When You Come to Yokuşbaşı, You Will See Bodrum
Do not Think You Will Return the Same as You Came
Those that Came Before You Were Such as You
They Always Left Their Minds in Bodrum When They Left Away.
Cevat Şakir KABAAĞAÇLI
(Fisherman of Halicarnassos)
Bodrum is located on a peninsula between the Gulf of
Güllük to the North and the Gulf of Gökova to the South. Geographically
it is rough, but the interior sides are plain, it is indented and
consists of many calcareous areas. As a peninsula, it creates its own
microclimate. Summers are hot and arid, winters are rainy and too
warm with very low humidity rate.
Initially, the locals often earned their livelihood through
fishing, sponge fishing and citrus producing; but later on ‘sea tourism,
entertainment tourism and yachting’ became their primary
livelihood. Particularly after 1980s, referred as tourism boom, social
life in Bodrum changed completely. Because of tourism incomes,
high social life is seen in the entire district. It features all kinds of
social and cultural activities in the summer time, in comparison to its rather quiet winters. The large part of the businesses are entertainment
venues and accommodation facilities which are open just
in the summer.
According to Herodotus, known as ‘The Father of History’,
Bodrum was founded by the Dorians. Later, the Carians and the Leleges
settled into this area. In 650 BC, the Megarians came to the
area and changed its name as ‘Halicarnassos’. In 386 BC, it fell under
With its being capital of Caria region, Halicarnassos experienced its
brightest era in 353 BC. For King Mausolus, ‘Mausoleum’ identified
as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was built by the Artemisia
II of Caria, who was both his sister and his wife.
The Romans conquered Bodrum in 192 BC, during the period there
was not any significant improvement. The area was taken over by
the Byzantines in 395 AD, later by the Turks in the 11th century.
The Byzantines captured it again during the first Crusade in 1096,
but the Turks retook it in the 14th century. The Knights of Rhodes
took over the area in 1415. Suleyman the Magnificent expelled the
knights in 1522 and the area was taken under the Ottoman Empire.
After the declaration of Republic in 1923, the name of the area was
changed as ‘Bodrum’.
It was constructed between two harbors on a rocky peninsula,
surrounded by the sea on three sides. The highest point is the
French tower, which is 155,8 feet (47,5 m) above sea level. There are
also four other towers known as the English tower, the Italian tower,
the German tower and the Snake tower. On the contrary to the thick
walls facing the mainland, the walls facing the sea were less thick,
since the knights had their powerful naval fleet in case of any sea
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus
was built for Carian King Mausolus at Halicarnassus by Artemisia II
of Caria, who was both his wife and sister. It was identified as one
of the Seven Wonders of the World. Thanks to its importance as a
combination of Greek (the columns) and Egyptian architectures
(the pyramidal roof) and its enormous size, the word ‘mausoleum’
was the eponym for all latter stately tombs.
It is believed that the construction was begun in 355 BC
by Carian Satrap Mausolous during his reign. After his death in 353
BC, the mausoleum was continued by his wife and sister Artemisia
II till her death in 351 BC and then by his other siblings respectively.
The construction is believed to be left incomplete in 340
BC, because of the fight for possession of the throne between Ada
(adoptive mother of Alexander the Great) and Pixodarus.
One of the persons who saw this construction lastly was Eustathins,
a bishop lived in 12th century AD; which means that this construction
remained standing for 1.500 years until it was destroyed probably
by an earthquake. In 1402 when the Knights of St. John arrived,
they recorded that it was in ruins. They used it as a stone quarry and
built Bodrum Castle by using almost all of its stones. The first to destroy
the construction were the knights in 1494, who fortunately
could not find the grave chamber at the deepest point; so that it
escaped from being demolished by the knights.
The reliefs, the statues of Mausolus and Artemisia II and
the parts of the four-in-hand were carried to the British Museum by
English Archeologist Newton during his excavation work in 1856-
Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum is the only
underwater museum in Turkey and it is one of the most important
museums of its type in the world.
The biggest group of artifacts is the collection of amphoras,
which is the biggest Eastern Mediterranean amphora collection.
‘Amphora’ is a compound word combining amphi (on both sides)
with phoreus (carrier), which was used for transporting and storing
wine, olive oil and other commodities at the ancient time.
In 1895, a hamam (public bath) was installed contiguous
to its southern side. In contrast to the perception of the knights as
priding themselves on not bathing, it indicates the service provided
to convicts by the Ottomans. The hamam consists of the entrance,
the cool room (undressing), the warm room (bathing) and the furnace.
It is the first example where the hamam materials are shown
at its own place.
The finds belonging to so called ‘the glass ship wreck’ disbayred at Serce Harbor near Bozukkale (Loryma Ancient Town) / Marmaris,
are exhibited at Bodrum Museum. This ship wreck lying at 32 meters depth on the sand ground near the coast was excavated by Turks
and Americans under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. George F. Bass between 1977-1979.
In the ancient times, ships were built by assembling plank of wood at first. This ship is a very early example of transition from ancient
shipbuilding method to modern shipbuilding method (timber system). The Serce Harbor shipwreck was built close to the technique
implemented at Bodrum shipyards.
Its softened wood because of the destruction underwater, was firstly purified from salt in the fresh water basin by changing its
water continuously in two-year period and then it was conserved by using P.E.G. polyethylene glycol 1400 ‘synthetic wax’.
Carian Princess Hall
In 1989, when the excavations were being carried out under
the supervision of archaeologists of the Bodrum Museum, they
came upon a buried ancient structure. The skull of the structure was
sent to the Department of Forensic Science of the University of Manchester
Medical School. The reconstruction of the head was carried
out by Dr. Richard Neave and his team in collaboration with Dr. John
Prag of the Museum of Manchester University. This noble woman
was named as ‘Carian Princess’ by the museum.
A model of the Carian Princess represents her splendor at
the narrow edge within the niche. The model has a single piece of
her raw silk dress ‘peplo’ with gold ornaments and blue beads on
a blue belt. Based on the investigation of the bones by Prof. Berna
Apagut, the age of the deceased at death was estimated at 40 years,
she gave birth more than one and had all 32 teeth.
The theatre was one of the most important monumental structure
which has come down to our day from Hellenistic Period. It has three
main parts in accordance with the traditions of ancient times. They
are the Scene (stage building), Orchestra (half round) and the cavea
(seating levels). The seats are carved into soft rocks, built into the
hillside and it has a capacity of 13.000 people.
Myndos Gate is one of the two entrances of ancient Halicarnassus.
The way from the capital city reached to today’s Myndos
town. Ruins of the walls are still existing. Under the sponsorship of
Turkcell, the excavation and restoration works are ongoing.
Alexander the Great came to the city through this gate in 333 B.C.
It was the scene for one of the greatest bloodiest battles during his
siege. He conquered the city and destroyed all the city except for
The Ottoman Shipyard is located on the northwest part of
the Bodrum Harbor. Right behind this historic shipyard lies an Ottoman
cemetery that includes the tomb of historic sea-farer Jafer
Pasha. The Ottoman Shipyard is estimated to be built in 1115.
According to the archive documents, the first ship in Bodrum
was built in 1784, the timber of which was brought down from
the Bodrum mountains.
Today, the wooden ships built at the small shipyards at
Bodrum Peninsula are the passion of both foreign and domestic sea
Stuffed Squash Blossoms (Kabak Çiçeği Dolması)
Pounded Chicken and Wheat (Keşkek)
Roasted Herbs (Acıot / Sarmaşık Kavurması)
Sea Beans (Deniz Börülcesi)
Okra/Ladies Fingers with Olive Oil (Zeytinyağlı Bamya)
Radish Salad (Turp Otu Salatası)
Fried Squash Blossoms (Kabak Çiçeği Kızartması)
Black-Eyed Beans (Taze Börülce Yemeği)
Mustard Salad (Hardalotu Salatası)
Harbours and Marinas
There are three harbours and four international marinas in
Bodrum Municipal Harbour
It serves totally 300 ships; with 200 ships at the inner port,
60 ships at Kumbahçe Pier and waiting buoys at the harbor front.
The harbor which is 11 miles away from Kos (İstanköy) Island, is a
border crossing for the yachts coming from Europe to Turkey.
Bodrum Passanger Harbour
It is 36 kilometers away from Bodrum-Milas International
Airport and it is a few minutes within walking distance from the
city center. It has the capacity to serve both two big passenger ships
with three motor boats at the same time. Apart from the ship pier,
the total length of the landing-stages is 300 meters. In addition to
the landing-stages, there are three ferry ramps at the harbor.
Bodrum Bays and Beaches
Güvercinlik: A bay of unusual beauty with every conceivable tone
green and blue, it is located 25 km from Bodrum. Salih Island, located
right across the water and the biggest island of Muğla, attracts a
Torba: A peaceful little village just 5 km from Bodrum, it is a charming
yet lively place where the shining sea melds with the green pines
and olive trees. There are boats going to Didim, Milet and Priene from
Göltürkbükü: Situated at a distance from Bodrum of 13 km, it is
one of our natural wonders combining the sea with pine, tangerine
and palm trees.
Gündoğan Bay: Located 18 km from Bodrum, Gündogan Bay is
one of the bays that has been least changed by man and which still
preserves its beauty in the most natural way. The Bay is famous with its tangerine orchards.
Yalıkavak: Located 18 km from Bodrum, it is in the northwestern of
the peninsula. Known with its windmills, sea, fish and citrus, it is also
the place where the most famous sponge-divers come from.
Bardakçı Bay: Water was carried to Bodrum with the jugs, called
‘bardak’ by the locals. There are many hotels around the bay. Its
beach is sandy.
Gümüşlük: It is one of the oldest settlement areas of the peninsula.
It is possible to see the ruins of the old harbor, which connects
Rabbit Island to the land. Gumusluk renown with its clear sea and
fish, is also remarkable for its flora diversity.
Kadıkalesi: Kadıkalesi surrounded with the crystal clear and citrus
orchards, is situated 23 km from Bodrum. It gets its name from
the remains of a nearby castle belonging to the Hellenistic era.
Gümbet: It is an excellent place for daily boat tours, and water
sports like banana, ringo, parasailing and jet ski.
Akyarlar: This bay with its wonderful beach and crystal clear
waters is 13 km from Bodrum. It is one of the best places in the
world to surf. Its ancient name is Arhialla.
Bağla Bay: With one of the best bays and beaches on the peninsula,
it is an excellent place to camp and is 14 km from Bodrum.
Turgutreis: It is named for the famous Turkish Admiral Turgut
(Dragut) Reis. It is the second most populous area after Bodrum.
The town is famous for its tangerine orchards and it is known for its
Gulet is a traditional design of a two-masted or
three-masted wooden sailing vessel, particularly built in the coastal
towns of Bodrum. The gulet building is handed down from father to
son, from mentor to apprentice. Today’s examples are very modern
and elegant. Gulets are completely handmade which are constructed
by the mentors with their identical forms. The construction durates
at least one year with team work.