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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. The Turkish Government, ordered the evacuation of the village within three hours. Driven by the whips of the gendarmes the residents abandoned everything they possessed, left their village and went to Gallipoli. Seven of the Greek villagers who were two minutes late behind the three hours limit allowed for the evacuation were shot by the soldiers. After the Balkan War was over, the exiles were allowed to return. But as the Government allowed only the Turks to rebuild their houses and furnished them, the exiled Greeks were compelled to remain in Gallipoli.
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.
- "Belediye Tarihçesi" (in Turkish). Bolayır Belediyesi. Archived from the original on 2011-09-11. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
- "Bolayır Namık Kemal Mezarı Archive" (in Turkish). Çanakkale İli Özel. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
- "Gelibolu Bolayırda Namık Kemal Anıldı" (in Turkish). Gelibolumuz. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
- Persecution of the Greeks in Turkey, 1914-1918. Constantinople [London, Printed by the Hesperia Press]. 1919.
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