Çanakkale

The city of Çanakkale is located on the south side of the Dardenelles. Steeped in legend and myth this region of Turkey has seen the Greeks and the Romans come and go. The strategic importance of the straights of the Dardenelles have seen Sultans and Royalty, battles and bloodshed, settlers and traders all passing through its waters. This famous region of Turkey is best known for the Trojan War and the city of Troy and the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I.

Today, Çanakkale, with it’s windy climate, plays host to a number of foreign tourists interested in wind surfing and visiting the war graves and battlefields. Tourism in the area is heavily bolstered by locals from Istanbul and Izmir.

Troy, or Truva in Turkish, was the centre of civilization in its prime. It used to be a sea port but the land has silted over and it now lies inland near Hisarlik. What should be a fine example of an ancient historical site will be of great disappointment to visitors because sadly what is left is the result of the destruction of the site by Heinrich Schliemann, a famous German archaeologist who basically plundered the site  between 1870 – 1890 and took away its treasures.

Pretty much all there is to see in Troy is a replica wooden horse and some stones scattered around. Of all the fine historical treasures that Turkey has to offer, it has to said that Troy is not very prominent in the league tables.

Leaving Troy and travelling south you will see signs to Bozcaada or the island of Bozca. Not far from here is the ancient city of Alexandreia Troas. Most of the traffic leaving Çanakkale goes directly through Ezine and on to Ayvacik on route to Izmir but they are missing out on one of the most forgotten and unspoiled areas of Turkish coastline.

Those who branch off from Ezine to Geyikli now have the chance to explore the pretty island of Bozcaada or take the coast road south passing through small villages and spectacular coastline with its varied countryside and natural rock formations, against a backdrop of mountains and hills.

Between Geyikli and Assos you are within easy reach of Ezine and the numerous inexpensive restaurants and guest houses of the beautiful coastline. Get off the beaten track and turn inland once in a while and visit some of the little villages like Pinarbasi, Kemalli or Tavakli. Here you will experience the hospitality of the local people and it is here that you will find tranquillity and a slow pace of life that is enviable to many city dwellers.

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Kemallı Village

During the declining period of the Selcuk era, Karasi Bey, one of the officials of the Selcuk army, set up a residential area here in 1350. The leader of the first inhabitants was Kemal Bey who brought 300 settlers to the village. There is a mosque dating from 1382 and a Turkish bath here in Kemalli. The buildings are good examples of early Ottoman architecture. The village is named after its founder Kemal Bey.

Canakkale is 55 km away and Ezine is 10km away. The main economy of the village is agriculture and farming. The current head of the village ( Muhtar ) is Ziya Erkol. The village benefits from a primary school, mains water and sewage and a Post Office ( PTT ) agency. There is a tarmac road servicing the village and established electric and telephone supply.

 

Geyikli

Geyikli is one of the administrative towns of the Ezine District in Canakkale. The most important feature of the town is its port which provides a ferry service to the island of Bozcaada. This service used to be provided through Odunluk Iskelesi but is now serviced through Yukyeri Iskelesi.

There are lots of summer houses or holiday homes around the shores of Geyikli. The sea is very clean but there are no important large scale tourist facilities in the area. Opposite Bozcaada on the mainland the seashore is famous for its association with Achilleus, and his soldiers, who landed here for the invasion of Troy. Olive and pine trees grow here. Part of the film ‘Eyvah Eyvah’ was produced here in 2010

 

 

Troas Beach Hotel

The Troas Beach Hotel has to be one of the nicest places to stay along this coastline. We recently bought a house in Tavakli village which needed renovation and since this hotel is right on the beach in Tavakli Iskelesi it was one of the most convenient locations we could have chosen.

The beach is very clean and the crystal clear waters of the Aegean are the first thing you see when you turn up for breakfast in the morning. Above is an actual view of the beach from the restaurant which consists of a well designed terrace on stilts surrounded by a beautiful and well kept hotel garden.

Half board at this hotel is about as good as it gets anywhere. Having stayed at numerous good quality hotels around the world this simple and yet tasteful establishment could give many of them a run for their money.

The photos here were taken at the end of August at a time when most places in Turkey would be pretty scorched and the grass would be brown and dried up. However, the abundance of water in this region, the skills of a good gardener and a clear desire on the part of the hotel to create the perfect environment have all paid off to make any stay here a very pleasant one.

Despite its location right on the beach the hotel still has its own pool which is meticulously maintained and which always looks so clean and inviting. A games / television room adjacent to the pool provides a place to chill out and relax if you need to go indoors.

This hotel has an appeal that will suit families, couples or single occupancy visitors. It is in an enviable location for those on honeymoon, for people who want to explore this beautiful region of Turkey or just a great place to chill out for those escaping the big cities.

The rooms here are modern, light and spacious. The bathrooms are tastefully decorated and the rooms have balconies and air conditioning.

The light and airy atmosphere and simple modern furnishings add to the ambience of the surroundings.

This hotel scores highly in so many ways. The food both at breakfast and in the evenings is buffet style but varied so that over a period of a week you still find it interesting enough to enjoy it as much as the first day you arrived.

However, what really makes this hotel special is the staff. The chambermaids smile, the waiters and assistants run around constantly trying their best to make their customers feel special and the level of service is actually better than what you would receive at many 4 or 5 star hotels.

Would we recommend the Troas Beach Hotel? You bet we would. You will search high and low to find accommodation as good as this and at such a reasonable price for what is on offer.

This is what the Troas Beach Hotel have to say about themselves on their website;

Troas Beach Hotel is located by the sea in Tavakli Iskelesi of Canakkale. We have 37 standard and 3 suit rooms. Once upon a time, the biggest ancient city of Anatolia, Alexandreia Troas is situated 7 km from our hotel. All of the rooms have sea view and designed to meet all your needs .

Website: http://www.troasbeach.com/HTML-ENGLISH/genel.html

Olive Oil Production

Olive oil is produced in the Aegean region and commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, soaps and pharmaceuticals. All over the Mediterranean you can see olive groves and whilst it is not clear where olive trees were first domesticated it is common knowledge that the wild olive tree originated from Turkey.

Olive trees can live for over a thousand years. They are hardy evergreens and a mature olive tree of about 3 to 4 metres in height can produce up to 40kg per year. It will produce good olives for at least 100 years.

There are many varieties of olive tree and olives start off green and turn black when they ripen. Harvest time determines the colour of the olive.

In Tavakli village ( Tavakli koyu ) there are four olive production factories. This is an important commodity for this region of Turkey and Ezine District produces some of the finest olives and olive oil in the country.


Alexandria Troas

Alexandria Troas is about 13km from Tavakli in Dalyan Village. This is the site of an ancient Greek city, situated on the Aegean Sea. It was founded in 306 BC by Antigoneia Monophthalmus, a commander serving under Alexander the Great. Although the original name was Antigonia it was re-named Alexandria Troas by Lysimachus.

Alexandria Troas is in the Ezine district in the province of Canakkale. It is very close to Troy, the town that was believed by many to have been the mother-city of Rome.

In its prime, granite columns were sent to Rome and other cities of the Roman Empire and this was one of the largest Greek cities ever to be established in Anatolia. It was one of the main ports of the region and at the height of its glory it may have had a population as high as 100,000.

Constantine had even considered making Troas the capital of the Roman Empire before deciding on Byzantium, later re-named Constantinople, modern day Turkey’s Istanbul.

During Roman times this port was visited by Paul of Tarsus and Ignatius of Antioch. Over years the importance of the city declined. Sometime during the Byzantine period the city was either destroyed or abandoned.

The Ottoman period saw Karasi Turkmens settling in the region during the 14th century. The ruins were known to locals as Eski Stambul ( Old City ) and much of the stones were re-used for building works elsewhere. It is well known that Mehmed IV took columns from this site for his Yeni Valide Mosque in Istanbul. During the 18th century the site became a hideout for bandits.

In more modern times the site became overgrown and covered in trees and grassland. Much of the stone has been removed. Some parts have been found in better order than others and the bath and gymnasium complex is known locally as the Bal Saray ( Honey Palace ). Excavations are taking place at the site.

Visitors can see the remains of several large structures such as the palace, temple, theatre and baths and more recently a stadium which has been uncovered. The site extends over an area of some 400 hectares ( 1,000 acres ).

Open: 08:00 to 17:00 all year round

Ezine Town

Ezine is the largest town near Tavakli and is approx 22 km away. It has a population of around 17,500 an is 39 metres ( 128 ft ) above sea level. Ezine is very famous for its white cheese which is made with cow or lambs milk and which is referred to locally as Ezine Peyniri.

Definately worth visiting are the Ottoman mosques, Abdurrahman or Sefer Sah Mosque. The 14th century hermit Ahi Yunus is buried nearby. The mosques were constructed using stone and building materials from the ancient ruins of Neandreia, upon which Ezine is built.

Ezine has everything that a good sized town can provide. It is therefore one of the main areas for shopping in this region. It also benefits from the main highway passing from Canakkale to Izmir.

About Ezine as a District

Ezine is not just a town but a district. This district is an administrative district ( 2nd level administrative division ) in Turkey. It is in the province of Çanakkale. This is a region very much unspoiled by mass tourism. There are no ugly high-rise concrete buildings along this coastline. The temperature is more moderate and less stifling than the south coast and the waters of the Aegean are clean and sparkling and a treat to swim in.