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Aydin





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Aydin

The Cihanzade mosque of Aydin, Turkey, with a facade similar to Byzantine churches.
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The Cihanzade mosque of Aydin, Turkey, with a facade similar to Byzantine churches. Photo: Dick Osseman.


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Centre of Aydin, Turkey. Photo: Dick Osseman.


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Traditional quarter of Aydin, Turkey. Photo: Dick Osseman.

City in southwestern Turkey with 140,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate) near the Menderes River. It is the capital of Aydin province with 950,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Aydin has some modern industry, providing for the Turkish domestic market. The regional agriculture specializes in figs, but olives, strawberries and cotton are other important products.
Aydin has rail and road connections. Izmir is 100 km northwest, Denizli 120 km east and Mugla 120 km south.
The oldest building structures in Aydin (Tralles) are a Roman gymnasium from the 4th century BCE together with a marble column and the remains of a theatre. More recent are the two 17th century mosques.
Aydin enjoys a reputation for its mineral springs and spas, reputed to be curing and healing.

History
6th century BCE?: Founded by colonists from Greek Argive and Thrace, and called Tralles.
1186: Falls to the Seljuqs.
13th century CE: Falls to the Turkmen Mentese emirs. They named it Güselhisar.
14th century: Taken over by the Aydin dynasty, renaming Güselhisar as Aydin and making it their capital.
1390. Annexed by the Ottomans, and incorporated into their emerging empire.
1402: Conquered by Timur Lenk who restored the principality of Aydin.
Early 15th century: Reconquered by the Ottomans.
1922 September: During the Turkish War of Independence, Aydin is heavily destroyed when the Greeks are forced to leave.




By Tore Kjeilen