This video is specifially about the town of Ezine, the sort of town that you bomb through on your way from Canakkale to Izmir and never give it a second thought right? Well I suppose the first thing that should be said is to watch out for the speed cameras on either approach along the main highway. The speed limit is 50km per hour. However, the town does need to thank all the travellers who rush through at 100 km per hour plus and who contribute so much to the economy of the town with their speeding fines.
Ezine might look like the place that you wouldn’t want to spend any time in. I remember passing through it back in 2010 before we moved to this region. The roads were all dug up and it was a dusty miserable mess. Scroll forward to 2019 and look again. The town has gone through a major transformation. It has modernised very quickly. With new water and sewage infrastructure having been completed the roads have been paved neatly and decoratively and the whole town has this smart new image.
With a population of just over 17,000 the town does have its very own claim to fame through its cheese. Yes, that’s right. It’s cheese. It is famous for its white cheese which is made with cow’s milk blended with goat or sheep milk and called Ezine Peyniri. Along the main highway there are numerous billboards advertising the cheeses from Ezine.
If you are looking to explore the Canakkale area then Ezine might actually be a great location to stay. Canakkale is just 45km away. Ayvacik is 23 km away and Assos just 40 km, Geyikli just 15km away with a short ferry crossing to Bozcaada, Bayramic 20 km and our very own Tavakli village with its long sandy beaches just 22km away. Not only that but if you are even remotely interested in history then you have Troy just up the road, the ancient ruins of Alexandria Troas near Dalyan Geyikli and the ruins of Apollo Smintheon at Gulpinar not to mention the famous historical site at Behramkale or Assos. Check out our Canakkale videos and you will see there is even more all close by. Use Ezine as your base for day trips and you can pretty much cover the entire county of Canakkale from here.
The town has a good bus station or Otogar which connects you to all the major cities. Local dolmus a mini bus taxi service takes travellers to all the locations I have mentioned for a fraction of the cost of a taxi. The town has some good supermarkets, a number of hotels and small restaurants and cafes. It is a municiapal town, having its own municipality and jurisdiction and as such it is an important hub for the surrounding villages.
There has been a settlement here at Ezine for centuries but it is only with the arrival of the Turkish tribes in the 14th century that it became established. Originally called Igne or Needle in English, Ezine became an important Ottoman town along the main trade route.
Historical buildings in the town include the famous mosque called the Seferşah Camii, or Abdurrahman Camii. It was built in the 14 century, during the reign of Sultan Bayezid I. It is one of the earliest examples of mosques in typical Ottoman style. The stone for this mosque is reputed to have come from the ruins of the ancient city of Neandria nearby. The tomb of the 14th century hermit Ahi Yunus is next to the mosque.
In the centre of town you will find the old bathhouse called Seferşah Hamamı which was build around the same time as the mosque and which has been restored. Until recently it was open as a bath house for men and women but it is now operating as a café.
There is another important mosque in Ezine called the Great Mosque or Ulu Cami also known as Yazıcızade Cami which was built in 1382 and rebuilt in 1828 and restored since. It is located by the main bridge over the river Akçin River. The Akcin river is a tributarie of the Karamenderes River which in ancient times was known as the Scamander.
The Olive Mosque is my favourite, Zeytinli Cami in Turkish. It has recently been restored and is an impressive and tranquil piece of architecture. It was built with the stone from old Roman buildings. On this side of town you have the Municipal Offices and a number of tea gardens along the newly completed stone walls of the tributary embankment. This is a good places to have a tea under the shade of the trees in a quieter location of town. Walk down the street with the Municipality building on your right and then cross over the little bridge into the park with its children’s playground, picnic tables and entertainment café’s.
Ezine is an up and coming location. There are some hefty local projects on the go which are set to see a large food processing plant being build on the outskirts of town, a new dedicated market place to replace the Monday Ezine Market which is right in the town centre and causes traffic chaos on market day and a new industrial estate in the wings. This is aside from the continued road paving improvements that are currently in progress.
Every year around September time there is a Panayir or fair with amusements and a busy market. It lasts for 3 days and provides the locals with a chance to let their hair down.
So, that’s about it. Next time you are bombing along the Canakkale Izmir highway, slow down, take your foot of the gas pedal, avoid a speeding ticket, and ease off the highway into Ezine. Chill out and spend some time here or stop the night and explore the local area.