Edremit, Balıkesir

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For other uses, see Edremit (disambiguation).
Altınoluk resort center near Edremit
Altınoluk resort center near Edremit
Location of Edremit
Edremit is located in Turkey
Location of Edremit within Balıkesir Province
Coordinates: 39°35′32″N 27°01′12″E / 39.59222°N 27.02000°E / 39.59222; 27.02000Coordinates: 39°35′32″N 27°01′12″E / 39.59222°N 27.02000°E / 39.59222; 27.02000
Country  Turkey
Region Aegean
Province Balıkesir
 • Mayor Kamil Saka (CHP)
 • District 731.32 km2 (282.36 sq mi)
Population (2012)[2]
 • Urban 55,255
 • District 127,459
 • District density 170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 10x xx
Licence plate 10
Website http://www.edremit.bel.tr

Edremit (Ottoman Turkish: ادرمد‎) is a district in Balıkesir Province, Turkey, as well as the central city of that district, on the west coast of Turkey, not far from the Greek island of Lesbos.

It is situated at the tip of the gulf with the same name (Gulf of Edremit), with its town center a few kilometers inland, and is an important center of trade, along with the other towns that are situated on the same gulf (namely Ayvalık, Gömeç, Burhaniye and Havran). It is also one of the largest district centers of Balıkesir Province. The district of Edremit, especially around Kazdağı, is largely covered with forests.


Classical Period[edit]

The modern city of Edremit sits on the site of the ancient city of Adramyttion (Άδραμύττιον) or Adramytteion (Άδραμύττειον) or, in Latinized form Adramyttium, a city of Asia Minor on the coast of Aeolis. The city was originally founded as an Lydian settlement and supposedly named after its founder Adramys or Adramyttes, son of Alyattes, King of Lydia.[3] Croesus, son of Alyattes, was archon (lord) of Adramyttion prior to succeeding his father as the last King of Lydia.

After the Persian conquest of Lydia, the city was repopulated by Greek exiles from Athens and Delos in 422 BC on the invitation of Pharnaces II, the Persian satrap (governor) of Hellespontine Phrygia.[4][5][6][7] Adramyttion was sacked and its population massacred in 411 BC by a Persian army led by Arsakes, a subordinate of Tissaphernes, satrap of Lydia and Caria, for not paying outstanding tribute to the Persian Empire.[8] By the late 4th century BC, the city had been fully Hellenised.[8] In 366 BC, Ariobarzanes, satrap of Phrygia and acting satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, joined the Great Satraps' Revolt and withstood a siege at Adramyttion from Mausolus, satrap of Caria, and Autophradates, satrap of Lydia.

It formed part of the Kingdom of Pergamon until the death of its last king, Attalus II, in 133 BC, upon which he bequeathed his kingdom to the Romans thus forming the Roman province of Asia; Adramyttion acted as the centre of its own district within the province.[9] In April 88 BC, during the First Mithridatic War, the city and the province of Asia was conquered by Mithridates VI, King of Pontus. In what became known as the Asiatic Vespers, the entire Roman population of the city and Asia Minor was massacred in May of the same year. The entire boule (council of citizens) of Adramyttion was executed by Diodorus, a general of Mithridates, to gain favour with his king.[10] At the end of the war, Xenocles, a talented orator, was sent to defend the province of Asia from accusations of supporting Mithridates before the Roman Senate.[11]

It was to this port that the ship belonged on which the author of the Acts of the Apostles (probably Luke the Evangelist) and Paul the Apostle set out from Caesarea Maritima for the first part of their journey to Rome.[12] The ship, which appears to have been a coastal trading vessel, conveyed them only to Myra, in Lycia, whence they sailed on an Alexandrian ship for Italy. Adramyttium became the seat of a Christian suffragan diocese of the Metropolitan Archbishopric of Ephesus, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Adramyttium, which only remains as a Latin Catholic titular see.

Mediaeval Period[edit]

The administrative reforms of the 7th century in the Byzantine Empire moved Adramyttion into the new theme of Thrakesion in which it served as an important naval base.[13] The Byzantine Emperor Theodosius III worked as a tax collector in the city before being proclaimed emperor by the army of the theme of Opsikion in May 715. According to the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor, Theodosius was reluctant to become emperor and hid in the forests surrounding Adramyttion before being found.

The city's importance ensured it later belonged to the Theme of Samos upon its creation between 843 and 899 and became the seat of one of the two tourmarches or commander of a tourma, a major subdivision of a theme.[13] The interior surrounding the city was under the jurisdiction of a separate tourmarches based in Adramyttion, subordinate to the strategos (governor) of Thrakesion in the 9th century at least.[13]

Adramyttion was raided and destroyed by the Turkish pirate Tzachas in 1093 but was rebuilt and repopulated in 1109 by Eumathios Philokales, the strategos of the Cibyrrhaeot Theme.[14] Despite the city's destruction, Adramyttion continued to serve as an important military base and became part of the theme of Neokastra, founded by Manuel I Komnenos between 1162 and 1173, and was its capital from 1185 onwards.

The city was plundered by Genoese pirates in 1197. After the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, Adramyttion was captured by Henry of Flanders, brother of Latin Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople, in early 1205. An attempt to retake the city by the Byzantine successor state, the Empire of Nicaea, was led by Constantine Laskaris and culminated in the Battle of Adramyttium on 19 March 1205 in which the Byzantines were resoundingly defeated. The Byzantine usurper Theodore Mangaphas also attempted to conquer the city not long after the attempt made by the Nicaeans, but was also defeated by Henry.[15]

Modern Period[edit]

In May 1914, thousands of Muslim refugees who had fled from the Balkans arrived in the town of Adramyttion and proceeded to ransack the shops and homes of the town's Greek community. According to Arnold J. Toynbee, the Ottoman government armed and organised the refugees. Many Greeks found refuge in the town church before fleeing to the harbour where they were then granted passage to the neighbouring island of Lesbos. Turks continued to massacre or evict Greeks in the following months in surrounding villages.[16] The Greek army occupied the town on 19 June 1920 but withdrew in late August 1922 and all remaining Greeks were evacuated or killed by the Turkish army.[9]

The ancient city was on the coast, 13 kilometres southwest of the modern city and 4 kilometres west of Burhaniye.[17]


Edremit's economy relies largely on the production of olives, as well as on tourism. Edremit is known as the olive capital of Turkey. Kaz Dağı National Park, extending around the ancient Mount Ida (mentioned in Homer's epic poems such as the Iliad), is situated within the boundaries of Edremit district and is an important tourist attraction with its natural scenery and a number of picturesque small villages around it.


In ethno-cultural terms, the population of Edremit is a mixture of Balkan Turks, descendants of immigrants from Balkans, Aegean Islands, some Circassians, as well as Tahtacı Turkmens, who pursue their own traditions and life-style to this day. A private museum of ethnography in the village of Tahtakuşlar is one of the rare institutions in Turkey focusing on Tahtacı culture.

Notable people from Edremit[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Edremit is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ James Orr, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (2015) [1]
  4. ^ Eckhard J. Schnabel, Early Christian Mission: Paul & The Early Church (2004), p. 1147 [2]
  5. ^ William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854): "Adramyttium"
  6. ^ Gustav Hirschfeld, "Adramytteion" in Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Vol. I,1, Stuttgart 1893
  7. ^ Alexander Kazhdan (editor), The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 1991, 3 vols., ISBN 0195046528) vol. 1, 227, s. v. Atramyttion
  8. ^ a b S. Douglas Olson, Fragmenta Comica: Eupolis frr. 326-497 (2013), p.188 [3]
  9. ^ a b Demetrius Kiminas, The Ecumenical Patriarchate: A History of Its Metropolitanates with Annotated Hierarch Catalogues (2009), p. 81 [4]
  10. ^ John-Anthony Cramer, A Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor (1832), p. 127 [5]
  11. ^ H. G. Bohn, The Geography of Strabo, Volume 2 (1856), p. 387
  12. ^ Acts 27:2
  13. ^ a b c John W. Nesbitt, Nicolas Oikonomidès, Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art: West, Northwest, and Central Asia Minor and the Orient (1996), p. 23 [6]
  14. ^ Walter Leaf, Strabo on the Troad: Book XIII, Cap. I, Book 13 (1923), p.323 [7]
  15. ^ Magoulias (1984), p. 331.
  16. ^ Giles Milton, Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922, pp. 48-50
  17. ^ Mordtmann, J. H.; Ménage, V. L.. "Edremit." Encyclopédie de l’Islam. Brill Online, 2014. Reference. 30 September 2014
  18. ^ Sister/Twin Cities of Balıkesir Province

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "Adramyttium". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.