This information about Balıkesir city is for non-Turkish speakers.

Balıkesir is the capital city of Balıkesir Province. Balıkesir is in the Marmara region of Turkey and has a population of 259.157[1] inhabitants. Old name is Karesi.

History Edit

At near Balıkesir was the Roman town of Hadrianutherae, founded, as its name commemorates, by the emperor Hadrian. During Byzantine ownership the small town was known as Palaeokastron. The remains of the ancient Makestos Bridge and castles are found in the surroundings. Byzantine dynasty had used this castle as vacation area and for hunting sport. Also, when Turkmens had came from Middle Asia to Mysia, they called there Balak Hisar because of the remains of castle.

Balıkesir's former name was Karesi. Because Balıkesir city was founded by Karesi in 13th century. Karesi was a Turkic Principality in Mysia. Until 13th century, Balıkesir city has been the administral centre of Mysia region. At 1345, Balıkesir city was annexed by Ottomans. At 1897 the earthquake destroyed the big part of the city. At 1920 Balıkesir city was conquered by Greeks but 6 September in 1922, Turkish army took back the city. During Turkish Independent Wars, Balıkesir was main centre of the direction of militias in Western Anatolia against Greeks. At 1950s, a major fire which was occurred because of naughty couple of mice was destroyed a part of the city and was built again.

Economy Edit

The economy of the city proppes up agriculture and industry. The biggest industrial enterprises are Ari-Turyag, Set Cimento, BESK, Mar-Tük, İsbir, Kula, Tellioglu, Bupilic and Yaris Kabin which are withinside the first thousand factories at Turkey in 2008[2]. Also, Balıkesir city is important for the stockbreeding sector. At the surrounding of city, there are lots of dairies. Balikesir plainless internalize the city as a agricultural centre. Wheat, sunflower, sugar beet, vegetables in front tomato and bean plantations have dence products. Traditional crops are melon and grapes. Balıkesir with its districts is 12th largest economy in Turkish economy. Also, it called Anatolian Tiger.

Another main exports are olive-based products. It is a popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists, who use it as a base to explore the nearly countryside which is renowned for its beauty, especially the nearby Mount Ida (Kaz Dağı). İt is well know with borax deposit.

The rectorship of Balıkesir University and the university campus internalize Balikesir as a student city. Actually, 25.000 university students which compose 10% of the city population earmark to city life.


The central of Balıkesir province with 300,000 population is the fourth crowded city in the Marmara Region. Balıkesir has an aggregate settlement network. Until 1950s, the city has grown by depending on the core being first settlements that it resembles break-up of the oil stains. The city has been carrying more Aegean character than Marmara. Anafartalar Street, Milli Kuvvetler Street, Vasıf Çınar Street, Kızılay Street, Atalar Street are important streets in the city. Aygören, Karaoğlan, Dumlupınar, Kasaplar, Hisariçi, Karesi, Kızpınar, Hacıilbey are the first settlements of the city. The eldest settlements are acclivity, lane and also have adjoint buildings. Many historical places are in these quarters. A summary of new settlements are Bahcelievler, Atatürk, Paşaalanı and Adnan Menderes quarters. The squares of the city: Ali Hikmet Pasha (AHP), Republica, Wrestler Kurtdereli Mehmed and Karesi.

Trade and economic life is concentrated on three streets. These are Milli Kuvvetler Street, Kızılay Street and Anafartalar Street. Commercial life focuses on these streets and the small streets which are intersecting these streets and avenues. As a part of the city skyline, New Bazaar Area is the eldest shopping place for the city. Vasıf Çınar Street and Gazi Boulevard are other busy areas. The face of the government, there is Balıkesir Park, the rest area, is one of Turkey's most beautiful parks. By the establishment of Balıkesir University in the city, social life are gradually developing. In 2007, with the modern shopping center, commercial life in Balıkesir has started to gain momentum.

Salih Tozan Cultural Center is the important for cultural activities in the city. Public transport area where is the point of transport networks is near the Salih Tozan. Yaylada and Gala are the important place for the citylife.

Turkey's first jet base, 9th Main Air base is located in Balıkesir.

Main SightsEdit

In capital of Balıkesir province, there are lots of historical buildings. The clocktower (built in 1892) is the symbol of the city. Historical fountain (built in 1908) is another popular building there. Zaganos Pasha Mosque Complex and Yildirim Mosque are popular spiritual areas. Old Balıkesir houses in Aygoren and Karaoglan district, still is alive until Ottomans.

Balıkesir National Photography Museum is the primer and single museum in Turkey about photography. At another museum, Museum of National Moment, is exhibited of the historical memories of the city. Of course, Balıkesir is known with its historical windmills.

Lots of spa which has got some features for healthy are circumscribed the city like Pamukcu and Ilica. Also, in city centre there are historical Turkish bath (name: Pasha hamamı) still served.

  • Zaganos Pasha Mosque: Zaganos Pasha, one of the viziers and commanders during the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet had it built in 1461.
  • Yildirim Mosque: It's the oldest remaining work from Ottoman period in Balikesir city. Yildirim Beyazid had it built in 1388 in the second half of the 14th century.
  • Umurbey Mosque: It has an epitaph of three lines engraved on marble with a special script called Sülüs. The date of it is 1412.
  • Clock Tower: Giridizade Mehmet, Pasha of the Governor of Silistre, had it built as the replica of the Galata Tower, İstanbul in 1827, but, when it collapsed in the earthquake in 1897., the governor Ömer Ali Bey, had the present tower built in 1892.
  • Karesi Principality Tomb: It was built in 1336. It contains Karesi's and his five children's graves. Karesi Bey's sarcophagus is decorated with the Sufic script.
  • Balıkesir's Historical Windmills: In Karakol villiage where is Şablon:Convert from Balikesir, there are seven historical windmills. But only three windmills remain. Hunting and tracking are the best sport accompanied by windmills' views.
  • Değirmenboğazı: (means Strait of mill) City forest. It is forest area situated between two hills. It is pleasant picnic place. There is a tea garden and restaurant.
  • Balikesir City Park: It is a beuatiful park in Turkey. It is served until 1960s. The ground is covered with grass. Lots of units and places are situated in park. There is poolside cafe and rest facility. Celtis (Hackberry) and pine trees lay on all park.
  • Balikesir Local-Civil Houses:In the eldest districts have traditional houses which are shown public antedecent, economy and lifestyle until 1500s.
  • Thermal Resorts: Balıkesir is very famous for its thermal springs. The major thermal spas are as follows: Pamukcu, Ilica, Kepekler and Hisaralani.}}

The celebration days of Balıkesir are Hıdrellez and the Liberation Day and also the Remembrance Day of Local Combat is a memorial day of Balıkesir city.

Special Days of Balıkesir Edit

Hıdrellez is tradition which is celebrated at first week of May for those who live in Balikesir is privileged days. Today, the fulfillment of a religious ritual that is celebrated as a day of goodness. The night on the streets is a fire. One is to jump over the fire seven times. That night going to green and resting area such as Değirmenboğazı and Balıkesir Parkı or near the religious area like tombs is a rituel of Hıdrellez. People wish the midnight and meet there. Accordingly Hıdrellez day people have offerings. Drawing a picture of something that is desired to land or stone is determined. Who wants the goods put into the red purse some money and hang it on a tree. On the other hand who wants a baby types the name or draws baby figure on the ground. These rituals are tradition of Hıdrellez. It is superstitious that if someone takes a shower that night, (s)he protects from all disease. Hıdrellez is a kind of Newroz.

The Liberation Day from enemy occupation of Balikesir is 6 September in 1922. So every year, 6 September is celebrating day as local holiday. This day there is a celebration parade and a celebratory ceremony. These ceremony celebrates on Stadium Street. In the past, the previous night of 6 September, main streets of Balıkesir were washing cologne with lilies. Because lilies are symbol of Balikesir. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the former. Before two or three days, the people would come from the villages and districts for celebrating. At 6 September morning, People in Balıkesir were at picnic in advance of festival at Balıkesir Park. The festival evening, enthusiastic torchlight procession is organized. Tülü Tabaklar which had designed similary the cannibals in order to frighten the enemies is special event of festival.

The Remembrance Day of Local Combat is called Kuvayi Milliye Haftası in Turkish which is organized between 16th-23 May. The great success with 41 Balıkesirer people met at Alaca Mescit and they have managed the region such as a state and they successed military victory in 1922. 15 May 1919, after the capture of Izmir by the Greeks, Balıkesir is the first place in Turkey that the reaction of Balıkesir had shown by declared Redd-i Ilhak (Disclamation of Annexation). In 1919, the city of Balikesir Congress was met five times. Greek soldiers on June of 30th, 1920 was occupied Balıkesir. By had opened Ayvalik-İvrindi-Soma-Balikesir-front, Balıkesir had its liberation.

Local cultural heritagesEdit

Balıkesir's local cheese called Kelle Peyniri is known European countries and it is exported France, Germany and Britain. It is a sort of granular cheese. Balıkesir's Turkmen carpets (called Yagcibedir) are another popular local goods. The souvenir of city is Eau de Cologne is aromatic lily. Hosmerim which is made from cheese and egg is the popular dessert of this city. Lots of old Turkmens dishes (like keskek, guvec, tirit, manti, kaymakli) are composed Balıkesir cuisine.

Balıkesir is a historical folkloric dance source. Balıkesir's historical folkloric dance is most popular in Turkey and academical searching. Bengi, Guvende and Balikesir Zeybeği are typical dance of this city. These dances' figures spread throughout Balıkesir plainness. Also, Balikesir's ballads are popular in Turkey. Akpınar, Mendili Oyaladım, Karyolamın Demiri are some ballads sing by women surround Balikesir city. Like these woman ballads on the other hand, have dance figures in terms of traditional dancing. Although Balıkesir is in industrial region, traditional village culture is superb and deeply. So that, for folk culture Balıkesir is important area in Turkey. Balıkesir's local dance came to first in Nice folk festival joined 21 countries at 1958 be of value by European academical folklore authorities. Also Balıkesir's local zeibek dance was the first zeibek participation from Turkey which had seen European folk authorities. Nowadays, Balıkesir folklore is chosen "unconcrete cultural heritage" of Turkey by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. You can watch Balıkesir local folkloric dance show by the official folklore academy:

Transportation and AccommodationEdit

City Distance
Ankara 530 km
İstanbul 390 km
Bursa 151 km
İzmir 173 km

Balıkesir is a city that has shores to Aegean and Marmara Seas. It is easy to reach from Ankara, İstanbul, Bursa and İzmir by motorway or railway. There are regular coach from İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir. Balıkesir have got lots of small coastal towns. So that transportation is comfortable. Railway transport is done between Ankara-Balıkesir and İzmir-Balikesir in specific hours.

Balıkesir is joined to Bursa and İzmir by a quality motorway. Also there is Körfez Airport. On account of the Körfez Airport has began to the service. Balıkesir Coach Terminal is out of the city so that there are servicing by municipality to the city centre. On the other hand, the Railway Station is at Republica Square.

In Balikesir city, there are ten hotels that one of them is five-star hotel. Some hotels are closed to city centre so that everywhere is attainable easily.

Sister cities Edit

Balıkesir is twinned with:

Notable nativesEdit


External linksEdit