The settlement was formerly a village. It received in 1958 the status of a town. According to the 2007 census, Bolayır's population is 1871.
The türbe (tomb) of Süleyman Pasha (1316–1357), son of Orhan I, the second Bey of the Ottoman Empire and the grave of the Turkish nationalist poet Namık Kemal (1840–1888) are located in Bolayır. On 26 January 1913, Bolayır was the site of the Battle of Bulair, a major Bulgarian victory over the Ottomans during the First Balkan War. Bolayır was also the site of the Gallipoli Campaign (1915–1916) during the World War I.
The traditional Greek name of Bolayır is Πλαγιάρι (Plagiari) and in Bulgarian the town is known as Булаир (Bulair). A village in Dolni Chiflik Municipality, Varna Province bears the name Bulair in honour of the Bulgarian victory at Bolayır and a Bulgarian military march, the Bulair March, was written to commemorate the battle.
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