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Balikesir





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Balikesir

Balikesir, Turkey.
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Balikesir, Turkey.

Balikesir, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Balikesir, Turkey. Photo: Dick Osseman.

City in northwestern Turkey with 240,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), on a rising ground above a fertile plain, south of the Sea of Marmara. It is the capital of Balikesir Province with 1.1 million inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Balikesir is the capital of a region with rich agriculture and minerals. The city's own industries include the production of cement, cotton textiles, flour, rugs and leather goods. The agriculture produces varied crops, including olives, cereals, beans, fruits, vegetables, sesame, cotton and tobacco. Minerals of the region include iron, lead, zink, antimony, chromium, lignite and boracite.
Balikesir is connected by rail and road to Aksehir 150 km south, Izmir 250 km southwest and Eskisehir 300 km east, Ankara 550 km east and by road to Bursa.
The surrounding area has many ancient historical and archaeological sites, like Edremit, sacked by Achilles according to the Illiad; Gönen, and Kaz Dagi, the ancient Mount Ida.
Modern Balikesir suffers from heavy pollution, mainly from its own cement plants. Still there are many landmarks from the city's long history, reflecting its important position in the Ottoman Empire. There are a few notable medieval mosques, of which the Zaganos Pasa from 1461 is unusually well-preserved. The bazaar is still very much alive. The newer sections of Balikesir represent the real centre, and residential zones constist of typical modern Turkish architecture.

History
Around 0: The site is known as the Roman town Hadrianutherae.
Around 1300: Balikesir is an important town in the Turkmen Karasi emirate.
Around 1350: Is aborbed into the emerging Ottoman Empire.




By Tore Kjeilen