Prof.Dr.Ayşegül Demirhan Erdemir/ Turkey

Founder Presidenf of the Deparment of Medical History and Ethic,Medical School,Uludag University

President of the Society for Medical Ethics ,Law and History

  In this paper,we will see three  baths.They are Cinci Bath(Safranbolu) ,Ayder Path(Rize) and Yalova Hot Springs(Yalova).

  Cinci Bath is present in Safranbolu ,a region of Black Sea in Turkey  There are approximately 50,000 protected the cultural and natural assets and approximately 1500 of them are located in Safranbolu. Its rich cultural heritage and the success of the protection of its heritage on the city scale has made Safranbolu ‘’World City" and it has been taken in 17 December 1994 in the World Heritage List by Unesco. Safranbolu was also selected as one of the best preserved 20 cities of the world by OWHC in world congress held in Rhodes in 2003.

Safranbolu’s first name which was known Dadybra in Byzantian period. It was later called Zalifre in 1196 in Seljuk period. Its name was changed to Borglu and Borlu at the beginning ofthe Ottomans and emirates period. Borlu has been become due toTaraklıborlu of the Taraklı Tribe, which settled in the region from the records of the Ottoman title deed and land registration.

    After the name of Taraklıborlu, the other names which used in the Ottoman period; Zağfiran-ı Borlu in the middle of the 18th century, Zağfiran-ı Benderli for short time in the half of the 19th century, Zağfiranbolu in the last quarter of the 19th century, and it was changed to Zafranbolu and Safranbolu after 1940’s.

   Safranbolu is known as Paphlagonia at ancient term. Its history dates back to 3000’s BC and the exact date of settlement in the city of Safranbolu is unknown. Gasgas, Hittites, Cimmerians, Lydians, the Persians, the Hellenistic Kingdoms, the Romans, Byzantine, the Seljuk, Cobanogulları, Candarogulları and Ottomans had ruled the city.

    Safranbolu was conquered by the Turks, at the period of Muhittin Mesut Shah, son of Kılıc Arslan II Seljuk Sultan. Since 1423, it has also entered the dominion of the Ottomans. Safranbolu was an important place to accommodate and to exchange goods on Sinop-Gerede-İstanbul artery of commerce in 17th century. it continued to preserve its importance and considered as the back garden of the palace of the Ottoman.

      It is known that many Grand Viziers and officers lived in here and there were a lot of people from Safranbolu in the palace as official. Safranbolu is a renowned quality city with its traditional Turkish houses which are good examples of civil Ottoman architecture, natural beauty and historical dimension.

    The inn is located at the Çeşme Quarter of Safranbolu District at the middle of the bazaar. This magnificent structure is constructed his hometown, Safranbolu by the Rumeli Kazaskeri Cinci Hoca (Real name Hüseyin), who had gained power and became rich during the period of Sultan İbrahim.
There are two other inns other than Cinci Inn in Safranbolu named Pamukçu and Tuzcu Inns. The Katırcı Inn located in the Eflani district , which was constructed by the beginning of 20th century.

Yeni Hamam (New Bath) (Cinci Bath): The bath is located in the Çeşme quarter of the Safranbolu district inside the Bazaar. This bath was also constructed by Cinci Hoca.

   Cinci Han which is one of the most improved models of the Otoman inn architecture was built in 1640–1648 by Cinci Hodja (Keçecizade Hüseyin Efendi ) who became a Anatolian Kazasker after ascension of Sultan İbrahim in 1640. It was made of cut and ruble stones.. It has two storeys and 62 rooms. it is supposed that it was built by. Kasim , the chief architect of the period.

       There has no been found any document, architectural project related with the construction of the inn. It was built with the experience and manual skill of the artisans who were brought up as 'devsirme'. The entrance door, the lock and the key of the Cinci Han are examples of the Turkish iron workmanship. After its restoration, Cinci Han is used as otel and restaurant.
        It is assumed that the Turkish bath was constructed in the 17th century(1645)  by Cinci Hoca ( 1640 - 1648 ). It's architect is not known for sure: however it is deemed that is Architect Kasım, one of the master builders of the period. The Turkish bath was granted to the    General Directorate for Foundations by Hamide Hatun, the mother of Cinci Hoca, on the date of April 2, 1645 to the relevant registry. Benefits of sauna,  massage and kese (coarse bath glove) for health are indisputable.

      The fact that the gates of women's and men's section are different is a part of Turkish bath tradition. Cinci Turkish bath is the most prominent Turkish bath, where this tradition is maintained. It has departments of its cold, hot, boiler room under a Turkish bath, stoveparts and it is still runned(1).

Cinci Bath

Cinci Bath


Cinci Bath

Ayder Bath

Another thermal water  are present at Ayder ,high meadow  in Rize , a province of Turkey.. This thermal water is used in the therapy of many diseases.Its name is Ayder  Thermal Water.

  Rize is located between the Pontic Mountains and the Black Sea in Turkey . It is considered to be the "wettest" corner of Turkey and is the country's main tea producing region. In addition to tea, the region is also known for growing kiwi fruit. The province is largely rural and very scenic, containing many mountain valleys and elevated yaylas (meadows). The district of Çamlıhemşin is one of Turkey's most popular venues for trekking and outdoor holidays. Roads are scarce in some of the more remote regions, so electrical powered cable cars have been installed to transport people and supplies into the mountains. Summers are cool (July average 22 °C) and winters are mild (January average 7 °C) with high levels of precipation all year long.

Ayder(high meadow) area with hot springs, hotels and restaurants, and from here you can climb up to higher and more remote meadows and villages.

We have little information as to the prehistory of this region, which being covered in thick forest is difficult to excavate and reveals little. The earliest records we have are of the Kulku or Kulha, an Asian community speaking an agglutinative language, the name being carved into a monument left by the Urartu king Sardur II, who conquered the area for his kingdom (765-735 BC).

    Then in 714 BC a tribe of Cimmerians came to settle by the Çoruh River, fleeing as their homeland in the Caucasus was overrun by the Saka branch of the Scythians. The Cimmerians spread throughout Anatolia and still today there are many places named Kemer as a record of their presence, including some villages in Rize. The Saka meanwhile spread westwards into eastern Europe and in 680 BC defeated the last of the Cimmerians in Georgia (country), but they themselves were overturned by the Medes, who murdered the Saka King Madova in 626 BC(2).

  According to Pliny the Elder, from 670 BC onwards the AegeanAncient Greek community of Miletus established a series of trading posts along the Black Sea coast; one of these was Rize. Although this colony was always vulnerable to attacks from the Medes until the Persian armies were defeated by Alexander the Great. Following the death of Alexander a number of separate kingdoms were established in Anatolia including Bithynia and Cappadoccia and in this corner of the eastern Black Sea, Pontus. Rize was brought into the Kingdom of Pontus by Pharnaces in 180 BC.

    The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire between 10 AD and 395 AD, when it passed to the Byzantines. By this time writers including Pliny and the Roman adventurer Arrian were describing the inhabitants as Laz.


A view from Ayder plateau

During the whole medieval period, the region was under Byzantine control, and was largely populated by Greeks. The high country above Rize ;however, was in flux and as late as 626 AD, when a tribe of Scythians, having been displaced by Persians further east, came to settle in the area that is today's district of Hemşin.

    A short period of Turkish domination in the region took part in the late 11th century, following the defeat of the Byzantines at the Battle of Malazgirt, and the Çoruh River. It was then incorporated into one of the Anatolian beyliks following the defeat of the Georgian Kingdom at the siege of Posof in 1080.

    Large numbers of Turks coming to settle along the coast, including a large influx of Kipchak Turks. But it was still mainly a Greek speaking region. The area was recaptured by the Byzantines in 1098 during the Crusades and later following the sack of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade of 1204, the Byzantine Imperial family itself removed to nearby Trabzon establishing the Empire of Trebizond, of which Rize was part.

   However, the area had been largely settled by Turks and this community remained, the Byzantines merely keeping a base in Rize(3).

A general view of Rize city center

 The Turks in the area were from various tribes in Anatolia, all under the Seljuk umbrella but with varying degrees of loyalty and contentment; there were numerous rebellions and uprisings. This era ended when the Empire of Trebizond began paying tribute to the Ottoman Empire in 1456 and then the Ottoman army led by Sultan Mehmet II entered Trabzon in 1461. Rize fell in 1470, the last gasp of the Roman Empire.

     From the late-17th century onwards, the Ottoman administration built many elegant bridges across the Fırtına River and its tributaries.

       From 1924 onwards, Rize has been a province of the Republic of Turkey. Slowly the Greek names of the villages and districts are being replaced with Turkish (Pilihoz is now Dumankaya, Mapavri is Çayeli etc.). However the old names are still in common usage, especially among the older generations, and can be seen on shop signs, taxi ranks and elesewhere, while other names from the Pontus era (such as Askoroz, Peripol and of course Rize itself) are still in use.

 Ayder thermal water in Ayder plateou is removed from 200 meters underground as 55 C° degree. There is not any smell, color and lime within the water. PH value is 9.64. What  increases value of the water is a great number of minerals that exist within.        Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Aluminum, Sulfate , Chloride, Hydro carbonate, Nitrate, Metasilicate ions are present.


      Thermal water  is used as a supplementary treatment element in terms of rheumatism, diseases of lumbar, neck and joint, some dermatologic disorders, neural system and metabolism disorders, neurologic disorders during chronic periods, general stress disorders and sports injuries.

      Points to consider in terms of Thermal (Spa) Treatment

  • Bath period is one hour and one hour session should be practiced as 10 minutes of pool and 10 minutes of rest.
  • It is unfavorable for patients of tension, cardiac, astma, and bronchitis and pregnant to try. It can only be tried on the purpose of bath but being careful.

 Ayder Plateau


Ayder Thermal Bath

Ayder Thermal Bath

Long time ago before Christus was born; there was a dominating and a powerful King (Tekfur) in Istanbul. He had a beautiful daughter a princess whom he adored and loved. But she an ugly, contagious and incurable disease called leprosy which she suffered badly.

Despite all the medicines and healing attempts given by spiritual leaders and medical experts, the princess was not getting any beter; therefore her father was in deep sadness every time when he saw his daughter in growing despair. One day he gathered all his aids, in despair and asked them to take her somewhere that she could be alone for a while, because he did not have any more strength to see her in that fading condition(4).

After an extensive search activity, The Yalakova (water plain) province was the most suitable place with its lavish and water rich environment on the Anatolian side so the princess was taken and left there alone with her hopeless condition. Later, the king had numerous trips by his boat to see his daughter how she was getting by with her new life, since he did not see any positive changes in her condition he left her there with her mutual fate.

One day while the princess wandering around the water plain, she climbed up on a rock to get a better view about the whole area, suddenly she saw a huge and ugly monster without any hair on his pale body neither he had any wrinkles on his face. This peculiar monster was coming every day to this hot water swamp area, bathing there, laying there and disappearing in the deep dark forest. He daily observation continued for some time in order to see how the monster was getting better and prettier as the time went by. Naturally this experience inspired her ‘’ if this ugly monster covered with all that thick hair on his skin ail heal himself bathing in the hot waters” so I can with the God’s will, she was inspired with all that positive  healing effects of this water swamp source. She began the same rituals immediately, bathing, staying longer periods in the swamp water in many days.

Finally, the princess became very beutiful and healthy and immediately she sent a message to her father saying that she was fully recovered from the leprosy. The King was very glad with this fantastic news and he granted the messenger with a huge reward so he should not suffer all his life. The King immediately rushed to Yalakova to see this miracle with his own eyes and obviously he was not disappointed what he saw.

This miracle for his daughter’s wellness made him so happy that, he ordered the new baths, spa centres to build in the thermal area and these buildings became pioneers of the modern hot springs in the world.

The Thermal Springs of Yalova, once called “Pythia”, are the natural outcome of an ancient carthquake that took place about 2000 B. C This thermal springs complex has survived many ancient civilizations such as the old Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman empires. Thermal utilities have also been restored throughout its history by such historic dignitaries as Kings , Constantine and Justinianus and Ottoman Sultans , Osman, Orhan, Abdulhamid II and Abdülmecid during their reigns. Eleni, the daughter of Tekfur of İstanbul, and her mother Sofia, as well as the mother of King Constantine, Empress Helen Theodore and Sultan Abdulmecid’s mother, had all regained their complete health in Yalova Thermal Springs. These historic celebrities are some of those rehabilitated among thousands of others to have been recorded in written documents.

The mansion was built in 1929 to extend hospitality to his excellency M. Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. It is now a museum with contemporary paintings on the walls and valuable hand woven rugs on the flour. The Ataturk Museum is open every day between 10 a. m. and 6 p. m., except Mondays and Thursday, when it is closed(5).

On 19 August 1929. Atatürk liked the thermal hot springs facilities during one of his travels and he dealt personally with the region to transform it to a world famous health center and aqua town.

Atatürk stated the following related to Yalova: “ Here will be the aqua town of the future.” Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkish Republic, arranged the land he ones owned, then named “Millet Farm”, which lies the eastern part of Yalova, so as to familiarize farmers with the modern agrotechnological methods implemented on this unique farm, to disperse high quality nursery stock, seeds, and stock animals.

Atatürk, who once stated “Yalova is my town” indicates how much he loved Yalova. He had a small summer house built on the farm by the seashore very close to a sycamore tree. Embraced in three sides by the premises of the institute and by the sea of Marmara in the north, The Atatürk’s summer house, the so-called “ Sliding House” is preserved as a museum.

The hill is located on the east side of the hot springs baths and rises 220 meters above sea level. Evergreen pine trees, lazy grasshoppers and the starry sky are the main attractions for visitors to this paraside. The nearby towns of Uvezpinar in the south, Gokcedere in the north and thermal hot springs toward the west can be seen easily from this panoramic view.

Tekfur’s daughter, the emperor’s wife Sofia, worshipper Bineva Baba, Herakle’s sister, Hylas and Ferhat are the only sources of information fort he Termal mythologies. A worshipper called Bineva Baba (Abapus) conquered land from the Crusaders and introduced them to the Muslim religion with his threatening wooden sword. His grave is believed to be in this area, and it was a popular gathering spot for those who wanted their wishes fulfilled. These stories are widely explained in detail in books written by Idris Bitlisi and Lutfu Pasha.

People in old days believed that the hot springs coming from the ground had some kind of healing effect on humans. In the Christian sacred book of “Acta Sanctrum” it is mentioned that there were three sisters living around the hills of Thermal Bath’s, named Menedora, Metrodora and Nympyhadora. The sisters introduced the healing effects of hot springs to the desperate patients seeking an alternative treatment. Thus, they were recognised as “Healers” in the region.

They also influenced many non-Christians to convert to Christianity. The Byzantine Emperor Galerius Maximianu  (AC. 305-311) who did not believe in Christianity heard of the sisters’ growing popularity in the region. Disliking their missionary work of spreading the Christianity, he warned them and at same time, ordered them to stop that activity immediately. Despite the warnings and orders the three sisters continued on their missionary work, until they were all executed by the local administrator who followed the order given by the Emperor. Some historians still believe that the three sisters’ grave become very popular such a pilgrimage place, especially, for those new converted Christians(6).

The Byzantine Emperor Constantine’s (AC. 312-337), by constitutionally accepting the Christianity as a main religion, contributed to increasing the importance and popularity of this establishment known as Thermal Springs. He visited the place frequently to heal his skin and stomach diseases.

The Byzantine Emperor Justinianus (AC. 527-565) renovated the Arhangelos Church which was also used as Patient Hotel. Additionally, he built a new palace and bath near the main hot water source.

Radioactive hot water increases blood circulation and consequently physical strength. Inner consumption dilutes the blood in the stomach or in the capillary veins so the blood can be carried further out to tissues, providing a richer oxygen consistency. Radioactivity stimulates the so-called lazy cells, thus increasing their energy capability. Hot spring mineral water taken internally rids the body of toxins.

The following diseases and disoders can be relieved with the help of hot spring water:

  • Rheumatic diseases: osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosis and soft tissue rheumatism (fibrositis, tendinitis, etc.).
  • Digestive symptoms, liver-and stomach-related disorders.
  • Metabolic diseases, obesity, gut.
  • Kidney or urinal diseases
  • Skin diseases
  • Rehabilitative period after orthopedic operations.
  • Psychological and mental disorders.
  • Gynecological and disfunctional female diseases

Hot spring water cures are not advised for the following:

  • All patients with hemorrhages.
  • Patients with serious heart diseases
  • Tuberculosis patients.
  • Former heart attack patients.
  • High-fevered or acutely infected patients.
  • Patients who have recently undergone operations.
  • Women in early or late pregnancy periods.
  • Patients with liver inflammation or jaundice.
  • Women during menstruation.
  • Potential epilepsy candidates.
  • High-fevered rheumatism patients.


The results of water analysis done by the Chemistry Department of Istanbul University are as follows:

Water taken from                                       Main source

Tempature                                                 66.2 °C

Air tempature at the source                                  11 °C

Color                                                         Non-colored

Smell                                                         Hydrogen sulphur

Taste                                                          Sweet

Appearance                                                Clear

Density (4°C)                                                      1.001306

Resistivity (18°C)                                      5609

Conductivity (18°C)                                            0.173-10 I

PH                                                             7-8

Dry remnants of  water                               1.4484

Residual Sulphur                                       1.5224

The amount of ions in 1 liter of water are listed below:

Potassium             K+              0.0640

Sodium                Na+            0.2314

Ammonia             NH+           0.0001

Calcium               Ca++          0.1860

Iron                      Fe++           0.0003

Manganese           Mn++                  0.0002

Aluminum           Al+++                  0.0000

Radium                Ra++          2.5-10-12

Sulphuric             SO4-           0.7993

Nitric                    NO3-          0.0000

Nitricdioxide                 NO2-          0.0000

Chlorine               Cl-              0.0902

Iodine                            I-                0.0000

Carbonic              HCO3-                 0.4447

Phosphoric           PHO4-                 0.0000

Arsenic                 AsHO4-      0.0000

Other gaseous compounds are:

Silica                    SiO             0.0504

Carbon dioxide    CO2           0.0005

Boric oxide          BO            

Total minerals                                   1.4577                


An Article of Prof.Dr.Besim Ömer Akalın on Yalova  Thermal Baths

                                     And Comments

The article entitled“Yalova Hot Spring” included in the second volume, published in 1900, of Nevsali Afiyet, a four-volume work written by Prof. Dr. Besim Ömer Akalın (1863-1940), who helped to develop modern obstetrics in Turkey,provides detailed information about this matter. “Yalova Hot Spring”, more correctly known as “Mountain Bath” is located on the coast of the Marmara Sea, near to the Gulf of Izmit, one and a half hours away from the district of “Yalova”, in the mountain range of “Samanlı”, in the “Bath Water” valley, at the altitude of one hundred and twenty meters, to the north of “Kurbiler” village and to the south of “Laz köyü” village(7).

In order to go to the hot spring, commonly called “Yalova Kuru” because of being located near to “Kuru” village, one must pass the Sea of Marmara via Adalar and Pendik –it takes two or two and a half hours by ship – and then pass over the south-east of the Marmara Sea via the disctrict of Yalova. Today, thanks to the very good highway, journey in a Landau is very pleasant and very easy.

 Although the hot spring is six kilometers away from Yalova, the best road is the Yalova road with elderberry for spring carts and horse carts. Hence it is possible to see Yalova hot springs from a distance. After making a good way from the district of Yalova and reaching the slopy part of the road, signboards start to be seen on the hills overlooking the hot spring”.

Later, Dr. Besim Ömer provides broad information about the bath: “Since the valley where the bath is located is between two mountain ranges and open only to the east, it lies leewardly against the winds and the temperature is at a certain level in almost every season; but according to the opinion of the physicians assigned to the bath, the best season for use is the months of June, July and August. Because of the mild wind regularly blowing from the small streams around which are hot spring waters and the sea in the valley located among the elms, oaks, myrtles, hazelnut and some sea calisi covering both faces of the mountain, the hot spring is cool even in the hottest times of the summer.

Although it often rains in the hot springs, it evaporates just after the rise of the sun. Even if there appears fog after such rain following the rise of the sun and it does not continue so long, it affects the body badly(8,9). The small creek in the middle of the valley and a small forest extending a few kilometers on both sides of it, small meadows extending along its nice roads, even wild but very bright flowers around the roads, hibiscus and elderberry are really beautiful. In this small forest, the shrieks of birds give people good rest. In fact, one finds peace and quiet in Yalova. One needs to have a rest after getting tired. In this respect, people get satisfied with Yalova, get benefited from it. Inhaling the fresh air into our lungs is good for our health. The Yalova Baths gives health. They strengthen the mind.”(10)


In his article, Dr. Besim Ömer Akalın provides some information about the historical development of Yalova Hot Springs(11,12):

“Many inscriptions made of marble were found in the Mountain Bath.  There is a picture of Asclepios and those of three fairies dancing below it. Hence, it is stated that patients will recover with Asclepios's advice. Its previous name was Pythia (pitupulis, pilipitya) and the place where the hot spring is located was known as Epe sipsi (Pelepitya) in the Byzantine period.

After the foundation of the center of the empire in Byzantium upon the order of Constantine the Great, it took the name of Pythia (Sebopolis). The name of Karamürsel was (Derepenon). It was given the name of (Heleponis) to the dedication of Konstantin's mother. It is mentioned in the history that when the empress Helen suffered from rheumatism, she was sent with a cart to this hot spring having very much effect, two-hours away from Istanbul, famous for its grace, surrounded by small hills and located in a rather poetical valley.

Besim Ömer Akalın Pasha gives the following information about the general view of Yalova Mountain Baths in the early 1900s: The general view of “Yalova Mountain Baths: 1-Valide Bath 2-Despot Bath 3-Twenty rooms, a living-room and downstairs an apartment with a private bath open to public. 4- Chalet.  5- A hotel with numerous rooms. 6- Roman baths. 7- An apartment with ten private baths 8- A pavilion including four private houses 9- Telegraph Office.10- An apartment with six rooms open to public. 11- A bath with five basins.


Moreover, in the Mountain Baths, an old bath whose construction on the fifteen-centuries-old ancient bath left from the Roman times was completed.

In the meantime, one of the eleventh century AD state chroniclers (Zonaras) visiting (Suturupolis) hot springs reports, "Today Constantine moved to the city named Pythia together with the navy to enter the bath before joining a battle against Persians.”  It is known that in 529 AD, the wife of Justinien the First (Teodora) went to this vicinity in company with four thousand people.  However, although Yalova Baths were destroyed in the ninth-tenth centuries due to pitched battles, the people inhabiting in the villages took refuge in the islands. Locals and then female saints living before in Yalova left Yalova(5).

Today we find these female saints as children's baths guardians in Armutlu (Ayos). Again, it is known that "Yalı Ova" and "Yalak Abâd" were conquered in the periods of Sultan Osman and Sultan Orhan. In the meantime, after the death of Sultan Mahmud, in the time of Sultan Abdülmecid, when Valide Sultan got ill and needed to take a bath, upon the physician's recommendation, a pavilion was constructed for her accommodation there. Valide Sultan graced the baths with her presence. The last fame of Yalova starts with Valide Sultan’s coming here."

Besim Ömer Paşa reports that in the late 19th century Yalova Mountain Baths were composed of a Mountain Seat named Despot Hamamı having four rooms and three bathrooms, a pool with four rooms named Valide Bath and another apartment with five bathrooms and a hotel with numerous rooms and a third bath with five basins and a bathroom belonging to the villagers and these were damaged in time and used as a mineral water source and only th local benefited from it. 

Again, with suggestions of a board of health established by Mavroyani Pasha, Zoeros Pasha (1842-1917) and Faik Pasha, Mr Mortiman, Arif Pasha and some other health specialists, an apartment with twenty rooms, a living room, and downstairs an apartment with perfect nine private bathrooms and also two pavilions of four rooms with private bathrooms were built and they recommended to drink the mineral water before it lost gases which it contained and hence it would be good for many chronic diseases.

In the meantime, Akalın Pasha also gives information about the structure of Yalova Mountain Baths: "A pavilion for the dynasty and another apartment with six rooms for people was constructed. This year, the old ruined Roman baths were reopened on the 29th of September after working for two years. The plan of this rebuilt bath is given below:


1) Very hot place and a bathroom next to it

2) Treatment house- Dry Pool

3) Cesime-i Havuz (pool)

4- 5) Bathroom

6- 7) Bathroom

8) A private room for resting

9) Otolaryngology treatment house

10) Bathroom

11) Hydrotherapy apartment

12) Resting-Room

13) Cabinet

14) A private room for resting

15) Cabins

 In the meantime, to the right of it were two and in the corridor to the left were five water closets. This corridor leads to an apartment with a big pool. This marble pool was built with care and there are courses built around it and it leads to the bathrooms. Again, a door leads to the treatment house with a bathroom on both sides and a shallow pool upstairs. Later, from the other side of the bath, you enter a very hot place (halvet) generating very high temperature.

Here there is a bathroom and a shower and some illnesses are cured through sweating and there are marble sofas. Again on the right of the pool is a treatment house built especially for curing otolaryngological diseases and with perfect cells built to generate very thin water and vapor and beyond this is a resting room with a shower inside and a marble sofa.

In the place where you pass from the treatment house to the resting room was established a hydrotherapy apartment with latest system shower bathrooms. The taps of each of these were installed in a way to use hot and cold water separately and by mixing when desired. The floors of the bath and bathrooms and pools were made of Italian marble. On top of the building are seven lead-covered arches and domes and inside it are opening and closing ventilation holes to get fresh air in."

Again, according to Dr. Besim Ömer, the water of Yalova Mountain Baths was analyzed and reported byFrancesco Della Suda  (Faik Paşa) (1814-1866) and Mr Friedman. Although the mineral water going to the baths came from many places in that period, only three of these sources are very old. One of these flowed to the creek because the source was ruined and another was opened for analysis. In this case, only one spring water is carried to the baths through a stone channel. This delivery route was repaired and it was prevented from mixing with rain water. However, some parts of the channel were cracked. When you enter a cave along this road, it is seen that hot water flows. The cave is very hot and sick dogs get burned here due to very high temperature and some snakes with no poison crawl around. Again, some people hang pieces of cloth for chance on the branches of trees around. The valley has a very nice view in the morning and evening and you smell scent of sulphur everywhere. In the meantime, a pavilion was built on the spring waters. Those who come here pull water with a small bucket attached on a stick directly from the springing water and fill their goblets and drink it slowly on the sofas around.

The water cools by flowing through snake-wise pipes in a stone container in the middle of which is cold water. Moreover, there are two famous spring waters known by villagers and used especially in the treatment of Autumn diseases and beyond it in the valley is another spring water. The water in the spring is clear and colorless and so is the spring. But bubbles here and there stir the sand layer.

Although the water does not taste pleasant, it is not bad at all. When it is drunk early in the morning or late in the evening, it gives a mild dryness and a burn in the throat, which results from the gases existing in its compound. The hot water drunk like tea gives a mild odor of sulphur. According to the report given as a result of the analysis, the Yalova Hot Springs include the following minerals:

Besim Ömer Akalın also reports that Yalova Mountain Baths are superior to some of those in  Austria, Hungary, Poland and France. These words of Besim Ömer’s are very important, too: "The curing effect of a hot spring does not only come from substances which it contains. There is also another effect which science has not discovered yet." Again, the same author reports that waters of Yalova Hot Springs remain unchanged in almost every season, that is, sixty degrees.

It is known that with the little amount of sulphur it contains it will have an effect similar to that of the hot springs with sulphur and since its waters contain many kinds of gases such as nitrogen and mixes with other substances, it is used in the treatment of some lung diseases.

In using mineral and hot spring waters in treatment, the nature of waters, chemical composition, temperature degree and the way of using are important. Such methods as drinking, bathing, showering and inhaling of gases are used in treatment. Among the points to consider in using a hot spring are important the location and altitude of the hot spring and climate. In the meantime, the most important of all are the degree of water and its mineral content.

 The odor and special taste of the Yalova waters are eye-catching. The temperature of waters depends on depth. That's to say, since the temperature increases by 3 degrees celcius in 100 meters, the temperature of the Yalova waters coming from a depth of 1980 meters is 60 degrees celcius. Yalova waters are a hot spring, that is, a volcano.

Dr. Besim Ömer mentions about the ways of using these waters like this: "In hot springs, one benefits from the waters in different ways. The water is used in the form of bathing, showering and drinking. Even sometimes emitted gases are inhaled. Drinking of waters is a way of treatment and it should be drunk as soon as it springs out of the source. Stomach can stand cold mineral waters more easily. The amount of water to be drunk changes depending on person, illness and staying duration.

Since some people come to the hot spring for a limited period of time, they take a bath once, even three times a day and drink as much as possible always with glasses in their hands. These practices may sometimes cause a person to lose strength. Some people may have kidney diseases, hemorrhoid, etc. For drinking water, small bowls should be used. It is recommended that the water should be drunk with empty stomach in the early morning and before dinner in the evening.

If a person cannot drink the hot water with empty stomach, a cup of coffee should be drunk with a piece of bread crust. The coffee should be without milk because it may cause indigestion. If stomach is full of water, nothing should be eaten. Since stomach juice becomes very juicy, indigestion can be observed. It should be started with little amounts of water and it should be increased gradually."

The author also dwells upon the ways of bathing. The effect of a bath changes based on the temperature and chemical structure of water, the resting and movement habits of the patient and the illness. Bath is usually taken in cold, warm or hot. In Yalova, apart from cabinets with private bathrooms, there are also pools allowing for a few people to take a bath together. These pools are big enough to move and swim. Benefit of big pools is more than that of little bathrooms because a bath can be taken at the same degree. The water is changed after each bathing. However, hygiene is very important here.

Again it is also dwelled upon the showers and some principles should be taken into consideration in relation to taking a bath: 1- Composition of water  2- Degree of temperature 3- Pressure of water (slow, moderate, fast flowrate) 4- Direction water (rambling, vertical, from below or above or side) 5- Shape of water (fountain-like, spurting, rain-like, circular, broken, etc.) 6- Surface, Location (Public or local).

In the shower, whose duration is much shorter than that of a bath, water can never be absorbed by the skin. Although a shower lasts shorter than a bath, it has more effect on the organs. If a shower is taken in company with massage like in some hot springs in Europe, it is more beneficial and good for psychological diseases, blood circulation and respiration.

In some hot springs, the places filled with vapor and reserved for sweating are called 'buguluk'. In such places, a lot of attention should be paid. Through sweating: 1- Harmful substances are removed from the body. 2- Good for nervous system. Moreover, waters containing hamızı kibriti mâ and hamızı carbon nitrogen, etc. are beneficial for health: 1- A local treatment is achieved. 2- Cold gases are good for common cold. This feature also exists in European hot springs and there are special places to inhale these gases.

Besim Ömer Pasha mentions about using features of Yalova Hot Springs like this: "Waters contain sulphur, having electrical properties and are hot. They are abundant in amount. In their reports about this subject, Colonel Zoeros Pasha, Internal Medicine Professor of Tıbbiye-i Şahane (School of Medicine) and Dr.Istekolis state that the Yalova Waters can be drunk and used for bathing.

Bathing is the most effective way of use. It is good for chronic rheumatism. Internal use of the waters, that is drinking, is good for cold in the respiratory track. The Yalova Waters are good for gout, sand and stones in kidneys, chronic liver, gastro-intestinal diseases. It is used in skin diseases."

The author reports that Yalova Hot Springs are used for rheumatism, diabetes, bladder diseases ,  chronic lung diseases, nervousness, arthritis, skin diseases but it should be based upon the physician's permission. Information should be obtained from the physician about the temperature of water and bathing number and times.

Those who come to the hot spring should have a rest for one or two days, take a bath of 37 degrees once a day and not more than fifteen minutes, have a rest for a while before going to sleep and then move take a total of twenty baths in three weeks . In the meantime, body and feet should be kept warm, woolen clothes, vested shoes should be carried and coffee and tea should not be drunk.

In the meantime, a telegraph office was opened  for communication and the island boats run to Yalova every day for transport. From Yalova to the Baths, landaus and phaetons carry passengers continuously on the well-constructed highroad. Starting from the bridge, it takes 5-6 hours to arrive in the baths. Since the highroad passes through uninhabited places, cavalry and infantry outposts were built. Yalova Mountain Baths can be used from spring to autumn.

Today, the information which Besim Ömer Pasha provided about Yalova Hot Springs is still true.


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