Seljuks Anatolian Seljuk

2 Eylül 2007 Pazar

SELJUKS (SELÇUK) - Anatolian Seljuk

Seljuk Turks
Once a modest farming town with a sideline in tourism, Selçuk has been transformed by the tourism boom of the 1990s. Tourism is now the driving force in the local economy, though the lush fields of cotton and tobacco and the orchards of apples and figs surrounding the ever-growing town attest to the continuing efforts of the farmers.


Ayasoluk Hill, with its castle, is north-west of the centre. Cengiz Topel Caddesi, the pedestrian way which is the heart of the commercial and tourist district, runs from an elaborate round fountain at the intersection with the main road to the train station. A few hundred metres south of the fountain on the main road is the otogar. On the west side of the main road is a shady park, and west of it is the famous Ephesus Museum. On the southern side of the park is the Tourism information Office. Selçuk's postal code is 35920.

The Seljuk Information - Tourist Office

Selçuk's Tourism Informa­tion Office (232-892 1328, fax 892 1945) is at Efes Müzesi Karşısı 23, across the main İzmir-Bodrum highway from the otogar.


The PTT on Cengiz Topel Caddesi is open 24 hours every day, and will change cash, travellers cheques or Eurocheques. Ziraat Bankası has an offıce with ATM on Cengiz Topel Caddesi; iş Bankası and Akbank have ATMs on Namık Kemal Caddesi, a block north. There are foreign ex-change offices along Cengiz Topel Caddesi as well.


If you park a car near the Tourism information Office, Ephesus Museum, St John Basilica or a few other touristy places in Selçuk, you may be approached by a man wanting to collect a parking fee of up to US$1.50. Although the charge is official, ask for a bilet (ticket) or makbuz (receipt) to make sure the cash is going into the right pockets. Alternatively, move your car and park a few blocks away for free.

Ayasoluk Hill

Before going to Ephesus, take an hour or two to visit the ancient buildings in Selçuk. The best place to start is the St John Basilica on top of the hill; look for signs pointing the way to St Jean.

it is said that St John came to Ephesus at the end of his life and wrote his Gospel here. A tomb built in the 4th century was thought to be his, so Justinian erected this magnificent church above it in the 6th century. Earthquakes and scavengers for building materials had left the church a heap of rubble until a century ago when restoration began; virtually all of what you see now is restored. The church site is open every day from 8 am to 5.30 pm (later in summer) for US$2.50. Parking at the entrance costs almost as much, so if you have a car, park a block or two away.

This hill, including the higher peak with the fortress, is called Ayasoluk and it offers an attractive view. Look west: at the foot of the hill is the Isa Bey Camii, built in 1375 by the Emir of Aydın in a transitional style which was post-Seljuk and pre-Ottoman. Keep a picture of it in your mind if you plan to venture deep into Anatolia for a look at more Seljuk buildings. There's a bust of Isa Bey more or less opposite.

Beyond the mosque you can see how the Aegean Sea once invaded this plain, allowing Ephesus to prosper from maritime commerce. When the harbour silted up, Ep­hesus began to lose its famous wealth.

The hilltop citadel to the north of St John Basilica was originally constructed by the Byzantines in the 6th century, rebuilt by the Seljuks and restored in modern times. A Sel­juk mosque and a ruined church are inside.

Early in the town's existence it earned money from pilgrims paying homage to Cybele or Artemis. The many-breasted Anatolian fertility goddess had a fabulous temple, the Artemision, to the south-west of the St John Basilica. A sign on the road to
Ephesus marks the spot today, and you can see a re-erected column and the outline of the foundation. When you visit the huge temple at Didyma you get an idea of what this great temple must once have looked like, as Didyma's is thought to have been similar. If you walk to Ephesus you can take in the Artemision on the way.

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