Kavaklıdere’s history mostly stands up to verbal sources since there is not any written resources. Supposedly, Kavaklıdere
took his name after the river that passing through, and
the surrounding plane trees that locals named “kavak”. It is asserted
that the first settlers of the zone that arrived at the beginning of the 17th century, were the Turkmens descended from Karakecili Nomads (nomads locally called “yörük”).
After they settled down, the village structure was formed
By following Turkmen families who came from Denizli, Denizli-Tavas, Muğla,
Uşak-Eşme, Uşak-Karahanlı and Kaz mountains.
Even though the exact foundation date remains unknown, the Nomads
came to accommodate there because of little rivers, covering mountains
and suitable flora for small cattle and adopted a sedentary life in progress of time that turned the area into a village.
Kavaklıdere populated in 13th century during Karahanoğulları ( Karahanoğulları was an old feudality) era. Supposedly the nomads that rumored to be the settlers of the area named the place as “Kavaklıdere” by the reason of covering mountains, little rivers and the surrounding plane trees (locally called as “Kavak”) around rivers while describing the zone.
With the adoption of a sedentary life, the zone became village and in Ottoman era, it became sub-district. In 19th century, municipal organization was established but during Turkish War of Independence, municipal organization was annulled. In 01.05.1955, municipal organization rearranged and in 1956, Kavaklıdere became a sub-district again. However, with 1960 revolution, Kavaklıdere lost its sub-district status. In 09.05.1990, it became district and municipal organization was established again on 16.08.1991.
Coppersmith in Kavaklıdere
The most important source of income is coppersmith and
tinsmith. All kinds of copper kitchenware (bowl, jug, pot, kettle,
tray, roasted chickpea pan, fireplace, carved tray, wreath, name tag,
etc…) has been made in our district. Most of the kitchenware of Aegean Region had
been provided by Kavaklıdere before aluminum
and steel kitchenware raised. As a matter of fact our coppersmiths
developed a distinctive language. Today among locals the
language is still being used.
In previous years, all the copper articles were handmade. In
time the totally handmade copper articles were lowered with the rise of the
machines, Nonetheless craftsman are still producing elaborate souvenir,
tray, kettle, roasted chickpea pan etc.
Marble Industry in Kavaklıdere
Marble industry started in 90s, has been growing day by day, and as a consequence it has been contributing more and more to district and country’s economy. There are 20-
30 large and small marble quarries, factories and workplaces in the district.
There are approximately 2000 marble workers in both factories and quarries and they earn their lives from marble industry. Same amount of people also work for sub-sectors. We can predict contribution to Muğla and Turkey’s economy if we consider that the 60% of whole marble in Muğla has been being extracted from Kavaklıdere.
Well-protected ancient Rome theatre, ruins of walls, rock tombs are
There are Kyon ruins in Çamyayla that is near the Kavaklıdere Menteşe
neighbourhood. Kyon was a Carian city. Ruins of ancient
Rome theatre, altar stone can be seen there.
The name of Hyllarima origins Luwi and it is regarded as Wallarima
whose name used in Hittite’s tablets. The founder and the foundation date of the city are still not obvious. The ruins stands from ancient
Rome and it was one of the cities that minted coin during Roman period. The area is also, one of the oldest settlements of Caria civilization that moved to Termessos settlement in following centuries. In stonemasonry, walls of Hyllarima has got the same similarities with Leleg.
The Plateau and The Cave of Yerküpe
The plateau of Yerküpe is a natural wonder with its plane trees, natural spring water, wide meadow areas, waterfall and cave. Cave of Yerküpe situated on one of the Herbil River’s leg. The flat place located just above the cave of Yerküpe is arranged as picnic and wrestling area. It also attracts fans of natural sports and sport clubs especially in spring and summer months. It is quite suitable for touristic purposes due to both natural beauty
and stalactites in the cave. The upside of the cave is arranged for picnic and rest place. It is in a gateway half-active cave type. The length of
the cave is 100m and it has only one gallery. The roughness of the cave is derived from the stones that fallen from top of the cave and accumulation
of the stalactites. The cave has 3-10m wideness and 2-8m ceiling length. The cave’s floor contains sand and pebble. There are also stalactites and dickites on the floor.