|• Mayor||Refik Eryılmaz (CHP)|
|• Kaymakam||Murat Kütük|
|• District||445.60 km2 (172.05 sq mi)|
|Elevation||72 m (236 ft)|
|• District density||290/km2 (750/sq mi)|
Samandağ (Arabic: السويدية, as-Sūwaydīyah), formerly known as Süveydiye, is a town and district in Hatay Province of southern Turkey, at the mouth of the Asi River on the Mediterranean coast, near Turkey's border with Syria, 25 km (16 mi) from the city of Antakya.
Samandağ was formerly known as Süveydiye (Armenian: Սվեդիա Svedia), Yukarı Alevışık and Levşiye was officially named Samandağ (Seman Dağ, Turkish for Jabal Sem'an: St. Symeon Mountain) in 1948.
Samandağ lies near the site of the ancient Seleucia Pieria, founded in 300 BC by Seleucus Nicator, a general of Alexander the Great, in the Seleucid era that followed Alexander's demise. Seleucia Pieria quickly became a major Mediterranean port of the Hellenistic and Roman eras, the port of Antioch. But it was subject to silting and an earthquake in 526 finally completed its demise as a port. Samandağ, then called St Symeon, became the port of Antioch, and played an important role in the capture of the city by the Crusaders in 1098. The whole area was known as Svediye, where six villages of Armenians were located (Bityas, Kabousiye, Haji Habibly, Kheder Beg, Yoghoun Olouk and Vakif) until 1939, the so called "Referrendum", when all the Armenian villagers (over 6000) emigrated to Anjar, Lebanon. Only a small part of Vakif remained and are still in the village, now called Vakifly.
Samandağ itself is a small town of 35,000 people, close to the city of Antakya. The local economy depends on fishing and agriculture, especially citrus fruits, and Samandağ has the air of a country market town, with young men buzzing through the streets on mopeds. Around the midtown of Çevlik (derived from Seleucia), there is a long sandy coastline popular with daytrippers from Antakya, although the sea can be stormy. This is an important nesting area of the endangered sea turtle Caretta caretta.
The vast majority of the population is composed of Arabic speakers who adhere to the Alawite sect of Shia Islam. There are also Sunni Arabs and Turkmens. There are Armenian and Antiochian Greek Christian communities in the district, with around 2,000 people. The village of Vakıflı is Turkey's only remaining rural Armenian community.
Politically Samandağ is traditionally left-leaning. In the 2009 local elections, Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) candidate Mithat Nehir was elected mayor of the ilçe with 34.20% of the votes (the CHP candidate got 31.77%, the AKP one 14.07%) he was then the sole victorious ÖDP candidate in the entire republic. In September 2013, he joined the CHP under which banner he successfully contested the next 2014 local elections. In the local elections in March 2019 Refik Eryılmaz was elected Mayor for the Republican People's Party (CHP). The current District Governor is Murat Kütük.
Places of interest
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2017)
- The tunnel of Vespasian-Titus, in the village of Kapısuyu , built as a water channel in the 2nd century.
- The tomb of the Muslim saint Hızır.
- Vakıflı, the only remaining Armenian village in Turkey.
- Monastery of St Symeon
- "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.
- Pryor, John H. (22 September 2018). Logistics of Warfare in the Age of the Crusades: Proceedings of a Workshop Held at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Sydney, 30 September to 4 October 2002. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9780754651970. Retrieved 22 September 2018 – via Google Books.
- (in Turkish) "Hatay Samandağ İlçesi - Adayların Oy Dağılımı" (Electoral results of the 2009 local election), Hürriyet, 2009
- (in Turkish) "Kılıçdaroğlu Mithat Nehir'e rozeti taktı", Akşam, 22 September 2013
- Şafak, Yeni (2019-03-12). "Hatay Samandağ Seçim Sonuçları – Samandağ Yerel Seçim Sonuçları". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-12-03.
- "Kaymakam Murat Kütük". www.samandag.gov.tr. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
- Kalkan, Ersin (2005-07-31). "Türkiye'nin tek Ermeni köyü Vakıflı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- Campbell, Verity (2007). Turkey. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74104-556-7.
- All About of Samandag
- Governorship of Samandag
- photo album of Samandağ
- info on Seleucia Pieria (in English)
- Seleucia Pieria
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