Infobox Settlement
settlement_type = Town
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = TUR
map_caption =Location of Kuşadası within Turkey.
official_name = Kuşadası

image_caption = Ladies' Beach in Kuşadası
image_blank_emblem =
blank_emblem_type =

subdivision_name1 = Aegean
subdivision_name2 = Aydın
population_total = 65764|population_footnotes=
urban population| = 47,661
population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_density_km2 =
area_total_km2 = 264|elevation_m = 11|postal_code_type=Postal code
postal_code = 09400
blank_info = 09|blank_name=Licence plate| K
area_code = 256
leader_name = Fuat Akdoğan
website = [http://www.kusadasi.bel.tr www.kusadasi.bel.tr]
leader_name1 =
gwebsite = [http://www.kusadasi.gov.tr www.kusadasi.gov.tr]

Kuşadası is a resort town in Turkey's Aegean coast and the center of the district of the same name in Aydın Province. Its main industry is tourism and is a port of call for cruise ships.


The city stands on a bay in the Aegean with the peninsula of Guvercin Ada sticking out into the sea at one end, and the mountain of Kaz Dağı behind.

It is convert|90|km|mi|0|abbr=on south of İzmir, the region's largest metropolitan center. It is convert|71|km|mi|0|abbr=on from the provincial seat of Aydın situated inland.

The Yavansu Fault Line passes near Kuşadası and there have been earthquakes here throughout history.Fact|date=September 2007


The name comes from 'kuş' (bird) and 'ada' (island) as the peninsula has the shape of a bird's head (as seen from the sea). Since Byzantine times it has been known as "Ephesus Neopolis", "Scala Nuova", [www.artofilo.info/filecat/filecat_downloader.php?id=0008] becoming "Kush-Adasi" at the beginning of the 20th century. Some people from the Aegean region shorten the name to Ada.


Kuşadası has a residential population of 50,000 rising to over half a million during the summer when the large resort fills with tourists (from Turkey itself, northern Europe and the Balkans), plus the hotel staff, bar staff, construction workers, and drivers who are needed for work in the restaurants, the holiday villages, aquaparks, rock bars beach clubs and big hotels servicing all these visitors. In addition to the visitors from overseas there is a substantial community of foreigners resident in the area.



The area has been a centre of art and culture since the earliest times and has been settled by many civilizations since being founded by the Leleges people in 3000 BC. Later settlers include the Aeolians in the 11th century BC and Ionians in the 9th century. Originally seamen and traders the Ionians built a number of settlements on this coast including Neopolis.

An outpost of Ephesus in ancient Ionia, the area between the Büyük Menderes and Gediz rivers, the original Neopolis is thought to have been founded on the nearby point of Yılancı Burnu. Later settlements were probably built on the hillside of Pilavtepe, in the district called Andızkulesi today. Kuşadası was a minor port frequented by vessels trading along the Aegean coast. In antiquity it was overshadowed by Ephesus until Ephesus' harbor silted up. From the 7th century BC onwards the coast was ruled by Lydians from their capital at Sardis, then from 546 BC the Persians, and from 334 BC along with all of Anatolia the coast was conquered by Alexander the Great. From then onwards the coastal cities were the centre of the mixed Greek and Anatolian culture called Hellenistic.

Rome and Christianity

The Roman Empire took possession of the coast in the 2nd century BC and in the early years of Christianity, Mary (mother of Jesus) and St John the Evangelist both came to live in the area, which in the Christian era became known as "Ania", although the spirituality was clearly not ingrained as during the Middle Ages the port was a haven for pirates.

Later as Byzantine, Venetian and Genoese traders began to work the coast the port was founded (as "Scala Nuova" "new port"), a garrison was placed on the island, and the town centre moved from the hillside to the coast.

The Turkish era

From 1086 the area came under Turkish control and the Aegean ports became the final destination of caravan routes to the Orient. However this arrangement was overthrown by the Crusades and the coast again came under Byzantine control until 1280 when first the Menteşe and then the Aydınoğlu Anatolian Turkish Beyliks took control. Kuşadası was brought into the Ottoman Empire by Mehmet I in 1413. The Ottomans built the city walls and the caravanserai that still stand today.

In 1834 the castle and garrison on the island was rebuilt and expanded, becoming the focus of the town, to the extent that people began to refer to the whole town as Kuşadası (bird island). However in the 19th century, trade declined in favor of İzmir with the opening of the İzmir-Aydın railway, as Kuşadası had no rail connection. [Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition]

During the Turkish War of Independence Kuşadası was occupied from 1919-1922 first by Italian, then by Greek troops. It was eventually captured on September 7th 1922.

Under the Turkish Republic the Greek population was exchanged for Turkish people as part of the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922. It was a district in Izmir Province until 1954 and become the district of Aydın Province. Until the first holiday apartments were built here in the 1970s Kuşadası was a fruit-growing rural district, it then grew into a small resort town with holiday flats. These were built as housing co-operatives, membership sold to families in Ankara, Izmir, Denizli and other Turkish cities. From the mid 1980s Kuşadası grew again into the centre of mass tourism that we have today.

In 2005, the town was the location of a bomb attack causing five casualties, three Turkish nationals, British citizen Helen Bennett and the Irish student Tara Whelan.



Kuşadası caters to tourists, arriving by land, and as the port for cruise ship passengers heading to Ephesus. In a controversial deal in 2003 the previously public-owned port was leased to a private company and renovated to attract luxury cruise liners. These range from the huge Grand Princess to smallers tours.

Real estate agents sell holiday flats and villas. Among all the ice-cream, carpets, leather, and software, there are bookshops selling books in English, German, Russian and other languages.

Old houses near the seafront, some of them converted to bars and cafes, are the remnants of old Kuşadası, which has become a modern-European looking town. The hills behind are built up with big hotels and blocks of holiday flats. The building boom in the late 80s and onwards has been continued into the hinterland of Kuşadası.


Transport around the town is by dolmuş (minibus). There are bus and taxi services to the nearest airports, in İzmir and Bodrum. Day trips are available by boat from Kuşadası and Güzelçamlı.

Places of interest

In the town
* The city walls - There were once three gates. One remains today.
* Kaleiçi Camii - the mosque built in 1618 for Grand Vizier Öküz Kara Mehmed Pasha.
* The Öküz Mehmet Pasha caravanserai is near the docks. It was built in 1618 as a strong-room for the goods of seamen.
* Guvercin Ada - the peninsula at the end of the bay, has a castle and swimming beaches, including a private beach and cafe with a view back across the bay to the harbour of Kuşadası. There are public beaches at the back of the peninsula, towards the open sea.
* Kirazli Village - traditional Turkish convert|12|km|mi|1 from Kusadasi.
* Yılancı Burnu - a second peninsula beyond Güvercin Ada. Possibly the location of the original settlement of Neopolis. Some walls are visible. There are beaches and beach clubs here.
* Pygale - convert|3|km|mi|1 north, the small point behind "Hotel Pigale". Once refuge of Agamemnon. Still to be excavated.
* Also several aqua-parks with wave-pools, white-water slides are located near the town: the largest are NBGS International's Aqua Fantasy, along with Adaland and Aqua Land.
* Ladies Beach - near town. Named because it was once segregated for female bathers. Now open to all.
* Kadıkalesi - Venetian/Byzantine castle, convert|10|km|mi|1along the Kuşadası-Davutlar road,
* Panionium - convert|25|km|mi|0|abbr=on south of Kuşadası, on the Davutlar-Güzelçamlı road. Once the central meeting place of the Ionian League. The ruins are in poor condition and their authenticity is disputed.
* Dilek Peninsula National Park. South of Kuşadası, begins at the town of Güzelçamlı. Bays and beaches, including the bay of Kalamaki.

Notable residents

* Kuşadalı Ibrahim Halveti - influential 19th century sufi

Kuşadası in popular culture

* The annual Altın Güvercin song contest is held here. In the past it has been won by artists including Nükhet Duru and Cem Karaca.
* Kuşadası is the title of a piece on the album Vian Köpüğü-L’Ecume de Vian by jazz musician Tuna Ötenel

ee also

* Turkish Riviera
* Blue Cruise
* Marinas in Turkey
* Foreign purchases of real estate in Turkey
* Güzelçamlı


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