The word "cement" is derived from the Latin word “caementum”, which means hewn stone piece, and started to be used in the meaning of “binder”. Date of the first reinforced concrete structure is 1852 but use of binding materials in the construction of the structures dates back to old times; the first materials to have been used as a binding agent is lime. 

Even though there is no definite finding on the subject, it can be said that the binding characteristic of lime was discovered around B.C. 2000 in the early periods of the history of humanity. Examples of lime used as construction material were found in different regions of the Ancient Egypt, Cyprus, Crete and Mesopotamia. Ancient Greeks and Romans used lime as hydraulic binder. Architect – Engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, who lived between the years B.C. 70-25, mentioned the hydraulic properties of pozzolana and lime mixtures in his 10 volume book titled “De Architectura (On Architecture) and even gave a mixture ratio for the mortar to be used in the structures to be constructed on the river and sea shores.  Research results revealed that the plaster used in the construction of the houses at Çatalhoyuk in Anatolia dated back to 7000 years ago. 

Ancient Greeks and Romans realized the hydraulic properties of the lime and pozzolana mixtures and used these but they never could have the knowledge to explain either how the lime was obtained or pozzolanic reactions chemically. For example, Pliny (Roman scholar Gaius Plinius) wrote that why the lime obtained by burning the stone with fire was reburnt when contacted with water was incomprehensible. Significant development in the quality and use of binding materials barely occurred in the 18th Century. In 1756, John Smeaton, who was assigned for reconstructing Eddystone Lighthouse, is known as the first person to comprehend the chemical properties of the lime. The development afterwards occurred after binding material known as “Roman Cement” was obtained by Joseph Parker.

In 1824, in the Leeds city of England, a mason named Joseph Aspdin burned the mixture of fine-grained clay and limestone and obtained a binding product by grinding.  Having seen that the material emerging resembled the building stones obtained from Portland Island in England when water and sand was added to this product and it hardened in time, Joseph Aspdin obtained the patent no.5022 under the name of “Portland Cement” for this binder on 21.10.1824. Even though this binder showed great improvements in the years to come, the name “Portland” preserved.

In fact, the binder produced by Joseph Aspdin could not fully own the properties of Portland cement of our day as it was not burned at a sufficiently high temperature during production. Nevertheless, it was found out that the building “Wakefield Arms”, which still stands near Kirkgate Station in England, was constructed with the binder produced by Joseph Aspdin.

Burning the raw materials at high temperatures and grinding was realized by the British Isaac Johnson afterwards (1845).

As for Anatolia, it was seen that pozzolanic active natural materials mixed with magnesia lime were used in mortar in Hittite cities, especially in the ancient cities in Çorum, Tokat and Malatya.

In addition to this, examples such as the use of common lime and basaltic pozzolanic material in the historical ruins of Assyrian period in the Southeastern Anatolia show that cement was used before Romans and Greeks. It is seen that cement and mortar were used in ancient cities of Teos- İzmir, Ephesus- İzmir, Afrodisias- Aydın, Kinidas- Muğla.

Although production and sales of the cement started in 1878, introduction of cement sector in Turkey was in 1912 with the initiative of the private sector. 34-years late start is due to insufficient production of hydraulic lime and the fact that this period coincides with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.


IN 1848.

First German Cement Standard was developed in 1860. Foundation of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and developing the first American Regulations was in 1913. 

As for Turkey, Darıca Factory owned by Aslan Osmanlı Incorporated Company and Eskihisar Factory owned by Eskihisar Portland Cement and Hydraulic Lime Osmanlı Incorporated Company were taken into operation in 1912. 

There were two kilns with a capacity of 100-150 tons/day and 60-70 tons/day, which cannot be deemed constructible with the measurements of today, at these factories, one of which was established as dry system while other was established as wet system. Darıca Factory was constructed by the FLSmidth company while Eskihisar Factory was constructed by a German company.  In addition to hydraulic lime market, cement also received great demand and both factories were expanded after having been commissioned.

In the same years, 60.000 tons of hydraulic lime was produced in our country and its production outnumbered the cement production until 1930-1931.

Factories meeting the cement need of the country were engaged in an unfavorable and wearing competition in the domestic market until 1920, when large amounts were imported. During this period, as there was no state intervention in the cement sector, cement prices dropped substantially. Failing to stand to this wearing competition, these two factories merged under the name of “Aslan and Eskihisar Confederate Cement Factories Inc.” in 1920 and took action together against imported cement.

Reference :


Çelenk A., Peker S., History of Cement and Turkish Cement Sector (Çimentonun Tarihçesi ve Türkiye Çimento Sektörü), H.Ö. Sabancı Holding Cement Group Publication