Menteşe is a town center which enclosed by Karadag, Kızıldağ, and Hamursuz
mountains from Asar (Hisar) Mountain foothills, sprawling toward plain.
The city’s oldest residential area Saburhane, is the region of Menteşe where Rom
and Turks lived together amicably during the Ottoman period, retained its ancient
air after emigrating of Roms in the exchange in 1924. The city center boasts
many beautiful examples of civil architecture. With its saddler, shoemaker, barber,
hardware stores, artisan restaurants, fountain in the square Arasta is like
frozen at the beginning of the 20th century. In the bazaar, there are also shops
selling gifts and fabrics unique to Muğla.
Menteşe is a sample of the Urban Conservation area in the region with its almost
400 registered houses, 170 civil architecture sample structures, 100 streets, old
buildings, fountains, arasta (bazaar), squares and mosques.
Mentese which is the oldest city of Caria region, the name of the city center
mentioned as “Mobolia” in records. BC in the year 3400, a new nation was established which is leaded by “Kar”. 1000 BC area felt domination of Dorians, after BC. 228 participated in Bergama - Roma unity and became a Roman province in BC.133.
It has passed to the dominance of the Anatolian Seljuk with the conquest
of the Turks in Anatolia. Aftermath of disintegration of the Seljuk Empire
principality the city was founded in 1284 by Mr. Menteşe and took its name from him. The region was annexed to Ottoman Empire in 1391 by Yıldırım Beyazıt , and then came under domination of Timur’s rule in 1402 and the area was given by Timur to Mentese authority, and then during Murat 2nd’s
reign has been part of the Ottoman Empire again.
Municipal organization was established in 1871. In 1884, Menteşe Shire had 5 districts, 3 sub-districts and 329 villages separated from Aydın in 30 october 1914 and has been the province under the name of Muğla.
Muğla center’s statute has ben restructured by according to Law no: 6360
that entered into force with 06 december 2012 dated offical newspaper no: 28489.
Culture of Efe and Zeybek
Etymologically Efe is related with “Efeb”, meaning youngster,
who carries weapon bravely. Efeb organization was established
in Anatolia before Greece. They used to train on the mountains as
Zeibeks did and came to cities to show their weapon games in theaters.
Their dance was in circle form because of the circle shaped theatre
stage. Their dance also had religious origin.
Especially in Aydın, İzmir, Mugla regions, single dance form is more
From this point of view, it is also possible to tell the generation of
the folk dances: Oguz tribes mostly regarded wild birds as blessed.
Zeibeks created ther folk dances by inspiring the movements of
birds. when you analyze carefully, it can be noticed that the similarity
between eagle movements and Zeibek figures.
Zeibeks are divided into three groups:
They are the master of the group. Colloquially Efe means “bully”. This word was lexicalized
from “Aka”, which means government and might. Although Efe had problems with state at Abdülhamit 2nd’s Sultanate, Some of Efes’ fought critically against Greeks during Turkish war of
Zeibek means armed gentleman. They were responsible to raise Kızans and management of them
who are under the authority of Ağa. Zeibeks were working as governors of patrols under the authority
of Efe. They were brave and good at using weapons. All Zeibeks also had a nickname according
This Word also in use as a “child” meaning in the vicinity, but the originally it means somebody who
is under Efe’s authority. Plud they are like soldiers under Efe’s command. Unless they get permission
from Efe they could not do anything even marriage wasn’t possible without the permission. It used
to considered an important thing to being under the command of Efe as Kızan and they used to
have a special ritual for the ones who will be under Efe.
Flower of Migration
Yellow Autumn crocus, Sternbergia Lutea, is known as flower of migration in Muğla. When they blossom with
its yellow tones, it means it is time for migration
For many years ,people who live in
Menteşe spend their summer times in Karabağlar
Tableland. This place used to be the means of living and it relatively protects its
position today. Karabağlar Tableland is an important
place for Muğla’s historical process and
it supplies agricultural production in order to
survive in the winter times.
This wold has a self supporting economy
for centuries and it also important for protecting
its pre-trade equilibrium of Menteşe.
People spend a half time of the year there
and they meet daily needs and prepare tarhana(
a kind of traditional food) , tomato sauce, dry
vegatable, grape molasses, sucuk,pasta, fried meet for winter times.
Every family has their own vineyard and according to this information
we can declare that people who live in there used to work on
Evliya çelebi (also known as Derviş Mehmed Zılli) was situated in
Muğla at 1671 and he observed the tableland. He specified that the
tableland consists of 11.000 garden and Muğla- Ula city community
lives there along 8 months in summer times. According to Evliya
Çelebi, this place unexampled and unique in Ottoman Empire. It is
comparible neither Konya – Meram and nor Malatya Aspuzu. There
are engur, witch elm, plane tree, Judas tree and fruitful vine yards. A
People who enters Karabağlar roads, can lose way in lots of botanic
Plots in the wolds are named as “yurt”. These plots are generally
about two or three thousand square metres and they are called
their owner’s names. The elements which separate the plots and construct the roads of wolds are specially named “kesik” or “irim”. Kesik is a natural component made of soil to separate the farms and roads and sometimes, it is covered with elm trees and groups of bush.
Karabağlar Wold has got special culture of Muğla. The most
important formations in this cultural structure are cafes which are dispersed
in the whole area.In the each neighbourhood of Karabağlar Tableland,
there are cafes located at the main crossroads and covered with high plane
trees.This cafes take their names from the neighbourhood.In the area
where the old cafes are located, there were shops such as; bakery, market,
butcher.Besides there were small mosques near each cafe. These mosques
are like square shaped, tile roofed and made of wood. There are summer
mosques which have three completely open sides and each of this sides
have their own wooden figures. Some of them are still used.
Coffee Houses of Tableland
Keyfoturağı Coffee House
Constructed in 1287 AH(19th century). It has one floor
and built in local artchitectural style. Keyfoturağı Coffeehouse
contains masjid, coffeehouse and restaurant. Masjid has rectangle
plan and alaturca tile roof. Unlike the other coffeehouse this one’s
masjid has wooden ceiling.
At the garden, there are 8 monumental sycamores and 2
wells. The coffeehouse expropriated and masjid repaired by mayoralty.
Süpüroğlu Coffee House
Supuroglu, in previous centuries, it used for accommodation
and food suply point for animals in beginning and end of
summers. Supuroglu was established by Yuruks (Turkish nomads in
There are 6 plane trees in garden that are
under protection because of their monumental value. Four of these plane trees are determined to be 550-600
years old. There is interesting detail about estimated 250 years old
maple; sound of wind turns into harmonic melody by this maple.
Estimated that the name of Süpüroğlu came up at same
time as establishment year of police union and that is 1845. There is
a rumour that a person acted like staff of restaurant while police
raid and began to sweep and “ I’m working here, I have nothing to
do with theese, I am not a gambler”. the police captain realised the
situation, laughed and said “ sweep boy sweep “ after those years
this place called as sweepboy in Turkish, Süpüroğlu.
Ayvalı Coffee House
It has one floor and builded local architectural style. Consist
of 2 coffehouse which one of them is for summer another one is
for winter and one masjid. Masjid has square plan, mass stones and
alaturca tile roof. Coffehouse includes 7 monumental sycamores and
1 well. Coffeehouse structure has been using as a residence, and the
masjid is unavailable now.
Berberler Coffee House
Constructed in 19th century. It has one floor and builded
local architectural style. There is a masjid in the garden. Masjid has square plan
and alaturca tile roof. 4 sycamores and 1 well exist in the garden.
Currently, Berberler Coffeehouse is not in use.
Cihanbeğendi Coffee House
Constructed in 19th century. it has one floor and builded
local architectural style. Coffeehouse building is demolished. Masjit is
standing but not available now. The Masjit has square plan and alaturca
tile roof. Cihanbegendi Coffehouse is not in use.
Elmalı Coffee House
It is single-floor building and it was built in a traditional
and local characteristic. It was demolished and its mosque is about
to demolished. Elmalı cafe is nonuse now.
Gökkıble Coffee House
It was built in early 20th century architectural style. It is square shaped and made of brick and alaturca tile roofed. It was built in 1959. It is single-floor building. Its Masjid
is across the road. It is on the property of a foundation. A minaret
was built in 1964 by the owners. Mosque is also
square shaped, mace roofed, covered with tile, built in accumulated
way. With the cafe, there are also market and bakery. Gokkible cafe
is nonuse now.
Hacıahmet Coffee House
It is a building of 19th century, single – storey and built in
traditional and local way. There are two Haci ahmet cafe which are the
old and the new one. There is also a mosque and bakery. There are two
plane trees and a pool in its garden.
Tozlu Coffee House
It is a bulding of the first half of 19th century. It is single storey
and built in local way. It consists of cafe and mosque. There is a coffin rest
near the mosque. The cafe which belongs to foundations was bought by
a person. Its small cafe is closed and mosque is open only summer.
On the road from Muğla to Karabag, Allan Poplar is a monumental, hollow
place-tree. Plane tree (in the precincts place-tree called poplar) in this place seen holy. According
to folkloric belief people take sick children to Allan’s Poplar for getting
better. Two women, into the tree someone and another one outside,
two women throwing to child among them and they so said, “take your
child, give my child ‘’. With this action, they believe recovery for children.
People who want to take vow for their wish visit the plane tree.
Muğla is the second rainiest city in Turkey after Rize. This characteristic about climate promotes people to design sheltered and rain-protected flues.
Since the chimneys got not only the smoke of flues but also of the the traditional furnaces, they were wide-mouthed. In order to close these mouths of the flues, it became compulsory to build a brigde with the regional roofing material; pantiles. But still it was not a complete solution to close the mouth of the flutes, because the other characteristic of Muğla’s climate is that the wind does not blow just in one direction, but in different directions. Therefore, the bridge of the pantiles over the flues were redesigned by leaving an open hole to four directions all around.
In the city center especially in the Hisar Mountain
there are ancient Mugla’s houses. These houses can be take into consideration with the houses in Karabaglar and Dugerek neighborhoods. Typical features of this houses can be counted as; open halls called as “Hayat” (means “life”), special yard entrances via characteristic doors called “kuzulu kapı”, traditional furnaces, long and wide eaves, coffers, woodwork verandas and bathrooms in shape of wardrobe. Most of them have garden and two floors. The “Hayat” section is covered in some of the houses. General features, as well as the Turkish home, these
houses are giving an important place to the family’s privacy.
Especially on the ground floor there aren’t multitude of Windows
overlooking the countyard. In contrast , windows draws
attention and semi outdoor living are most with wide weaves.
That’s why front side feature arise by the yard, and in order to
offset the dominance of the landscape and the sun, houses parcels land where their, the settled in the south open.
Houses’s entrance is “kuzulu kapı” form and multiple. And these are 2 and usually it is drop from second through a small door on the right by the entrance
2.30 m. Proportional to the height of the courtyard, most of them
have small sloping sides. Most of them tend to be small on both
sides of the tile is covered with a wooden roofs door.
Usually these houses are made by stone or sometimes made by
It is possible to divide Mugla Houses in two section:
These houses are especially spread on Hisar Mountains
and these houses are special places which has traditional figures
and consists of red roof tiles, white walls and green trees. Backhouse
places in garden are important figures of houses. The “Hayat”s of some old houses were closed afterwards and some of the relativaly new houses they are constructed directly.
By the settlement of Greek Merchants in city, greek families
settle in to Konakaltı and Saburhane locations and built stone
houses structured by Greek culture characteristic. Main different
features from Turk houses are integrated frontage with Street, introvertedly
style and mass walls. Another characterized feature
of this houses is being structured by stone. Clock tower in Arasta ( old city
business and craft centre) which had been built in 1895 by Greek Constructor, Master Filivari, was survived from Greek community.
Andon’s Turkish Bath (Zeliha’s Turkish Bath)
It is 150 – years Greek Bathhouse and it had been operated by Andon. Turkish Bath was sold to Turks after excambium.
Muğla is a sample of the Urban Conservation area in the region with its almost
400 registered houses, 170 civil architecture sample structures, 100 streets, old
buildings, fountains, arasta (bazaar), squares and mosques. Saburhane square is typical settlement in where two different cultures live together which are Turk – Greek or Muslim – Christian.
The area was named from a jail that used to be there. Some houses may only be reached via dooryards in blind streets.
Starting from early 19th century , the wealthy people who had midrated from the lands which Otoman state had lost in Balkan area, brought Grek experts into
the country. By Greek efficiency, architectural changes have emerged after 1820. In addition to Greek experts , the migration to Mugla also
involves all kind of profession such as tailors, millers,doctors,pharmacist etc. Greek settlement intensified around the ‘Saburhane Square’. In
era of Greek, Saburhane was a place that includes intense social life which had a river was passing through whole location under a stonedbridge
and also involves massive plane –trees. The significant way to make living was tavern after carpenter and constructional expertness.
A lot of tavern had located along the street side by side, as we considered ‘’Meyhane Boğazı’ that includes the place of ‘Andon’s Hamam’ and the mezes had been provided from islands.
Semsi Ana is the basic matriorchal architecture
that defines Mugla’s traditional identity. Semsi Ana who is
credited as first person who finds the water of municilipality;
has a interesting story; Shepherd Semsi Ana went to graze
their goats. One day, She has seen that beard of one of the goats
was wet. This went on like this. One day Semsi Ana followed
the goat. She has seen that the goat drunk the water and
covered the water with soil and found the sources of the
water that was very precious in this period. She is
considered as holy person for discovering water.
Grand Mosque is the most ancient mosque of
the city, had been built by Sultan İbrahim in 1334. In 1938,
it has been restored by Abdizade Bey.
In 1493, it has been established by the order of Esseyit Sucaaddin. By 1900s last praying place has been added by Serif Efendi. Furthermore,
its minaret was constructed in the same year by Hacı İsmail. This mosque varries from others by its important features which has
a huge dome covered by lead. Hand drawn decorations in Mosque are trimmed by rubia tinctorum. Thus; its carefully produced stone walls
also includes architectural structure of Seljuk Civilization.
In 18th Century, there was a Mevlevi mosque in today’s location
of the Sahidi Mosque. Main building of the mosque of today was built
above remains of the Mevlevi Mosque that demolished afterwards by
Hadji Osman aga. First repair was done in 1869 and second essential
repair was done in 1911 by Sheikh Cemal who was Sheikh of Mevlevi. In
the garden of the mosque , the mosque that name known and lived between
the years 1470-1550 Mevlevi Sheikh Hz . Sahidi tomb and tomb
of Sheikh Seyit Kemalettin who was established the first mosque is located.
Today’s inside of the Mosque is exactly preserved same as before
that Dervishes used to make dhikr on circle.
History of the building that expropriated in 1999, was started
in 1800’s. The building which It’s owners was Serefliler family in the
beginning, has architecture of Turkish and Greek. There are long rooms,
closed bay windows by wooden in upstairs, in inner side of yard. The
rooms are opening on yards. In 2003, It’s restoration was finished and
the building put into service. The building becomes a place that exhibited
folk outfits and goods, arranged cultural activities.
Its building was started approximately in 1493. Inn was an important trading center in history of town. It was built durable stone wall, plasterboard
and wooden framework. This place was a rendering plant in the past. Yagcılar Inn restorated and being used as trading center and rest area in shadow of plane trees in the yard.
The house which is one of the traditional houses and also known as
Hacı Hamzalar and Ali Rıza Özbek House dates back to 225 years ago. In 1987,
a reward was given in the field of the most preserved and durable house by
Chamber of Architects of Muğla.Initially the house had a soil housetop. Afterwards,
it was renovated and some kinds of places were built in the structure
such as winter house,summer house,stoops and basement room.Later on,the
soil housetop was closed and it was transformed into a system consisting of
wood,timber-work roof.Dead wall is used along the frontages,and there is an
outdoor hall in the part of inner court.
In 1985,one of the first mayors of Muğla Hacı Kadızade Süleyman Efendi and
his wife Pembe Ana desired to build a tower which they had seen while they
had been going to Hedjaz. They had Master Filvarus (renowned Greek constructor)
built the tower.
Year of establishment of the house,which is in records Hacıkadı
House,is between 1875-1880 and it dates back to 130 years ago.
First mayor of Muğla,Hacı Kadı Süleyman Efendi and his wife Pembe
Hatun constructed this house for their son Ömer Efendi. Clock Tower (Saatli Kule) and Hometown Hospital (Memleket Hastanesi),
which are foremost, historical structures for Muğla had been
built by the effort of this family. In 2004, it was fixed by Governorship
of Muğla and it started to provide service in 2005.
Arasta (Ottoman Bazaar)
The only connection of the city was İzmir –Aydın –Çine, Tavas-Denizli
lines. And caravans were passing through Muğla. Camel
trains were going to city center and accomodate in Yagcilar Inn and Kocahan
shelters passing through Sekibasi Street. They were leaving the city following
Saburhane, Yılanlı Dağı Yolu that reaches Tavas, before Denizli. Yağcılar Hanı, İbrahim Hanı, Bacılar Han, Balcıoğlu Hanı, Konakaltı Hanı and Kocahan which doesn’t stand now were on the caravan roads. As a consequence, they used to be the most attractive places of the time. In Arasta there were guilds formed according to professions, and gave their name to the area: Arasta of Forfers, Arasta of Coppersmiths which are still being called with their old names. In the North there used to be a trawery and it
was an important business center for the city. The processed
leathers were popular among the caravans. The other important
goods were : loomed fabrics, forest products and
high quality lime coming from Hamursuz mountain. They
traded this products with wheat, fabrics, and some other
agricultural products which aren’t produced in the area. Traditional trade center Arasta is a historical structure with civil architecture features that shows the commercial density of the region by being constructed on the old caravan route’s intersection points of North-south and east west.
This region , especially from 80’s ,
began to lose its importance due to the change of social life,
move the city center to the south, lacking new experts who
replace the old experts.
Municipality Service Building
It was built as government mansion of Menteşe Shire in Ottoman administration in 1867.
The house plan was drawn by Damascus Major Hüseyin
who was the gendarmerie commander in that time . The plan was inspired from a mansion in Damascus. The second
floor of courthouse was built by Cafer Pahsa who was the
governor of Mugla in 1889. The building was used as the
governor’s office building until 1949, then as a courthouse.
By National Real Estate Department in 2003, it was transferred
to Mugla Municipality to be used as the Municipal
This inn which is the civil architecture sample from 19th centuries,
is a predominantly wooden lath. Upstairs was used
for accommodation of the traders and seasonal workers who come to
trade. Downstairs shops, animal roofs and warehouses were located.
The inn that was restored under the auspices of Muğla Municipality,
under the supervision of Nail Çakırhan who is the winner of Ağa Khan
architecture award, today hosts the cultural and social activities within
Mugla Municipality Education, Culture and Social Affairs Directorate
The Castle of Mobolla
The castle of Mobolla which is placed at the peak of hill which Muğla City leaned on, has an importance for settling which can be
reached till the beginning of eleventh century with its convenient location for defensing especially against in east, south and west directions.
Existing ruins at the hill show the presence of an continuous settlement place which can be extended into the period of Byzantium .
Muğla City Forest
Muğla City Forest has started to service tin 2006 to people who want to get rid of the stressful life of city in an approximately 1025 hectare area. City Forest offers paths for walking and running , playing fields for kids, terrace for watching the scene, observing tower and
changing rooms. Here, one can organise any kind of event without making a fire.
The fossils which are removed from Özlüce Village Kaklıcatepe Area which is situated east of Muğla, are exhibited as Trolian Age discovery
in part of Muğla Museum History of Nature. The operations of digging and investigating Kaklıcatepe fossils has started at the end of 1992 and
these operations are classified as three parts which are kitchen utensils, rhino, elephant and that kind of animals,pigs, horses and carnivorous
animals. The era which these discoveries are defined with respect to their history is known as Turolian Age since these extinguished samples
which are 5-9 million years old and enclosing very large area from the East Asia to Spain is placed in Teruel Basin.