Kusadasi is a resort town on the Turkish Aegean coast, the center of the seaside district of the same name, belonging to the province of Aydın.
Its name comes from the union of the words “kuş” (bird) and ‘ada’ (island) as the peninsula has the shape of a bird’s head. It was also known as Ephesus Neopolis, during the Byzantine era and then as Scala Nuova, under the control of Genoese and Venetians; it was not until the early twentieth century that it adopted its current name.
The first settlements in Kusadasi were in charge of Lelegians and Carians of central Anatolia, around 3000 B.C. Here, on the slopes of Mount Pilav (Rice) they set up a colony and then founded the cities of Ania and Melia, cultivators of figs, grapes and olives and wine makers.
In the tenth century B.C., in pure splendor of the Ionian League, formed by the most developed cities in the time -Samos, Chios, Miletus, Priene, Ephesus, Teos, Erythrai, Priena, Klazonemi, Lebedos, Phokaia, Colophon, Smyrna- , they settled the sanctuary Panionian, around the present Kuşadası, as the site for the annual meetings of the League and then inside its limits they cities of Phygale, Marathesion and Neopolis were created.
The city was invaded by Persians around the year 546 B.C. and in 200 B.C., approximately, the area was dominated by the Roman Empire, later becoming a state of Byzantium. Affected by earthquakes and other natural disasters like the bogging of the harbor, Ephesus was gradually losing its importance, so that the Byzantines were forced to find a new route for trade, which ended up being the area around Neopolis, more convenient for Greek, Jews and Armenians Merchants. The name of the new port was “Scala Nuova” and around it emerged a new shopping center comprised of the different towns in the area, which laid the foundations of current Kuşadası.
Kusadasi began to be ruled by the Ottoman Empire since the invasion of Sultan Mehmet Celebi in the year 1413. During the reign of the Ottomans were introduced in Kuşadası the famous structures that renewed the already spectacular landscape of his previous view.
Okuz Mehmet Paşa caravanserai figure as the main Ottoman architectural piece in town, built by the man of the same name, who was vizier during the reign of the sultans Osman Ahmed I and II. The gates of the fortress, walls and mosques in the center of Kusadasi, as well as the citadel of the castle in Pigeon Island, date back to the Ottoman Empire period.
After the First World War, Kuşadası was invaded by the Greeks (1919), but after a major battle in 1922, became part of the Republic of Turkey. Izmir was Kuşadası’s capital until 1954, when it became part of the province of Aydın, and this one its new capital.
Today, Kuşadası is one of the most sophisticated resort towns of Turkey, perfect location for a holiday, with its sandy beaches and crystalline waters. The contrast of vibrant life with the tranquility of ancient ruins, gives a special atmosphere to the city.