Datça

Datca has sparkling, deep blue, 52 big and small coves

which have the quality of an aquarium on the coastline of 235 km

which connects Mediterranean and Aegean Sea.

Datça, which does not have big settlements and industry facilities,

has an extraordinary clean sea as well as the air. As well as the blue flagged

beaches, it is also possible to have a sea delight at other

points with peace of mind.

If you pass by Datca, you should absolutely see the Old Datca, which

is the most organized one among its three neighborhoods. Its

oldness comes from its being the first settlement area and having

a majority of the old ruined buildings. These ruined buildings are in

re-construction nowadays . Old Datca houses which have two floors

at most has given a visual richness with stone dressing and also with

its narrow streets adorned with bougainvillea.

History

Carian civilization was the first settlers in Datça in 2000 BC. Dorians

came to the region through Greece during 1000 BC and founded

six cities, the center of which was Knidos. They founded Knidos at

Burgaz Area which is 2 kilometer-northeast of the center of Datca.

It went under the reign of Persians from Lydians in 546 B.C. Knidos

was carried to Tekir Cape on the edge point of peninsula because of

the commercial reasons in 4th century BC and came under the reign

of Alexander the Great. From the 2nd century AD, it came under

first under Roman Empire, and then East Roman Empire. Knidos was

destroyed and abandoned after the earthquakes and the Arabian attacks

in the 7th century AD. Datca Peninsula has been controlled by

Mentesoğullari Principality between the 13th and 15th centuries.

Datca Peninsula became an Ottoman Empire land and the name was

changed to Resadiye during the reign of Sultan Resad. During the

period of the republic it became a district of Muğla Province. The

settlement was carried in 1947 to İskele District, to its current place.

Bays

There are 52 bays along the coast of the peninsula. In front of some bays,

there are small islands. Some of the coves are very big and has long beaches.

On the northern shore facing Aegean Sea are Gökçeler Bükü, Küçük Çatı,

Çatı, Kızılağaç, Alavara, Çakal, Damlacık, Mersincik, Murdala and İskandil.

The Körmen Harbour, where ferries come near, is also on this side.

Along the shores of Mediterranean, the important coves are Palamut Bükü,

Akvaryum, Akça Bük, Kuru Bük, Ova Bükü, Hayıt Bükü, Kızıl Bük, Domuz

Bükü, Kargı, Karaincir, Sarı Liman, Kara Bük, Çiftlik, Kuruca Bük, Günlücek

and Lindos. Knidos on the edge of the peninsula and Cape Crio Peninsula

seperates the seas. On the both sides, there are two moon-shaped coves.

Endemic Plants

Richness of Datca in terms of plants is known since the ancient ages. It is very clear that this feature has played an important role for Knidos

to be an important medical center. Climate features are the major reason of Flora richness. While speaking about the Datca flora, almond comes to mind

first. It does not matter if you think of green almond of the spring or of the almond kernel after the spring. Datca almond has an important

existence in both terms.

Almond: There are two kinds of almond; first of them is sweet almond species while the other is bitter one. Datca almond is accepted as the best almond in the

world. It leads the most of the production and the tastiest almond in Turkey, as well. There are various species of almond such as Nurlu, Ak, Kababağ,

Dedebağ, Sira and Dis almonds. The almond kernel is eaten first in May. After the outer shells are opened, they are collected from the trees

in July-August and dried under the sun.

Olives: Datça produces olives since ancient times.

Thymus: Various kinds of thymus like purple thymus, fig thymus, cheese thymus, honey thymus, spice thymus grow by themselves.

Flos lavandulae romanae: It is in the same family with thymus, but it smells different. It is seen abundantly in the maquis groves.

Sage: It is grown in Turkey and also in a lot of places in the world. The tea of which is drunk at the coffees of Datça.

Carob: It is called ‘harup’ by the locals. It is used as an aphrodisiac from the ancient times. It was also used as a sugar substitute.

Capers and Black pepper: They are found abundantly in the peninsula, which add flavour to the dishes.

Datça Date Palm (Phoenix Theophrasti Greuter): It is the leading endemic plant in Datça. It grows in two different areas along mountain

range. Anemone and varied wild flowers are the other plant richness of Datça. The various kinds of flowers can be seen in Datça, which

welcomes the spring earlier.

Knidos Ancient City

Knidos has been carried to the place where the magnificent

remains of today are seen, that is the edge point of the peninsula

for commercial reasons in 4th century B.C. Strabon declared

that the city was built along Knidos’ coastline and on the island in

front of Knidos. Two harbors were built by filling the sea between

the island and the land. The harbor on the North side was named

‘Northern Harbor’ and used for military purpose. The harbor on

the South was used for commerce. The finds of the jetty at the harbor

and the tower at the Northern Harbor can still be seen. Dorians

and Romans built many temples in Knidos. Temples have left its

place to churches during Late Romans and Early Byzantine period.

The population of the city has reached around to 70 thousand.

Knidos was an important trading center as well as a city

of culture and arts. Praxiteles, the famous sculptor pf the 4th century BC created Aphrodite of Knidos for the Temple of Aphrodite, is

considered to be one of the most important archaeological finds.

At the religious ceremonies with the participation of Ion cities, the

performers gave particular importance to Aphrodite. Eudoxus, the

famous astronomer and inventor of the horizontal sundial, Praxiteles,

Skopas, Bryaxis and the architect Sostratus, who built the

Lighthouse of Alexandria that is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, were all native of the city. The agora, the

theatre, an odeum, a temple of Dionysus, a temple of the Muses, a

temple of Aphrodite and a great number of minor buildings are the

important finds of Knidos ancient city. The most famous statue by

Praxiteles, the Aphrodite of Knidos could not be found up to today. It

is believed that the statue was removed to Constantinople (modern

İstanbul) and was burnt in a fire in the Palace of Lausus.

According to Herodotus, Datça was accepted the city of the colony

by Spartans, but over time they became the dominant military

land-power in the region and thanks to Phoenicians they advanced

in navigation. Knidians sought to separate the Reşadiye peninsula

from the main land as a defensive measure to Lydians’ attacks. Because

of the rocky ground, it got harder to dig the land. Afterwards,

the Persian invasions began and therefore it could not be completed.

To enlighten the history of Knidos, first excavation work was done by

English Charles Newton between 1856 and 1858.

Local Cuisine

The culture of Datca cuisine carries the varieties of

both vegetables and sea foods. There are various kinds of meals

that are not even known by the other local places in Datca. It is

natural not to hear their names as local dishes are called local

names. Some of them may only be cooked at houses that keep

traditional cuisine. Some of the names of the culinary follows

the way of how they are called; Dalampa (daisy stalk), karaville

(snail), kaşıayak weed, cardoon, grasspea, turpucu weed, ilabada

weed, utmek weed roasting, dalankıta,etc. Most of them

are cooked with various herbs and plants. Most of the meals

and mezes are cooked with sea foods. Octopus salad, raw fish,

stuffed sardines, cuttlefish stew, grilled or fried squid, octopus

dumplings and salad, buttered prawns, sea beans with garlic

walnut and bread crumbs sauce are the famous one for the

menus.

 


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