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Kusadasi History

The first settlements around Kusadasi where inhabited by the Lelegians and Carians who came from the Central Anatolia in the 3000BC, they populated on the skirts of Pilav Mountain and founded Ania and Melia. In the 10th century BC other settlements were established around Kusadasi, Phygale, Marethesion and Neopolis.

In 546BC Persians captured the city and dominated the region until the conquest of Alexander the Great. Centuries later, the region was dominated by the Romans and Byzantines and finally fell under the Turkish power. During the Byzantine period the city was used as an important trade port, mostly used by Venetians and Genoese who called the city as “Scala Nova”.

In 1186 A.C. the city was added to the Turkish domination with the invasion of the region by Kilic Aslan II and during this period, Kusadasi has become the export-gate of the caravan-routes to the Aegean. After the Turkish state was defeated, the region passed to be part of the Ottomans territory under the reign of Mehmet I in 1413.

During the Ottoman period the city began to be embellished with Turkish buildings. Many mosques and caravansaries were built.

The Pigeon Island is the symbol of Kusadasi, during the Ottoman times the island was called firstly Kusadasi (Bird Island), but time later the town took that name and the island was renamed to Pigeon Island. In the island are still remains of a byzantine castle used to protect the town from sea attacks, also was used to repel pirate attacks.

With the liberation of Turkey from the Ottoman Empire, and established the new republic, Kusadasi was a district of Izmir until 1954 when it became a province of Aydin. Today Kusadasi is one of the most sophisticated holiday resorts of Turkey and is visited by thousands of foreign visitors as well as nationals.

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