Kuşadası Turkey, Kusadasi Hotel and Property
About 20km from Selçuk is Kuşadası (koo-SHAH-dah-suh), a seaside resort town with a resident population of 50,000. Like Marmaris it's swollen out of all recognition throughout the summer with package holidaymakers from Europe.
Many cruise ships on the Aegean Islands circuit stop at Kuşadası so passengers can tour Ephesus and haggle for trinkets in the bazaar. The town centre is all shops and işportacılar (itinerant pedlars and touts ready to sell you anything and everything). The pleasant, easy-going atmosphere which made it popular in the 1970s is long gone, even though a few businesses stili hang on to serve the farmers, beekeepers and fishermen who make up an ever-dwindling portion of the population.
Kuşadası gets its name (Bird Island) from a small island now connected to the main-land by a causeway, called Güvercinada, or Güvercin Adası (Pigeon Island). it's recognizable by the small stone fort which is its most prominent feature.
Like Selçuk, Kuşadası makes a good base for excursions to the ancient cities of Ephesus, Priene, Miletus, and Didyma, to Altınkum Beach and Dilek National Park, and even inland to Afrodisias and Pamukkale.
The natural port here may have been in use several centuries BC, and was probably known to the Byzantines, but modern Kuşadası's history begins in medieval times when Venetian and Genoese traders came here, calling it Scala Nuova. Two centuries after the Ottoman conquest in 1413, Öküz Mehmet Paşa, vizier and sometime grand vizier to sultans Ahmet I and Osman II, ordered the building of the Kaleiçi mosque and hamam, the city walls, and the caravan-serai in order to improve the city's prospects as a trading port with Europe and Africa.
Useful for exporting agricultural goods, Kuşadası was also an important defensive port along the Ottoman Aegean coast. in 1834 the Güvercinada fortress was restored and improved. Kuşadası maintained its modest trade, farming and fıshing economy and its quiet character until the tourism boom of the late 1980s turned it into the brash resort you see today.
Kuşadası's central landmark is the Öküz Mehmet Paşa Kervansarayı, an Ottoman caravanserai which is now a hotel. it's 100 m inland from the cruise-ship docks, at the intersection of the waterfront boulevard, Atatürk Bulvarı, and the togn's main street, the pedestrianised Barbaros Hayrettin Caddesi which cuts inland from the caravanserai. Just beyond the PTT on the northern side of Barbaros Hayrettin Caddesi, a passage leads to the Öküz Mehmet Paşa Camii and the Kaleiçi Hamamı. Further along at the stone tower, Barbaros Hayrettin Caddesi crosses Sağlık Caddesi and becomes Kahramanlar Caddesi, lined with shops and restaurants. Turn left onto Sağlık Caddesi to explore Kuşadası's market and the old Kaleiçi neighbourhood of narrow streets packed with restaurants and bars. Turn right off Barbaros Hayrettin Caddesi to find raucous Barlar Sokak (Bars Street), and the hillside pensions overlooking the harbour.
The Hacı Hatice Hanım Camii (Hanım Camii for short) about 100m along Kahramanlar Caddesi makes a convenient landmark. The otogar and dolmuş station is more than 1 km east of the caravanserai on the bypass road.
Information in Kusadasi
The Tourism Information Office (256-614 1103, fax 614 6295), on İskele Meydanı, is right near the wharf where the cruise ships dock, located about 100 m west of the caravanserai. This office is usually open from 8 am to noon and from 1.30 to 5.30 pm but keeps longer hours in summer.
Banks with ATMs are on Barbaros Hayrettin Caddesi (Akbank, Garanti, Yapı Kredi and Ziraat). The PTT on Barbaros Hayrettin Caddesi near the caravanserai changes money as well.
The postal code is 09400