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Ayvalik Travel Guide: 108 reviews and 463 photos

AYVALIK

Ayvalık (Greek: Αϊβαλί Aivali or Κυδωνίες) is a seaside town on the northwestern Aegean coast of Turkey. It is a district of the Balıkesir Province.
It was alternatively called (Κυδωνίες - Kidonies) by the town's formerly indigenous Greek population, although the use of the name Ayvalık was widespread for centuries among both the Turks and the Greeks (pronounced as Ayvali by the latter).
Its really one of the most important city of the Aegean city.
The city is facing the Greek island of Lesbos. It is situated on a narrow coastal plain surrounded by low hills to the east which are covered with pine and olive trees. Ayvalık is also surrounded by the archipelago of the Ayvalık Islands on the sea and by a narrow peninsula in the south named the Hakkıbey Peninsula. Ayvalık is the southernmost district of Balıkesir. Gömeç, Burhaniye and Edremit are other important districts of the Balıkesir Province which are situated on the Aegean shores and they are lined up respectively to the north.

Little History

Many archeological studies in the region prove that Ayvalık and its environs were inhabited as early as the prehistoric ages. Joseph Thacher Clarke believed that he had identified it as the site of Kisthene, mentioned by Strabo ( Famous History writer ) as a place in ruins at a harbour beyond Cape Pyrrha Kisthene was further identified by Prof. Dr. Engin Beksac, as Kiz Ciftlik, near the centre of Gomeç.
However, some settlements near the centre of Altınova were related to the Prehistoric Period, especially the Bronze and Iron Ages. Kortukaya, identified by Prof. Dr. Beksac, in his survey project in the 1990s and early 2000s, aids understanding of the interaction between the peoples of the interior and of the coast.
Some Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Pottery fragments related to the Aeolians were found on the same island. Two tiny settlements, near the centre of Ayvalık were settlements in the Peraia of Mytillini.
Pordoselene, near the centre of Ayvalık, was also an important settlement ın Antiquity. The remnants, were on the eastern part of the Island of Cunda (or Alibey) near the sea. All the archaeological data was related to the Classical and Medieval Ages.
The constant threat posed by piracy in the region during the previous ages did not allow the islet settlements to grow larger and only Cunda Island (alternatively known as Alibey Island, known among the Greeks as Moschonisia, literally "The Perfumed Island") could maintain a higher level of habitation as it is the largest and the closest islet to the mainland.
After the Byzantine period, the region came under the rule of the Anatolian beylik of Karesi in the 13th century and was later annexed to the territory of the Ottoman beylik (principality), which was to become the Ottoman Empire in the following centuries.
Seafront with old Greek houses in AyvalıkUntil 1922, Ayvalık had a large Greek population.
The town was occupied by the Greek Army on 29 May 1919 and the Greek population was ethnically cleansed three years later by Turkish forces under the command of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on 15 September 1922. Following the Turkish War of Independence, The Greek population and their properties in the town were confiscated and replaced by a Muslim population from Greece and other formerly held Ottoman Turk lands under the 1923 agreement for the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations. Most of the new population that replaced the former Greek community were Muslim Turks from Mytilene, Crete and Greek Macedonia. One could still hear Greek spoken in the streets till recently. Many of the town's mosques are Greek Orthodox churches that have been converted into Muslim mosques

Olive Oil

Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive (Olea europaea; family Oleaceae), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is used throughout the world, but especially in the Mediterranean countries such as Turkey,Croatia, Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and Spain.
Ayvalik is considered the Mecca of Turkish Olive Oil.

  • Intro Updated Sep 29, 2010
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Reviews (24)

Comments (2)

  • muratkorman's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2010 at 7:53 AM

    Macit Bey elinize saðlýk. Sayenizde bir sonraki yaz tatilimiz için bir alternatifimiz oldu.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    Thank you Macir for bringing back sweet memories about this Ayvalik. Unfortunately I didn't see places you discribed on your page because my visit there was very short...

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