Sirince Village Turkey

Sirince is a village of around 700 inhabitants located 10km away from Ephesus ancient city on top of the hill. Roman aqueducts on the way up to Sirince proved that the hill where the current village leaned was an important water source for Ephesus.

Sirince Village - Selcuk - Turkey
Sirince Village – Selcuk – Turkey

It is believed that the city was founded by Ephesians who abandoned their city during the conquests of Timur (the king of the Timurid Empire, -Turco Mongol) and withdrew into the high mountains. But according to another version the Greek slaves who settled was the founder of the village named as Cirkince (Turkish for ugliness). According to another foundation version of 40 freed slaves settled there, and therefore the village was called Kirkince (from the Turkish word for forty; Kirk).

Sirince Streets - Hospital and Doctor's House
Sirince Streets – Hospital and Doctor’s House

Agricultural fields surrounding the village including many structures of the Byzantine period date back to the 11th to 13th centuries. Byzantine frescoes on the walls of Sütini and Kurudağ Caves, and ruins of aqueducts are some of them. Visitors can see them on the road from Selçuk to Sirince. Sütini Cave was also used as a chapel from the 13th century. The writings found on the walls of the cave are invoked to Jesus and ask for his help. It is understood from the finding that the Kurudağ cave was as a cult place in Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Nisanyan House Hotel in Sirince
Nisanyan House Hotel in Sirince

According to Ottoman sources in the middle of the 17th century, only 18 Christian families were living in the village. It is stated by a visitor in the 19th century that “the village consists of at least 300 Greek houses but the principal language is Turkish. He notes that the women “dressed in the Turkish manner and the men are all armed as the Turks. He estimated the population as around fifteen hundred people. The 1909 yearbook states that the village had around 1000 houses and all inhabited by Greek Orthodox Christians. Irregular Greek troops controlled the village for 3 years during the first world war (1919-1922).

Tourists Fruit Wine Tasting in a Wine House in Sirince
Tourist’s Fruit Wine Tasting in a Wine House in Sirince

After the War of Independence, as a result of the Turkey-Greece population exchange in 1923, the Greek population left, and Turkish families who migrated from the Greek villages of Mustiyan and Somokos (Kavala) settled in the village. Current inhabitants are descendants of Turkish immigrants who were resettled here from the Kavala region in Greek Macedonia. They have preserved the traditions of the Greeks in the region. Fruit wines are the most famous production of Turkish Muslims continuing after the Greeks.

Covered Bazaar of Sirince Village
Covered Bazaar of Sirince Village

The first two immigrants suffered from poverty and difficulties of low living standards. Most of the 4,000 people settled in Sirince after the population exchange moved to Izmir in search of work and a better life. As a result, the old houses fell into disrepair. In the 1980s Sirince was discovered by travelers and gradually turned into a tourist center. The road to Sirince had been paved in 1983. The town took its present form over time with the construction of small hostels and hotels.

The village got its present name in 1926, when the governor of Izmir, Kazım Dirik, renamed it as Sirince.

If you would like to explore Ephesus Ancient City with Best Ephesus Tours, you can reach us at the links below.

Ephesus and Sirince Village Tour from Kusadasi

Ephesus and Sirince Village Tour from Izmir

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