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Location of Selçuk within İzmir Province.
Location of Selçuk within İzmir Province.
Selçuk is located in Turkey
Coordinates: 37°57′N 27°22′E / 37.950°N 27.367°E / 37.950; 27.367Coordinates: 37°57′N 27°22′E / 37.950°N 27.367°E / 37.950; 27.367
Country Turkey
 • MayorFiliz Ceritoğlu Sengel (CHP)
 • GovernorAyhan Boyacı
 • District279.85 km2 (108.05 sq mi)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density120/km2 (320/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code232
Vehicle registration35 Lxx XX

Selçuk is a town in İzmir Province in the Aegean Region of Turkey. It is located 2 kilometres (1 mile) northeast of the ancient city of Ephesus, that was once home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Its previous Greek name, Agios Theologos (Άγιος Θεολόγος), referred to John the Theologian, because emperor Justinian had erected there a basilica in honour of the saint. Ayasoluk is a corrupted form of the original name.[3] In the 14th century, it was the capital of the Beylik of Aydin, and visited by Ibn Battuta. He noted, "The congregational mosque in this city is one of the most magnificent mosques in the world and unequaled in beauty."[4] Under the Ottoman Empire, it was known as Ayasoluk. In 1914, it was renamed Selçuk after the Seljuk Turks who first led incursions into the region in the 12th century.

It was a township in Kuşadası district till 1957, when it became a district itself. Its neighbours are Torbalı from north, Tire from northeast, Germencik from east, Kuşadası from south, Aegean Sea from west and Menderes (formerly Cumaovası) from northwest.

Selçuk is one of the most visited tourist destinations within Turkey, known for its closeness to the ancient city of Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary, and Seljuk works of art. The 6th century Basilica of St. John the Apostle, which, some claim, is built on the site of the Apostle's tomb,[citation needed] is also inside the town. Procopius said that the basilica was a most sacred and honoured place in Ephesus. It was severely damaged in the invasion of Selçuk Turks in 1090. The place was excavated in 1927, and Pope Paul VI paid it a visit and prayed there.[5]

In 1921, after the capture of the village by the Greek forces, the village had a total population of 600, ethnographically consisting of 580 Greeks, 10 Turks and 10 Armenians.[6]

Three periods of history in Selçuk: Temple of Artemis (front), Isa Bey Mosque built by the Seljuk Turks (middle), the Byzantine castle (far)
The Isa Bey Mosque on Ayasoluk Hill
Selçuk castle is a Byzantine fortress in Selçuk

The old quarter of Selçuk retains much traditional Turkish culture. Ayasuluk Hill dominates the surrounding area, with several historical buildings on its slopes, including the İsa Bey Mosque built by the Aydinids in 1375, and the Grand Fortress. The hill itself is part of Ephesus UNESCO World Heritage Site.[7]

Selçuk town and Isa Bey mosque from the castle in 1970
Tomb of St. John the Apostle, in St. John's Basilica.

Ephesus Beach (Turkish: Pamucak) is one of the longest beaches (12 km) in Turkey and hosts five large hotels.


The youth football teams of the İzmir-based sports club Altınordu S.K. play their home matches in the Altınordu Selçuk-Efes Football Complex, which is located WSW of Selçuk. With five football fields, the venue is the largest in İzmir Province.[8]

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Selçuk is twinned with:[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  3. ^ Bruce F.F., " St John at Ephesus", The John Rylands University Library, 60 (1978), p. 339
  4. ^ Battutah, Ibn (2002). The Travels of Ibn Battutah. London: Picador. pp. 111, 310. ISBN 9780330418799.
  5. ^ Bruce, pp. 340, 341
  6. ^ Νοταράς, Μ., "Εις την Ιωνίαν Αιολίαν και Λυδίαν πριν πενήντα χρόνια", Athens, December 1972, p. 95.
  7. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Ephesus". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  8. ^ Ertaç, Gürkan (4 May 2014). "'Önce Tesis' Dedi". Yeni Asır (in Turkish). Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Kardeş Şehirlerimiz". (in Turkish). Selçuk. Retrieved 19 January 2020.

External links[edit]