiers from the 10th corps of engineers that was trying to prepare the bridge for our forces coming after the Greeks, drowned when the raft overturned while crossing the river. An epitaph was placed at the head of the bridge in his memory. The inscription on the epitaph is as follows: Dear passenger, there are 8 of our children at the basis of this bridge who were victims while on duty. While crossing the bridge, do not forget your debt of grace to those martyrs. From the 10th Corps of Engineers” The repaired Canbalı Bridge stayed in use until the new one that we are using now built in 1952. When the new concrete bridge was opened to service, the wooden bridge was demolished.
The Aircraft of Karacabey:
Our people have always stood by the side of its armed forces at every turn of our history, when it was a question of financial help or strengthening the armed forces our people gave whatever was available for this sacred duty without a hesitation. Our history is full of such examples. The campaign of the “Aircraft Society” founded on the request of Atatürk attracted a lot of interest and this campaign was carried on for exactly 10 years between 1925 -1935. As the name of the contributing town or the village name was given to the aircrafts purchased with such contributions an “Aircraft Buying Race” had began amongst the population and with such contributions 250 aircrafts were bought for the Turkish forces, and Karacabey was also among the contributors. The “Karacabey Aircraft” purchased with the contributions collected, when Atatürk was to visit Bursa on 28 August, an arrangement was made and the aircraft delivered with a ceremony on 30th August 1929.
The Ancient Settlement Areas of Karacabey:
The first stop of the water route that starts at İskele and reaches all the way to İstanbul was the Karacabey centre. In the northern area of our town called as Akhanlar (White Inns) even today, it is understood that there used to be great Inns over there. The reason of foundation and the importance of Karacabey at this location originate from the fact that it is located on such a route. The most ancient of the quarters in the town are the Mamuriyet, Kelimye, Hamidiye, Garipçe and Hüdavendihar quarters. In the Hegira year 1293 the pilgrims coming over from the Balkans have settled here. The oldest historical monument is the Kümbetle Mosque. It is understood that the city walls were located where today the recruiting office is at. The most important monuments built during the Ottoman era are: İmaret Mosque,Ulu Mosque, and the Issız Inn. There used to be a cemetery around the Ulu Mosque. It is known that the most respected persons were buried here. Of the Mihaliç Voyvodas, İbrahim Ağa, Hacı Mustafa Ağa, Haseki Ahmet are buried in this cemetery. In our day this cemetery is no longer there.
The Mosque was for Karaca Bey (Karaca Pasha) also known as “Dayı” (Uncle) as he was the brother of Prince Alaüddin’s mother. There is an epitaph for him over the entrance door, in bright calligraphy and carved on a marble plaque. According to this inscription, during the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, “İmaret” was built in the year H 861/1456-57 A.C: On the surface of the foot stone of the marble tomb located to the west of the last congregation stand, it is stated that Karaca Bey was martyred in the month of Şaban 860H/20 July 1456 A.C:The construction of this İmaret was ordered in the Hegira year of eight hundred sixty one (may his property be everlasting) during the ruling days of Sultan Mehmet, the son of Murad Khan, by the fortunate, blessed, deceased martyr in need of Allah’s blessings, the grand emir, respected commander Dayı Karaca Bey, son of Abdullah. The construction was started by one of Murat Hüdavendigar’s Pashas, Karacabey Bin Abdullah in the year 1446, but when he became a martyr in the Belgrade war that he participated in, in the year 1456, the construction was completed by his family in 1457. The Mosque has 36 windows, 9 domes, and a minaret with two doors. The construction that was greatly damaged by the earthquake in 1853 was, later on also destructed by the Greeks. The construction that was unusable were started to be repaired as a Mosque in the years 1971-72 by the General Directorate of Foundations and was opened to religious services on 12.07.1980. The kitchen to its northern side was destroyed. Under the dome where the last congregation porch is around the minaret there is the grave of Karacabey. On it, it is stated; “This is the grave of the fortunate, blessed, grand emir, respected commander Karaca Bey, son of Abdullah who was martyred during the Belgrade Fortress wars in the middle of the month of Şaban in the year eight hundred sixty one during the caliphate of Murad Khan’s son Sultan Mehmet”. Dayı Karacabey Mausoleum is in the garden of the İmaret Mosque. He is the one who had this Mosque built and gave his name to our town. .
The Ulu Mosque:
On the Mosque’s epitaph it is stated that “(This) is a small mosque that was reinforced. There isn’t a second one like it in this region”. “May God make his building an everlasting one, like his history will, may the construction live, and continue onwards“. This indicates that the construction is of a foundation of the 1st Murat Hüdavendigâr (1362 – 1389). In H. 1118/1774 A.C: a gallery was added and preacher muezzins, trustees were assigned. The architectural data indicates that repairs were made during the reign of Abdülhamid the 1st (1774 – 1789). The monument that was burnt during the Greek occupation was restored in the year 1964 by the General Directorate of Foundation and presently is used as a Mosque. The interior measurements of the Mosque are 19.34 by 16.60 and it has a roof over it.
The Uluabatlı Hasan Monument:
During the 500th memorial day of the conquering of İstanbul it was constructed in the village of Hasan of Uluabat.
Issız Han (Inn)
It is located on the Bursa-Karacabey road, 5 Km to the east of Uluabat by the lakeside. It is a disused but repaired and good standing monument of the Yıldırım ear. As there is a legend on its door in Arabic meaning “during the reign of Khan Sultan Beyazıt bin Murat Khan, on the order of Grand emir Celalüddin İnebey Bin Bin Feleküddin in 1936 for Allah’s consent., it is understood that it was constructed in 1936 for Allah’s consent.
(Eyne Bey, is the army commander of Balıkesir-Karesi. Eyne Bey is the commander in the 1st Kosovo War. After the taking of Yıldırım as prisoner by Timur at the Ankara war, he is amongst those who took Prince Süleyman Çelebi to Rumeli. During the fight between Prince Süleyman and İsa Çelebi at Uluabat in H. 808/1405 A.C., he was martyred by İsa Çelebi. His grave is at the Tekke village of Kepsud town of Balıkesir). As he had established for pious purposes a windmill on the Tophisar Village and Karasu road, the passers by could eat and sleep over here free of charge. Today it serves no purpose and remains unoccupied. It is still strong and well protected. It is founded on a rectangular plan in South – East, West – Northerly directions; the façade is made of two-lined white dressed stone, with more stones over it, and covered with grooved roof-tiles. Its front faces the lake. It has a majestic door and a historical script over its marble arcade. Going through the door, it consists of a room and a hall each to the left and right of it. Along its wall there is a high level serving as divans, in the middle there is a great double furnace not to be seen anywhere else, one piece stones each of which standing on four granite legs, underneath of the stones are elegant arcades and over it chimneys woven with brick works. The workmanship of the chimneys is very exquisite. The outside of the chimney body is very soothed. The interior apparently has been repaired by overturning the bricks in there. In the two side-rooms there aren’t any chimneys or furnaces. On the outside of the Inn there are loophole windows one above another, and there is a similar window in the west room as well. The one in the East room is an ordinary window. The Inn in general looks like the best caravanserai model of the early Ottoman period’s first architectural monuments. The building was renovated a little after 1956.
Baba Kuruş Horse Cemetary:
It is located at the Karacabey stud farm. Baba Kuruş is a stallion originating from the Damascus-Helbe village of Syria that has played an important role in the breeding of half-blood Arab horses. During the years Baba Kuruş lived between 1921 and 1945, in the 11 years that he lived in the stud farm, 141 colts were obtained from his line. As our horse breeding sector owed Baba Kuruş a lot, it showed the value given to this horse by building a memorial grave for it.
The Haci Ali Ağa Mosque:
It is located at the İsmetpaşa Village. According to the legend it was built by Hacı Ali Ağa of Kelsen during the dates H. 1230/1814-15 A.C.
The Church of Zoodochos Pege:
It is located at the Karakoca Village. The roof of the derelict and unkempt building has totally collapsed and their other walls are damaged at high levels.
The Church of Theodoros:
It is located at the Harmanlı Village. The church can be identified with the building dedicated to Saint Theodoros, the construction of which had started in 1833 and was completed around 1903. The church is a derelict today and its walls partially and its roof has totally collapsed.
The Church of Mikhael Archestrategos:
In the legends of this church located at Uluabat Village, it is stated that it was built in September of 1843 during the period of the İznik Metropolit Panierotatos Ioseph, and was dedicated to “Archestrategos Mikhael”. This splendid church called Archestrategos Mikhael was rebuilt from its basis with the donations given by the Orthodox Christians of Mihaliç attached to Leibedokhoria, and other good-willing citizens during the period of Nikai Metropolit Panieratatos Ioseph. September of 1843. S Gerlac who visited Uluabat in the 16th century gives the names of the churches present here; one of them is the one dedicated to Saint Mikhael. In some of the travelogues of the 18th and 19th century the festivities held for Saint Mikhael are told of. One of the travelers, C MacFarlane indicates that the festivities were not approved of the Circassians who came here.
The Mausoleum of Karacabey’s Wife and her Brother Ahmed Bey:
The mausoleum is located to the South-west of the Karacabey imaret and the three lines legend is over the southern door arcade. According to the legend the mausoleum is that of Karacabey’s wife and her brother Ahmed Bey, and in the year of H. 877/1501-02 A.C. it was completed by the efforts of Karacabey and this mausoleum is for his wife and his wife’s brother Ahmet Bey.
The Mosque of Fatma Tutu and its Complete Works:
It is located at the Tophisar Village. What remains of the Mosque in our present day is its base under dirt and debris, and a part of the pedestal. The Mosque is dedicated to Fatma Tutu Hanım who is the wife of Hacı Ali Bey. On the Karacabey – Bandırma highway, at a distance of 10 Km from Karacabey, 4 Km after entering the Tophisar village road the complete Works is reached. The complete Works consisting of four buildings is at the North-west slope of the hill where the Tophisar fort is at, and to the North-east of the new Tophisar village. What remains of the complete Works in our present day is the base of the minaret of a once mosque, a building with two dwellings, the remains of a building the plan of which can not be determined, and the remains of a base that the villagers describe as the baths.
The Eski Mosque – Yıldırım Mosque – Valide Sultan Mosque (Local):
There is no inscription or resources to enlighten the history of the building that is known amongst the folks today as the “Eski Mosque”, “Valide Sultan Mosque”, or the “Yıldırım Mosque” in Uluabat. The architectural data and its known names indicate that the first construction of the building was possibly in late 14th century or early 15th century. The local folks state that this mosque was built 8 years after the construction of the Bursa Ulu Mosque around 1408. Uluabat was conquered during the reign of Orhan Gazi in the year H. 741/1342 A.C. The sources indicate that Orhan Gazi had a caravanserai constructed here. The Uluabat folks indicate that there used to be a public bath and an Inn besides the mosque; in fact, in an old plan it can be seen that at the beginning of the 20th century the Inn was present. The mosque had a grand renovation in 1952, during these renovations a new last congregation place was added to its northern side