Ayvacık

Ayvacik is situated on the main Canakkale to Izmir highway. It is thought that the settlement here dates back to the 14th Century when it would have been known as the village of Kızılcatuğlu. Evidence suggests that there might have been settlements in the area as early as the Hittite period. Along the main highway as you turn into Ayvacik by the park you will see a large statue of Barbaros Haydrettin Pasha the Ottoman Admiral who was born on Lesbos and died in Istanbul. In fact there are quite a few statues in and around Ayvacik as you will see in this film.

The Ayvacik Pine Promenade park off the main highway is a great place for a picnic particularly for families as it has an extensive childrens play area amongst the pine trees. AYVACIK is only 18 km from Assos or Behramkale featured in one of our other videos and also just 23 km from Ezine.

On the outskirts of town on a hill there is a large statue of Hector the Trojan prince. Quite why it standing there all forlorn within a fence and locked gates is difficult to ascertain although a local told me it was erected by the AKP party because Hector was the first defensive soldier of Anatolia and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is said to have referred to Hector after the Dardenelles campaign of World War I.

A local Ayvacik rumour is that a well off lady from Tblisi in Georgia by the name of Ümmühan Hatun once ran an inn in Ayvacik around the beginning of the 16th century and she married a soldier who settled with her in Ayvacik. The husband visited other villages in the surrounding area and encouraged people to come and settle in Ayvacik thus enlarging the town. The couple contributed to the towns infrastructure by building a mosque and bringing water to the town from a distance of some 10km away. The town is reputed to be named after a quince tree in their garden, The word Ayvacik means small quince in Turkish.

Assos is not far away and the Kazdagi mountains can be seen further inland behind the town. Traditionally the local people come from a rich cultural background of Yoruk or nomads and Turkmen ancestery where they would have been heavily involved in the managing of livestock and farming. Even today in the heat of the summer there are many folk from the surrounding villages who head inland to the cooler Kazdagi mountains where they often own houses called Yayla’s up in the hills.

There are still many households producing carpets and kilims in and around the local villages. Charcoal is produced in this area which has caused some concern due to the amount of trees that are felled by this industry and the famous Ezine cheese, a mixture of goat and cows milk is also produced in Ayvacik.

The town of Ayvacik was occupied by the Greeks in 1919 during the war of Independence but it was short lived and the town was recaptured in September 1922. It used to be connected to Ezine but now has its own municipality.

Each May the town has a fairground, called Panayir in Turkish. It runs for 5 days with fairground rides, stalls and entertainment for the locals. Ayvacik has a thriving town centre with a good mix of shops and services and plenty of new modern housing and for those that like to be near the sea then Assos is just down the road.

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