Çeşme, Cesme Hotel and Tourism İnformation
Çeşme (CHESH-meh; population 100,000), 85km due west of tzmir, means 'fountain' or 'spring'. From the town, it's only about lOkm across the water to the Greek island of Chios and the ferries to Greece are the main reason people come here. However, the fast-growing resort area encircling the town is popular with weekend-trippers from izmir.
Çeşme itself is a pleasant seaside town, and the land to the east of it is rolling steppe, a foretaste of Anatolia. This barrenness subsides as you approach tzmir, giving way to wheat fıelds, lush orchards, olive groves and tobacco fields. About 23km east of Çeşme is the pretty Uzunkuyu Piknik Yeri, a roadside picnic area in a pine forest. About 50km east of Çeşme you pass the official city limits of İzmir, a full 30km west of Konak Meydanı.
Çeşme is right on the coast. Ilıca, a seaside resort town 6km to the east, has numerous hotels in ali price ranges. There are frequent dolmuşes running between Ilıca and Çeşme and buses from izmir cali in there fırst - but unless you want to spend ali your time at the beach you're better off staying in Çeşme proper.
Çeşme's otogar is less than l km south of the main square Cumhuriyet Meydanı al-though you can pick up a bus to izmir from immediately west of the monument at the western end of Inkilap Caddesi. Everything you need is near the main square on the water-front, with its inevitable statue of Atatürk. The Tourism Information Office, Customs House (Gümrük), ferry ticket offices, bus ticket offıces, restaurants and hotels are all within two blocks.
Tourism (Tourist) Information in Çeşme
The Tourism Information Office (fax 232-712 6653) is down by the dock at iskele Meydanı 6.
You can change money at Bamka Döviz (232-712 0853), Inkilap Caddesi 80.
The annual Çeşme Film Festival is held during the third week of August.
The postal code is 35930.
Çeşme Castle and Museum
The huge Genoese fortress dominating the centre of town was repaired by Sultan Beyazıt, son of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, to defend the coast from attack by pirates and by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem based on Rhodes. it is now the Çeşme Kalesi ve Müzesi (Çeşme Fortress & Museum), which is open every day from 8.30 am to noon and from 1 to 5 pm. The entrance is up
the hill by the steps more or less opposite the Tourism Information Office.
Most of the castle's interior is empty, with the exception of the north tower, which displays local archaeological finds, many re-lating to Çeşme's markime history, others from nearby Erythrae. You can climb up on the battlements for a good look around. One of the towers houses the summer-only Castle Restaurant (see Places to Eat in this section).
Facing the main square, with its back to the fortress, is a statue of Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa (1714-90), together with a lion which symbolises his temperament. As a boy he was captured in a battle on the Iranian border, sold into slavery by the Ottoman army and bought by a Turkish tradesman who raised him with his own sons. Having joined the Janissaries at the age of 25, he began a brilliant military, naval and political career which included fıerce battles with the Russian fleet off Çeşme. He retired an ex-tremely wealthy man, having served as the sultan's grand vizier and having built public monuments, fountains and mosques on Lesbos, Lemnos, Chios, Kos and Rhodes (all Ottoman possessions at the time).