—  Town  —
Çeşme is located in Turkey
Location of Çeşme within Turkey.
Coordinates: 38°19′N 26°18′E / 38.317°N 26.3°E / 38.317; 26.3Coordinates: 38°19′N 26°18′E / 38.317°N 26.3°E / 38.317; 26.3
Country  Turkey
Region Aegean
Province İzmir
 - Mayor Faik Tütüncüoğlu Republican People's Party
 - Total 260 km2 (100.4 sq mi)
Elevation 0-5 m (-16 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 - Total 40,700
 - Density 157/km2 (406.6/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 35x xx
Area code(s) 0232
Licence plate 35
Website http://www.cesme-bld.gov.tr

Çeşme [ˈtʃeʃme] is a coastal town and the center-town of the district of the same name in Turkey's western-most end, on a promontory on the tip of the peninsula which also carries the same name and which extends inland to form a whole with the wider Karaburun Peninsula. It is a popular holiday resort and the district center, where two thirds of the district population is concentrated, is located 85 km. west of İzmir, the largest metropolitan center in Turkey's Aegean Region. There is a six-lane highway connecting the two cities. Çeşme district has two neighboring districts, Karaburun to the north and Urla to the east, both of which are also part of İzmir Province. The name "Çeşme" means "fountain" and possibly draws reference from the many Ottoman fountains scattered across the city.



Its name in Classical antiquity was Kysos (Κύσος), Kysus under the Romans, possibly a mere locality at the time. The name Kysos is nevertheless associated with Homer since the king Rhesus of Thrace, ally of the Trojans during the Trojan War and slain together with twelve of his men by Diomedes who had plotted with Odysseus to steal the magnificent horses of the Thracians, had his wife Argantona (sometimes also spelled as Argantone), a mythical beauty and a master of animals like her husband, who inhabited the forests of Kysos.[1]

Turkish sources always cited the town and the region as Çeşme since the first settlement 2 km south of the present-day center (Çeşmeköy) founded by Tzachas and pursued for some time by his brother Yalvaç before an interlude until the 14th century. More recent Greek sources use the name Κρήνη, transliterated; Krī́ni (Modern Greek language) or Krḗnē (Classical Greek). Αlso, Çeşme (Persian: چشمه) in Persian means "source of a river."

The region

A prized location of country houses and secondary residences especially for the well-to-do inhabitants of İzmir since more than a century, Çeşme perked up considerably in recent decades to become one of Turkey's most prominent centers of international tourism. Many hotels, marinas, clubs, restaurants, boutique hotels, family accommodation possibilities (pansiyon) and other facilities for visitors are found in Çeşme center and in its surrounding towns and villages and the countryside, as well as very popular beaches.

Çeşme district has one depending township with own municipal administration, Alaçatı, where tourism is an equally important driving force as the district center area and which offers its own arguments for attracting visitors, as well as four villages: Ildırı on the coast towards the north, which is notable for being the location of ancient Erythrae, and three others which are more in the background, in terms both of their geographical location and renown: Germiyan, Karaköy and Ovacık, where agriculture and livestock breeding still forms the backbone of the economy. Some andesite, lime and marble is also being quarried in Çeşme area, while the share of industrial activities in the economy remains negligible. In terms of livestock, an ovine breed known as "Sakız koyunu" in Turkish (translatable literally as "Chios Sheep"), more probably a crossbreeding between that island's sheep and breeds from Anatolia, is considered in Turkey as native to Çeşme region where it yields the highest levels of productivity in terms of their meat, their milk, their fleece and the number of lambs they produce.[2]

Total nr. of enterprises in Çeşme District [3] 3.399
Commercial active in services 769
Crafts&Trades 1.460
Commercial active in agriculture 750
Agricultural cooperative (in Alaçatı) 400
Industrial 12
Exporters 8

Preparations such as jam, ice cream and desserts, and even sauces for fish preparations, based on the distinctively flavored resin of the tree pistachia lentiscus from which it is harvested, are among nationally known culinary specialties of Çeşme. The adjacent Greek island of Chios (sakız in turkish is the name for both Chios and mastic resin) is the source of mastic resin. Some efforts to produce mastic resin in Çeşme,where ecological conditions are similar, were not continued.[4] A number of efforts are being made to rehabilitate the potential presented by the mastic trees that presently grow in the wilderness, and to increase the number of cultivated trees, especially those planted by secondary-residence owners who grow them as a hobby activity. The fish is also abundant both in variety and quantity along Çeşme district's coastline.

In relation to tourism, it is common for the resorts along Çeşme district's 90 km coastline to be called by the name of their beaches or coves or the visitor's facilities and attractions they offer, as in Şifne (Ilıca), famous both for its thermal baths and beach, and in Çiftlikköy (Çatalazmak), Dalyanköy, Reisdere, Küçükliman, Paşalimanı, Ayayorgi, Kocakarı, Kum, Mavi and Pırlanta beaches; Altunyunus, synonymous with a large hotel located in its cove; and Tursite, by the name of the villas located there. Some of these localities may not be shown on a map of administrative divisions [5] The district area as a whole is one of the spots in Turkey where foreign purchases of real estate are concentrated at the highest levels.

The town of Çeşme lies across a strait facing the Greek island of Chios, which is at a few miles' distance and there are regular ferry connections between the two centers, as well as larger ferries from and to Italy (Brindisi, Ancona and Bari) used extensively by Turks of Germany returning for their summer holidays.

Çeşme panorama

The town

Typical Mediterranean sessional houses in Çeşme

The town itself dominated by Çeşme Castle. While the castle is recorded to have been considerably extended and strengthened during the reign of Ottoman sultan Bayezid II, sources differ as to their citation of the original builders, whether the Genoese or the Turks at an earlier time after the early 15th century capture. A statue of Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha, one of the naval commanders of the Battle of Chesma is in front of the castle and the Pasha is depicted caressing his famous pet lion and facing the town square. The battle itself, although ended in Ottoman defeat, had seen Hasan Pasha pulling out honorably after having sunk the Russian flagship Sv. Evstafii, together with his own ship, after which he had to follow the main battle from the coast before joining the capital by way of land, where he rapidly rose to become a distinguished grand vizier.

A few paces south of the castle, there is an Ottoman caravanserai built in the early centuries of the Ottoman conquest in 1528 by order of Süleyman the Magnificent, and it is now restored and transformed into a boutique hotel. The imposing but redundant 19th century Greek Orthodox church of Ayios Haralambos is used for temporary exhibitions. Along some of the back streets of the town are old Ottoman or Greek houses, as well as Sakız house-type residences of more peculiar lines, for the interest of strollers.

Çeşme Castle, insider's view


Yachts in Çeşme harbor

Ilıca is a large resort area 5 km west of Çeşme to which it depends administratively, although it bears aspects of a township apart in many of its characteristics. It is famed for its thermal springs, which is the very meaning of its name.

Ilıca started out as a distinct settlement towards the end of the 19th century, initially as a retreat for wealthy people, especially from İzmir and during summer holidays. Today, it is a popular destination for many. Mentioned by Pausanias and Charles Texier, Ilıca thermal springs, which extend well into the sea, are also notable in Turkey for having been the subject of the first scientifically based analysis in Turkish language of a thermal spring, published in 1909 by Yusuf Cemal. By his time the thermal springs were well-known both internationally, scientific and journalistic literature having been published in French and in Greek, and across Ottoman lands, since the construction here of a still-standing yalı associated with Muhammad Ali of Egypt's son Tosun Pasha who had sought a cure in Ilıca before his premature death.[6]

Ilıca has a fine beach of its own, about 1.5 km long, as well as favorable wind conditions which make it a prized location for windsurfing.


The urban center and the port of the region in antiquity was at Erythrae (present-day Ildırı), in another bay to the north-east of Çeşme.

The town of Çeşme itself lived its golden age in the Middle Ages when a modus vivendi established in the 14th century between the Republic of Genoa, which held Scio, and the Beylik of Aydinids, which controlled the Anatolian mainland, was pursued under the Ottomans, and export and import products between western Europe and Asia were funneled via Çeşme and the ports of the island, only hours away and tributary to Ottomans but still autonomous after 1470. Sakız became part of the Ottoman Empire in an easy campaign led by Piyale Pasha in 1566. In fact the Pasha simply laid anchor in Çeşme and summoned the notables of the island to notify them of the change of authority. After the Ottoman capture and through preference shown by the foreign merchants, the trade hub gradually shifted to İzmir, which until then was touched only tangentially by the caravan routes from the east, and the prominence of the present-day metropolis became more pronounced after the 17th century.[7] In 1770, the Çeşme bay became the location of naval Battle of Chesma between Russian and Ottoman fleets during Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774).

Çeşme regained some its former lustre starting with the beginning of the 19th century, when its own products, notably grapes and mastic, found channels of export. The town population increased considerably until the early decades of the 20th century, immigration from the islands of the Aegean and the novel dimension of a seasonal resort center becoming important factors in the increase. The viniculture was for the most part replaced with the growing of watermelons in recent decades, which acquired another name of association with Çeşme aside from the thermal baths, surfing, fruits, vineyards, cheese, tourism and history.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Çeşme is twinned with:




  1. ^ Zdravka Vladova-Momcheva, James Kelly, Galina Kalicin. Reading programme: "Thracian History and Myth". Pro Art&Co. http://www.proartandco.co.uk/downloads/2007_thracian_poetry_reading_programme.pdf Reading programme:.  According to the legend, upon the death of her husband, Argantona (Argantone) renounced the world grieving for him.
  2. ^ "Fact sheet: Chios sheep". Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/chios/index.htm. 
  3. ^ On the basis of their affiliation in, respectively, İzmir Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Craftsmen and Traders, Çeşme Chamber of Agriculture, Alaçatı Agriculture and Credit Cooperative, the Chamber of Industry of the Aegean Region, the Exporters' Union of the Aegean Region. 27 companies have full or partial foreign capital and there are seven banks present across Çeşme district through a total of ten branches. Source: İzmir Chamber of Commerce.
  4. ^ Prof.Dr. Burçin ÇOKUYSAL (January 26, 2010). "ECOLOGIC EVALUATION OF Pistacia lentiscus (MASTIC) IN ÇEŞME PENINSULA". http://burcincokuysal.blogspot.com/2010/01/ecologic-evaluation-of-pistacia.html. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ Another important tourist's resort to the east and not far from Çeşme and whose name is a derivative, Çeşmealtı, is not located within Çeşme district but in the neighboring Urla district, and faces the Gulf of İzmir on the opposite side of the same peninsula's isthmus.
  6. ^ Press bulletin: "Tosun Paşa Yalısı'nın hikayesi (The story of Tosun Pasha Yalı)" (in Turkish). Kurumsal Haberler Institutional News Portal. 2008-06-18. http://www.kurumsalhaberler.com/narsilica/bultenler/tosun-pasa-yalisinin-hikayesi Press bulletin:. 
  7. ^ Daniel Goffman (2002). The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press. pp. 152. ISBN 0-521-45908-7. 

See also


External links

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  • Cesme — Çeşme Hilfe zu Wappen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Çeşme — Chesmé (tr) Çeşme Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Cesme — Original name in latin eme Name in other language Cesme, Cheshme, Chesme, Chesnie, Cissus, Cssus, eme, Чешме State code TR Continent/City Europe/Istanbul longitude 38.32278 latitude 26.30639 altitude 23 Population 21316 Date 2013 08 06 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

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