Alaçati, Cesme The History..

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Alaçati, Cesme The History..

Post  Mavi on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:25 pm

Alaçatı (also known as Agrilia) is a unique Aegean town on the western coast of Turkey, which has been famous for its architecture, vineyards and windmills for over 150 years has now made its name in the world of windsurfing and kitesurfing, with its crystal clear water, consistent and steady wind and well acclaimed Turkish hospitality.



History


Alacati was settled by Ionian Greeks in the ancient period. The town remained almost exlusively Greek throughout the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. In the early twentieth century and in particular in the period after the Balkan Wars the Greek population suffered massive expulsions. The local Greeks returned in 1919 with the arrival of Greek troops in Asia Minor, only to flee again when the Hellenism of the region was exchanged as part of the Exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in the framework of the Lausanne Treaty after Greece's defeat in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922).
There are numerous stories about the name Alaçati. According to some, Alaçati is the name only for the harbour area which is about two kilometers from the old town. Some claim that the name for the town was Agrilia, and there is also another name AlacaAt (RedHorse) used for the whole area. Their claim is based on a story, that the ruler of Alacati had a red horse to ride. When riding the horse, bystanders would refer to him as "Alacaatli (the man with the red horse)", in time the name was somehow changed to Alacati. During the exchange of ethnics between Balkan countries and Turkey, Turkish refugees from the Balkans were settled here, and ever since then the name Alaçati has been adopted both for the town and the harbour area. The harbour area was the export port of İzmir until the World War II. But after the WWII, somehow the harbour's use declined, maybe that is a good thing as the bay, in which the harbour was, is now occupied by the windsurf lovers.




Let's leave the name issue to the experts and carry on with the stroll through the town. While strolling, there are other historical points to remember. Alaçati became an Ottoman town, according to some, in 14th century, and according to others in 15th century, but regardless of the date, it is a well known fact that Alacati was a Rum (Roman) settlement area, the Moslem population was 132 out of a population of 13,845 in 1895. After the defeat of Ottomans in the Balkans, a lot of Moslem refugees started to flow to the western coast of Anatolia. The first reaction to the defeat in Anatolia came from the Rums(Romans) in Çesme as they made a decision to leave Çesme to settle in the island of Chios. Thousands of them sailed across to the island in small boats, although later Greece sent passenger boats to carry people across to Greece. It is said that, most of the refugees came and settled into the houses emptied by the Rums(Romans). Most of these houses still remain in Alaçati as an attraction for people to see and absorb the feeling of life in the past.
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Mavi
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