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Ayvalık was known as Kidonia, which means a kind of wild quince in Antiquity. It is thought that the first settlers in the area may have come from the village of Kydona in Lesvos or from the Kydonies region of Crete. Some opinions are that Ayvalık (Eolya) is a corrupted form. The name Kydonie, which means Ayvalık, has been used since 330 BC.
Ayvalık, with its natural beauties, beaches, historical and cultural places, climate and islands, is one of the regions with high tourism potential. In addition to the natural beauties of the district, the urban texture formed by neo-classical civil architecture examples in Ayvalık center and Alibey Island also enriches the tourism supply. Essentially, the district looks like an open museum. In addition, the ancient cities in the surrounding provinces and districts are of great importance in terms of tourism.

Ayvalık has been an important city in a special geography. It has created a unique spirit with its rich history, unique nature, cultural potential, products with brand value, extraordinary cuisine and civilized people. For this reason, it has always been at the forefront of important touristic and cultural tourism destinations. It still maintains this superiority.


Ayvalık in Ancient Times

In ancient times, the Ayvalık Islands were called Hekatonisa. This name came from Nesos, the largest of the islands, Nesos (Moshonisi, Cunda or Alibey Island), which is said by the same name, or Apollon, also known as Hekatos, the chief god of the ancient city of Nasos. Apart from Nesos, there were ancient settlements of Chalkis, Pordoselene and Kydonia in the Apollon Islands. Although the ancient sources talk a lot about Chalkis, Pordoselen and Nasos, Plinius, who wrote about Kydonia, reported that it had a famous hot water spring that only flows in summer. Of these four ancient cities, Chalkis and Pordoselene disappeared, but Kydonia and Nesos survived as Ayvalık and Cunda (Alibey), respectively.

Ayvalık during the Ottoman Empire

The urban texture gained its form during the Ottoman period. The foundation of today’s Ayvalık coincides with the years 1430-1440. Ayvalık was built on a hill overlooking the harbor at that time. The Ottoman Empire, which pressed the Eastern Roman Empire, established a naval base on Alibey Island. Later, Greeks started to settle in the city and in a short time they exceeded the Turkish population. In Ottoman sources, the name Ayvalık is first encountered in an edict published in 1772. It is thought that this edict was issued by Algerian Hasan Pasha, who later became the grand vizier, who stopped by Ayvalık while returning from a war with the Russian navy in front of Çeşme in 1770. The region has been a region inhabited by non-Muslims since 1789. This situation lasted until the Greek uprising in 1821, and as a result of this uprising, Ayvalık was evacuated and in 1840 it was made a district of Karesi Sanjak. Although the Greeks were allowed to return later, the district could not regain its former vitality. According to the statistics dated 1891 published by Vital Guinet, which was sent by the Ottoman Empire to conduct studies in Anatolia, the city population of 21,666 was 21,486 Greek and 180 Turkish.

In a French yearbook dated 1900-1914, the following information is given about the socio-economic structure of Ayvalık at that time; “It has 30,000 inhabitants. Its post is operated by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It exports olive oil, beeswax, local silk, wine, soap, and imports sugar, coffee, wool, cotton cloth, raw hides. United Kingdom of France, Great Britain and Ireland, Austro-Hungary The empire, the Kingdom of Italy has consulates in the city. At the same time, a general hospital with a pharmacy and a leprosy hospital operate in the district, which has an academy, two hotels.”

Ayvalık during the War of Independence and the Republic of Turkey

The district came under Greek rule on 29 May 1919 with the occupation of İzmir after the First World War. The first bullet in Anatolia after the occupation was fired by the Commander of the 172nd Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Ali Çetinkaya. This occupation lasted until 15 September 1922. In accordance with the Turkey-Greece Population Exchange specified in the Treaty of Lausanne signed on July 24, 1923, Cretan, Macedonian and Midilli Turks were settled in the district. Being affiliated to Burhaniye, Ayvalık became a district on 19 May 1928. The city of Ayvalık, which showed a great example of loyalty to its heroes in the 1st World War, and the people living in it, are remembered not only by street and street names, but also with great honor and pride in their daily lives.

devil’s table

Climate and Geography

Mediterranean climate prevails in the district. Since it is located in the Aegean Region, the winters are warm and rainy, and the summers are hot and dry. There are always mild windy days. The average summer temperature is 24-34°C. In winters; it is warm. Especially in summers, when the whole environment is in scorching heat, the imbat and northerly breeze blowing from the west and north, which usually starts at noon in Ayvalık, cools the district. These winds add strength to the olive tree living in the region and add flavor to its oil. Thanks to this feature of the district, it carries the oxygen of Kaz Mountains, which has the highest oxygen ratio in the world, to the region. In some summers, “breeze” winds blow.

Located in the north of the Aegean Sea coastal region, Ayvalık is a district of Balikesir. The district, which is rich in pine forests and olive groves; It is on the Aegean Sea coast and has archipelagos called Ayvalık Islands. Ayvalık is surrounded by Gömeç in the northeast, Dikili and Bergama districts of İzmir province in the south, and the Aegean Sea in the west. Opposite Ayvalık, the island of Lesbos, which is the center of the geographical region of the North Aegean Islands, is close enough to be seen with the naked eye.

Ayvalık, Sarimsakli-Badavut region, which is a city founded on rock structures belonging to the volcanic periods in terms of geology, has been a source of building materials for the people of the region with ‘Garlic Stone’ to use in their houses and buildings since the first settlement periods. Maden Island, located at the extreme points of Alibey Island facing the Aegean Sea, has been operated as lead ore and mine for years. Today, quality granite stone is mined in the fertile pine nut forests on the Kozak road.

Ayvalik district; It was established on an area of 265 km² in the northern part of the Aegean Sea, geographically included in the Aegean Region and administratively within the borders of the Marmara Region.

In Ayvalık district, the coasts are indented as the mountains extend perpendicular to the sea. Capes and bays were formed along these coasts. The coast of the district to the Aegean Sea is 34 km.

Ayvalık is one of the most important regions that should definitely be preferred for your holiday with its air, sea and nature.


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