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City in northwestern Turkey with 110,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), on the Sea of Marmara. It is the capital of Tekirdag province with 620,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Tekirdag serves an agricultural market for the surrounding region, where the most important products are flax and sunflower seeds. Tekirdag has also a vital wine production.
Tekirdag lies on the main highway between Ipsala and Istanbul. Ipsala lies 100 km west and Istanbul 150 km east. 25 km north runs the Edirne-Istanbul railway.
Tekirdag has some of its old wooden houses, while the main landmark is the 16th century Rüstem Pasha mosque. Equally old is the covered bazaar, called Bedestan.

7th century BCE: Founded by the Greeks, and called Bisanthe.
1st century: Becomes capital of Thrace, and is named Rhaedestus.
14th century CE: Conquered by the Ottomans and incorporated into the emerging empire.
1877- 78: Occupied by Russia.
1912: Occupied by Bulgaria.
1920: Comes under Greek control.
1922: Transferred to the new state of Turkey.

By Tore Kjeilen