Tea plantations on the slopes of Rize (Ikizdere valley).
Location of İkizdere within Turkey.
|• Mayor||Hasan Kösoğlu (AKP)|
|• District Governor||Abdil Koç|
|• District||953.64 km2 (368.20 sq mi)|
|Elevation||31 m (102 ft)|
|• District density||5.7/km2 (15/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||(0090)+ 464|
Formerly known as Dipotamos and Kuray-ı Sab, İkizdere means "twin streams" in both the Pontic Greek and Turkish languages, and indeed the Çamlık and Cimil Rivers meet here to form the İkizdere.
There are four ethnic group in the district: Greeks, Turks, Laz and Hemshin. The non-Turkic natives converted into Islam during the Ottoman peiod, and during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the natives stayed in the area. There is a minority of Greek-speakers, mostly old people. The local Turkish dialect is full of Pontic Greek words.
This is hilly countryside inland from the Black Sea, forest-covered steep mountainside separated by narrow valleys, with areas of high pasture. The İkizdere is formed from streams running out of the Rize Mountains and continues down to the Black Sea, it is dammed for hydro-electric power and for irrigation. There is snow on the high peaks and lots of glacial formation. The climate is typical of the Black Sea region i.e. it rains all the time. There is broad-leaf forest at lower elevations and pine higher up.
İkizdere is an agricultural district, growing tea on the hillsides and potatoes in the valley, and now some kiwi fruit are being planted also. Cattle and sheep are grazed on the hillsides, going up to the high pastures (yayla) in summer. Beekeeping is another important source of income, particularly in the village of Anzer. And this very attractive countryside is now attracting tourists, on trekking holidays. However, on the whole İkizdere is not a wealthy region and the younger generations migrate to Turkey's larger cities in search of jobs.
See Rize Province for a history of this area, once part of the Byzantine Empire and later the Empire of Trebizond, during which periods there was a monastery there in İkizdere. The area was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire by Mehmet II in 1461.
Places of interest
- Merkez Camisi - The central mosque
- The mosque in the village of Şimşirli
- The mosque of Hacı Şeyh in the town of Güneyce
- Güneyce bridge
- The mineral water springs of Şimşirli and Ilıcaköy
There are also a number of interesting wooden houses from the Ottoman period, and many areas of high meadow for walking and trekking, including:
- the honey-producing Anzer Yaylası
- the forest area of Çamlık
- Çağrankaya and Ovit - other areas of high pasture
This is a list of the villages in İkizdere districts, Turkish name first, followed by its original name in Romeyika:
- Güneyce köyü (Varda), Rüzgârlı köyü (Mize), Kirazlık köyü (Manle),
- Şimşirli Köyü (Komes), Ilıca Köyü (Vane), Demirkapı (Homeze), Yağcılar (Veliköy), Sivrikaya-Çamlık köyleri (Köhser)
- Gölyayla köyü (Kabahor), Çağrankaya köyü (Kafkame), Cevizlik köyü (Plakorum), Tulumxar (Tulumpınar), Anzer "Ancer", Ayvalık köyü (Kapse),
- Bakırköy köyü (Koylav), Tozköy (Mahura), Yerelma köyü (Cevatoz), Meşeköy (Petran). Ortaköy-Başköy (Cimil),
- Eskice-Çataltepe (Haya), Gürdere köyü (Ethone), Diktaş köyü (İksenit),
- Ballıköy-Çiçekli Köy- Köseli Köyü (Anzer).
- "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.
- (Turkish) District governor's official website