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Şirince Town

Şirince Town

Although there is no confirmed information related to the foundation of Şirince town, it is estimated that the history of the town could be traced back as early as 6th Century B.C. In official records, Aydın Foundation Log Book dated 1583 from the 16th Century, it is mentioned as “Kırkınca-Çirkince” in Ottoman Archives. Since there is no sufficient resources about Şirince, the most commonly adopted story about Şirince is narrated by the public as below:

In the Roman Empire times, Ephesus was the largest city and commercial centre of the world. Residents of Ephesus used to shelter in Şirince from the floods and the malaria epidemic in their region. Moreover, Şirince was considered safer due to its location. Accordingly, Şirince was also referred as Ephesus on the mountain over the course time.

Whereas Şirince was referred as “Kyrkindje”, “Kirkincdsche”, “Kirkidje”, “Kırkıca” and “Kırkınca” in Kiepert’s maps, it was occupied by a liberated group of Greeks during the Aydınoğulları State era. One day, whilst touring the area the esquire asked how the village was and was told ‘Çirkince’ (literal translation meaning ugly) by its residents who did not wish the village o be given to anyone else. Thus, the town of “Kırkınca” became known as “Çirkince” in Ayasuluk (Selçuk) and its surrounding areas also.  

With the passage of time Aydınoğulları State was conquered by the Ottomans and Şirince became part of Ottoman Empire soils. During the ruling of the Ottoman era Şirince raised two important fig merchants and the town became well established for its fig produce. Figs harvested from Şirince were being transported to Kemeraltı Bazaar in İzmir by means of caravans for marketing.  Due to this there was a large numbers of camel barns in Şirince during this period however today, there is only one camel barn left.

The residents of Şirince lived in their town in peace and harmony up until 1910 when they began to become active due to the provocations of banished immigrants from Greece and took part in revolts during Balkan Wars resisting against the Ottomans.  Some of residents of Şirince who took part on the side of Greece during the Independence War escaped to Greece upon victory at the end of the war. With the exception of some elders of the Şrinçe community all other residents of the town migrated to Greece based on the migrant exchange act.

With the immigration-exchange act which took effect in 1924, Turkish communities living in Greek Cities of Selanik, Provusta and Kavala were settled into the town of Şirince During his visit to Şirince, Kazım Divrik Pasha who was İzmir Governor of the Republican period declared; “such a beautiful cannot be called Çirkince (ıugly); it can only but be called Şirince (cute).

 

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