Cesme is a district of Turkey’s Izmir province. Urla district to the east of the district; Aegean Sea is located in the north, west, and south. Its population is 39,243 as of 2014. It is one of the twelve Ionian colonies in history.
According to Pausanias, Erythrai (Ildırı) was founded by the Cretans. Ruled by tyrants in the 7th century BC, the city came under Lydian rule in 560 BC. The city remained under Persian rule until it was liberated by Alexander. It is surrounded by stone walls. During the archaeological studies carried out in the city, the Athena Temple and Theater, dated to the second half of the 7th century BC, were unearthed.
Çeşme region met with Turkish sovereignty with Turkish sailor Çaka Bey at the end of the 11th century. Its transition to Ottoman rule is at the end of the 14th century. One of the known Ottoman works is Çeşme Castle. The artifacts obtained during the excavations in Çeşme and its surroundings are exhibited in the museum inside Çeşme Castle. In addition to the castle, there is also a caravanserai.
According to the 1893 Ottoman census, the number of people living in Çeşme was 30,702 . At that time, 88% of the Çeşme population, that is, 26,826 people, were Greeks. The rate of Turks was 12%.
Cesme Castle and Museum
Çeşme’s most visited historical monument II. The castle built by Beyazıt is used as a museum today. Çeşme castle was built in 1508 by the Ottoman Sultan II. It was built by Beyazıt, through Aydın Governor Mir Haydar, to Architect Ahmet’s son Mehmet. The first construction of the castle was right on the seashore. However, in the following years, it took its present position as a result of the filling of the sea.
The fort and port protected trade and warships against bad weather and enemy attacks. The southern gate of the castle has all the characteristics of Ottoman architecture. Cesme Archeology Museum is located in the castle, which has been preserved very well until today.
Çeşme Museum was opened for the first time as a weapon museum in 1965 with weapons brought from Istanbul Topkapı Museum, and it continued as such until 1984. Since the weapons in the museum began to oxidize and deteriorate due to the excessive moisture in the hall, they were transferred to Izmir Archeology and Ödemiş museums. The same exhibition hall is organized and the artifacts obtained from the rescue excavations in the ancient city of Ildırı (Erythrai), which has been going on since 1964, are exhibited.