|• Mayor||İbrahim Uyan (CHP)|
|• District||196.85 km2 (76.00 sq mi)|
|• District density||110/km2 (280/sq mi)|
Ereğli is 30 km east of the town of Tekirdağ, and 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is called Marmara Ereğlisi (or Marmara Ereğli in colloquial usage) to distinguish it from the two other large towns in Turkey with the name Ereğli (deriving from the Greek name Heraclea), one in Konya Province (Konya Ereğlisi), the other on the Black Sea coast (Karadeniz Ereğli).
The town was known in Ancient Greek as Perinthos, or Perinthus, (Πέρινθος) when it was a Samian colony and later called Heraclea (Ἡράκλεια) around 400 BCE. The colony was built like an amphitheater on the hillside of a peninsula in the Sea of Marmora. Its port and its happy situation at the junction of several great sea-routes, made it a town of commercial importance. It became famous because of its resistance to Philip II of Macedon. Many of its coins have come down to us, and give us information concerning the festivals held there.
Heraclea became an Episcopal see at an early date: according to a Greek tradition it dates from apostolic times becoming later the Exarch of Thrace and Macedonia which in the beginning had the Bishop of Byzantium under its jurisdiction. Justinian I restored its aqueducts and a palace. In the thirteenth century Heraclea had Latin bishops in residence.
In 1913, the town formed part of the Vilayet of Adrianople, has 2000 inhabitants, Turkish and Greek, and is known to the Turks as Eregli. The ruins of the ancient town of Heraclea are on a cape close to the modern one.
In his 1815 account of his visit to the area, Edward Daniel Clarke stated that, in spite of its name, which means "Old Ereğli or Heraclea", the village of Eski Ereğli (today, Gümüşyaka), where he hoped to find antiquities, had scarcely any ancient remains, and he was informed that it was the coastal village known locally as Büyük Ereğli (Big Ereğli or Big Heraclea), about two hours (six miles) distant, that corresponded to the ancient city of Heraclea.
Ereğli is a small town, quiet in winter. There is a long coastline and the sea is clean enough for swimming, (not true of much of the Marmara) and the coast on either side of Ereğli is lined with hotels and compounds of holiday properties serving people from Istanbul, who come to relax in the summer sunshine. Ereğli is only an hour's drive from Istanbul and on a summer Sunday evening the road is a solid queue of returning weekenders.
The holiday compounds are complicated mazes of little roads tightly packed with villas or buildings of holiday flats, leading down to the sea. Some of them have cafes and restaurants on the seafront, sometimes open to people from outside the compound. In places there are public beaches, although very cowded on summer weekends, and paths for children to play on bicycles. These holiday homes are family places and not all the compounds have nightlife.
The town and villages
The town of Ereğli and its nearby villages are used by these weekenders and summer residents for fast food, grocery shopping, internet cafes and other amenities. The town itself is a mixture of large modern blocks and old country houses, both types mostly having been built without proper planning or architectural design. There is a small harbour. The people of Ereğli are a mixture of established families who have been in Thrace for generations and recently arrived migrant workers.
A large faultline follows this coast, and the holiday housing of Ereğli is all vulnerable to damage from the inevitable earthquakes.
Apart from tourism Ereğli has two natural harbors and three small ports. The natural gas company Botaş and also Total Petroleum have tanker ports and storage tanks on the point of the headland, in the village of Sultanköy.
- "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- "Heraclea". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Edward Daniel Clarke, Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia and Africa, 3. ed, (T. Cadell, 1816), Volumes 2-3, pp. 471-474
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), "Sedi titolari", p. 889
- Annuario Pontificio 2013, p. 879