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Sirince - A Pleasant Village Near Ephesus

IMG 3093Sirince Village is one of the rising stars of Turkish tourism. It is an old Orthodox-Greek village located 12 km away from Ephesus and 30 km from Kusadasi. In historical sources it was mentioned as " Ephesus on the mountain" or " Old Ephesus". The reason why these names were given for the village was that when Ephesus was silted up by the alluvial deposits of the Caystros River, the people of the city were escaping to this small settlement to escape from mosquitos in the hot summer days. Historical records mention that the village has been populated from the 5th century AD and up to the beginning of the 20th century it was an important Greek-Orthodox town with two churches named as St John the Baptist and St Dimitrious as well as fourty monasteries. 

The famous Greek and Ottoman typed houses date back to the 19th century. It is believed that all these houses were built among the hills to be in safe from the attacks of the pirates. 

During the history the name of the village was changed many times. At first the village was named as "Kırkınca" meaning fourty and the name was derived from the fourty people settling on the mountains surrounding the area. In Greek language this name turned into "Kirkince" and in the end was converted into "Cirkince" which means "ugly". In the year of 1926, the governor of Izmir, Kazım Dirik, visited the village and what he saw was a pleasant village. Then he changed the name from Cirkince to Sirince meaning "pleasant".

In 1800s it was a huge village with 1800 houses and the main income of the villagers was to export fig and related products. The nearest port was located near Izmir on those days and that's why the villagers had to take all of their products to Izmir to sell them out. IMG 3102

 

Hundred years ago the population raised upto to 5.000 and the Greeks were living in a peaceful atmosphere with the Turks but in a short time the wind reversed. According to an agreement signed between the goverments of Greece and Turkey, the people on both sides of the Aegean Sea had to change their locations. The Greek people who had been living on Aegean shores of Turkey emigrated to Greece and The Turks who had been living in Greece and in some Greek islands for centuries had to come back to Turkey. It was a big disaster for both sides. The people had to abandon their houses leaving most of their personal belongings and their christian or muslim friends behind and start a new life in a place that they did not know. The Greeks settled in a village called Nea Efesos located near Caterini and the Turks emigrated from some Turkish villages near Kavala such as Mustiyan "Moustheni" and Somokol "Domatia".

IMG 3080The Turks settled in the same houses left by the Greeks and some of the houses remained empty for a long time. After a long time than the Turkish settlement in the village most of the houses were rebuilt in accordance with the original design. 

After 1980s the tourism boomed in the village and the visitors coming to Ephesus wanted to visit "old Ephesus" or "pleasant village". Many of the tour companies organise tours to the village combined with a visit to Ephesus. Agriculture played an important role for the economy of the village for many years but right now the tourism is the main income.

Today in the middle of the village there is a small and tiny square surrounded by local tea-shops, small restaurants where you can taste authantic meals, many different shops where such products as famous fruit wines, home-made olive soaps, olive oil, handicrafts are sold at reasonable prices.

You can visit this village through any of Eren Gonul's private Ephesus Tours from Kusadasi Port or nearby.