Çanakkale

Photo of Kilitbahir Castle by Omulazimoglu

The province of Canakkale does not benefit from the high volume of tourists found in other regions of Turkey. This is the real turkey –hospitable, unexplored and untainted for the most part by mass tourism.

A part of me wants to keep this quiet and not tell anyone how beautiful and natural this region is. The stifling hot July and August temperatures of the south coast are instead the breezy and temperate summer winds of the Aegean.

The olive groves and orchards provide a distinctly green countryside even in the height of the summer season. Water is generally in no short supply here with underground springs and a good natural supply from the nearby mountain ranges.

For me this is the place to get away from it all. Forget your troubles, the stresses of every day life and the hustle and bustle of city life. Lose yourself in the sparkling clear waters of the Aegean sea. Relax under the sun and take in the magnificent views this province has to offer.

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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Bozcaada

The impressive castle on Bozcaada

Bozcaada is accessed by ferryboat from Geyikli. It is a popular local tourist destination for Turkish holidaymakers from Istanbul and Izmir.

With a population of just 2,354 it used to be a predominantly Greek island until 1924 when an exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey turned this into the Turkish island that it is today.

Fishing and tourism are the main incomes of the island with local grapes producing some half decent local wine. A wind farm produces all the electricity needed for the island with any excess power being transferred to the Turkish mainland.

Main attractions on the island are the castle which is located right by the sea and which dates back to Byzantine times. It is in exceptionally good condition and well worth a visit.  Wandering around the cobbled streets gives you a feel for the distinctive architecture of the island homes and two main beaches are of a good size with excellent nearby facilities.

The waters of the Ayazma beach can be freezing cold even in the height of summer. This is due to freshwater discharges being released from under the seabed.


Pınarbaşı

Pinarbasi is a village in the Ezine district.

The name of the village is derived from the fact that there are underground springs. There are at least 40 of these in and around the village. The Menderes River passes through the east of the village.

Due to the plentiful supply of water, it is assumed that the first inhabitants of Troy settled around here. There is no clear evidence of this, however, on the east side of the village there is a hillside called Ballik Tepesi where some ancient historical objects have been found although not determined by date to any specific era.

There is a primary school in the village. Every year the village gathers for its ‘Koy Hayiri’ when all of the villagers prepare cooked rice, keskek and regional dishes to their guests.

The village is 32 km from Canakkale and 20 km from Ezine. The population of Pinarbasi according to the 2000 census is 1233 residents.

The economy of the village is based on agriculture and livestock farming. The village head ( Muhtar ) is Salih İlhan Özkan.

The village benefits from a primary school and water and mains sewage supplies. There is a Post Office ( PTT ) agency in the village and a health clinic. The village is serviced by a tarmac road and electricity and telephone services.

Source: http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%B1narba%C5%9F%C4%B1,_Ezine

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Kumburun

Kumburun

Kumburun is a village in the district of Ezine with a population count of 593 based on the year 2000 census records. The name of the village is derived from the nose shaped peninsular under the sea on the coastline.

The village is 66 km from Canakkale and 21 km from Ezine.

The village economy is based on agriculture and livestock farming. The current head of the village ( Muhtar ) is Mehmet Sert.

The village benefits from a primary school but has no mains sewage. There is no post office but there is a health clinic. The village is serviced by a tarmac road and electric, water and telefon utilities are connected.

Source: http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumburun,_Ezine

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Kemallı

Kemalli, Ezine

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.

Source: http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemall%C4%B1,_Ezine

[sgmap w=”500″ h=”500″ z=”11″ addr=”Kemalli,Canakkale”]

Geyikli

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

Source: http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geyikli,_Ezine

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Bahçeli

Bahçeli, Ezine

According to the 2000 census the population of the village is 511. residents. The legend and history of the village is as follows;

The area surrounding the village used to be used by the villagers of Bozeli village for growing water melons and other vegetables and fruits. Only the land was used with no inhabitants or village of any type. A river exists between Bozeli village and the growing area. With successive heavy rains the land became inaccessible. The villagers using the land started to build homes where they were growing vegetables and gradually a village developed in its own right.

The name Bahceli means ‘with garden’. The residents of the village were originally Romanian immigrants and nomadic (yörük) Turks. There is a hill in the east of the village which was  occupied by Greek soldiers during the troubles and which was also used as a textile trading post.

There is no long established custom peculiar of this village. However, in recent years in the month of May, the villagers gather together from the surrounding villages in an activity called köy hayrı where they cook traditional meals like keskek, rice and ayran drink.

The village is situated 60 km from Canakkale and 14 km from Ezine. Ayvacik is only 8km away making it closer to the Ayvacik regional administration and yet it falls under the governance of Ezine District.

The main economy of the village is livestock farming and agriculture. In the 2009 election the appointed head of the village ( Muhtar ) is Ali Osman Özer.

There is an unused primary school in the village and children attend school in a nearby village. The education level is quite high among the villagers. There is a water supply but no mains sewage. The village has a Post Office ( PTT ) agency, a tarmac road, electricity and telephone lines.

Source: http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A7eli,_Ezine

[sgmap w=”500″ h=”500″ z=”11″ addr=”Bahceli,Canakkale”]

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