Bayramiç is a town and district of the Çanakkale Province just 20 or so km from Ezine on the main Canakkale to Izimir highway. It is often a town that is “on route” for travellers whose destination is Ayazma, Çan and Biga. But this town is worth a visit. You might think there is nothing much here but look again.
Bayramic has a rich history with the surrounding area being home to famous ancient cities such as Skepsis.
The town also has a Jewish history. In 1884 there were some 30 households and by 1894 some 60 jews living in the town. Armenians and Greeks lived here too. In 1910 there were 50 Jewish housholds, 800 Muslims, 190 Greeks and 200 Armenians in the district. In 1927 there were 93 jews remaining but by the 1960’s they had all gone.
The town gets its name from the word Bayram, meaning religious holiday, from the days when festivals were held on religious days with feasts for the citizens of the town.
As you travel from Ezine towards Bayramic you start to notice that the surrounding countryside gets a little greener as you approach the town. There is a more relaxed atmosphere and a slower pace of life here and much of the income and employment in this area revolves around agriculture.
With plentiful water supply and good soil the surrounding countryside is green and fertile. Popular crops would include apples, cherries, pears, peaches, apricots and plums but there are also chestnuts and walnuts from the mountain areas inland.
The town of Bayramic is a mix of modern and old. It has plenty of traditional shops but is generally off the tourist circuit so the number of hotels are limited but there are plenty of pleasant cafes and small restaurants. There is a large market just off Ataturk Cadessi, on Vatan Street in the centre of town on Wednesdays when it can get quite busy. Known locally as the Peasant Market the local traders ply their honey, nuts and local fruit and vegetables from the surrounding villages.
The Bayramiç beyazı, or beyaz nektarin is a small fruit just slightly bigger than a cherry with a smooth skin and crunchy juicy texture. They are eaten fresh or used in jams or in cake making.
If you walk to the end of Vatan Street and up the hill to the pleasant little park overlooking the Otogar or bus station it gives you a commanding view of the town. There are quite a few new buildings here and some modern apartment block developments which is evidence of the town expanding quite rapidly.
Places to visit in Bayramic would have to include the Hadimoğlu Turkish Mansion House which houses the Ethnography Museum in İnönü Caddesi which will give you an insight into life in Bayramic over the ages. Nearby is the impressive Municipality Building and the Bazaar Mosque which was completed in 1889. The bridge of stone is near here too. The bridge was probably built on what would have been a main highway in the town. It has been repaired and renovated numerous times. There is an old dilapidated hamam nearby too.
Whilst we were in Bayramic we got news that one of the locals had won an international award for the quality of their honey. Mr Aydogdu won the dark honey category despite much competion from other countries. The award was presented by the Honeybee Research Centre in the USA. What a proud moment for Bayramic.
The town’s biggest draw in terms of famous people and tourists is the museum of Mehmet Akif Ersoy, the son of an Imam from Bayramic, where Mehmet would have spent most of his childhood. A famous poet, he wrote the words to the Turkish National Anthem. There is a museum dedicated to him and his life just off Kahramanlar Street. If you are Turkish or interested in Turkish history then this is a place you shouldn’t miss
Lyrics by Mehmet Akif Ersoy, 1921 the Music itself was composed by Zeki Üngör, 1930
Fear not, the crimson flag, waving in these dawns will never fade
Before the last hearth that is burning in my nation vanishes.
That is my nation’s star, it will shine;
That is mine, it belongs solely to my nation.
Oh coy crescent do not frown for I am ready to sacrifice myself for you!
Please smile upon my heroic nation, why that anger, why that rage?
If you frown, our blood shed for you will not be worthy.
Freedom is the right of my nation who worships God and seeks what is right.
The original Turkish National Anthem (Istiklal Marsi in Turkish), written by Mehmet Akif Ersoy and officially adopted by the Parliament on 12th of March 1921, is composed by 10 verse but only the first two of them are sung during ceremonies.
Details about Mehmet Akif Ersoy, his life and photographs can be seen by clicking on the link below:
If you head out of town along the signposted Ayazma road just 5 km outside of town you will reach the Bayramiç Dam which was completed in 1996. This is a huge reservoir. From this point on as we get nearer to the mountains the scenery gets greener and greener to the point at which you could almost be anywhere in Europe. People living in Canakkale are lucky to have this beautiful scenery in their back yard.
Known for the high level of oxygen in the air this is a healthy and natural place to spend some time. If you press on further towards Ayazma, which is about 30 km from Bayramic, you will arrive at the Ayazma Tabiat Park or Ayazma nature park where you will be rewarded by a beautiful forest, waterfalls and rivers, tea gardens and fish restaurants serving local trout. Check out our video on Ayzama for more details.