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There are numerous stories about the name Alaçati. According to some, Alaçati is the name only for the harbour area which is about two kilometers from the old town. Some claim that the name for the town was Agrilia, and there is also another name AlacaAt (RedHorse) used for the whole area. Their claim is based on a story, that the ruler of Alacati had a red horse to ride. When riding the horse, bystanders would refer to him as "Alacaatli (the man with the red horse)", in time the name was somehow changed to Alacati. During the exchange of ethnics between Balkan countries and Turkey, Turkish refugees from the Balkans were settled here, and ever since then the name Alaçati has been adopted both for the town and the harbour area. The harbour area was the export port of Izmir until the World War II. But after the WWII, somehow the harbour's use declined, maybe that is a good thing as the bay, in which the harbour was, is now occupied by the windsurf lovers.

Let's leave the name issue to the experts and carry on with the stroll through the town. While strolling, there are other historical points to remember. Alaçati became an Ottoman town, according to some, in 14th century, and according to others in 15th century, but regardless of the date, it is a well known fact that Alacati was a Rum settlement area, the Moslem population was 132 out of a population of 13,845 in 1895. After the defeat of Ottomans in the Balkans, a lot of Moslem refugees started to flow to the western coast of Anatolia. The first reaction to the defeat in Anatolia came from the Rums in Cesme as they made a decision to leave Cesme to settle in the island of Chios. Thousands of them sailed across to the island in small boats, although later Greece sent passenger boats to carry people across to Greece. It is said that, most of the refugees came and settled into the houses emptied by the Rums. Most of these houses still remain in Alaçati as an attraction for people to see and absorb the feeling of life in the past.

During your stroll you would also notice that there is no front garden to the houses and the main doors open straight into the streets. All houses are more or less the same terraced houses with protective wooden shutters on the ground-floor windows. Mostly the houses are two floors with "jumba (bay window) " on the second floor giving an excellent view of the street to the occupants. It is also very interesting to see that certain items like door-knobs, metal works from balconies are available to purchase in certain shops.

When you reach the end of the street, either dive into other streets or go back to Antique Shop and face south to stroll into the shopping area of Alaçati. You can still observe the beauty of typical style of living and shopping in these areas before the shop signs turn to "coiffeur", "boutique", "café", "billiard", and the wooden stools into plastic chairs, like in many other coastal towns. Once through these shops, the street will lead you into the "Alaçati Bazaar" right next to the mosque surrounded by a beautiful pebble-stone courtyard. The jewellery shop, the grocery shop, the souvenier shop, the butcher or the dairy farm shop will draw your attention so much that you may not notice the grapes hanging just above your head. You may also not notice that the mosque was originally a church converted to a mosque later after the refugee settlement. Known as the "Ayios Konstantinos" church in the Rum times, it is now still serving religious needs but only this time for moslems as the "Bazaar Mosque".

Going back to the street which lead you to the Bazaar and turning left would take you to a narrow fork shaped crossing. Right in the corner you will see a shop sign "Fiskos Evi (Gossip House)". Full with hand-made table-cloths, curtains, embroideries, it is a must for ladies to visit. Nobody knows whether it was the gossip inside which lead to the name or visa versa, but once inside the goodies will draw your attention. Even the tiny objects inside would get anybody's interest. Just feel free to look around.

If you think that you are lost somehow, just raise your head a little to look for the landmarks of Alaçati, the old windmills, and walking towards them will simply take you back to where you have started from. The windmills are a sign of the old usage of wind to produce energy, all five of them restored back to their originals, unfortunately do not function any more, but stand on the hills to show history at its best.

Then you get back into your car to follow the sign to the beach, after a very short drive, you will see the signs for "Alaçati Windsurfers' Paradise"...

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Alaçati Beach Resort
Alaçati Liman Mevkii
Alaçati - Izmir
TURKEY

Phone : +90-232-7166161 pbx
Telefax : +90-232-7167070

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