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Datça, Muğla, Turkiye

Datça, TurkiyeDatça is a district of Muğla Province in southwest Turkey, and the most prominent town of the district. It is situated midway through the peninsula which carries the same name as the district as well as the town (Datça Peninsula).

The name Datça comes from Stadia, an ancient town near Cnidus. Stadia developed into Tadya, Dadya, Dadça, and then eventually became Datça.

Both the town and the peninsula of Datça were called Reşadiye for a brief period in the beginning of the 20th century, honoring the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed V Reşad, and some maps may still refer to the peninsula under this name; today Reşadiye is simply the name of one of the quarters of the town.

The long and narrow Datça Peninsula, whose outline follows the undulations of small bays and coves facing south or north all along its length which reaches near 100 kilometers - or 62 miles, corresponds almost exactly to the Datça district, with the addition beyond its isthmus of a small panhandle in the direction of the south-east.

The isthmus itself is only several hundred meters wide. The extreme end of the western tip of the district and the peninsula, the locality called Tekir, is the location of the ancient city of Knidos.

There is an ongoing debate on whether or not this location was the original site of the ancient city, a number of sources claiming that until the mid-4th century BCE, Knidos was halfway along the peninsula, near the present-day district center.

Datça, TurkiyeThe peninsula's eastern end is marked by the fjord-like indentation of Bencik Cove, 1.5 kilometers in length, at the end of which the narrow isthmus where it joins the mainland is to be found.

This point is a natural curiosity which offers a wide view of the Gulf of Gökova in the north and the Gulf of Hisarönü in the south and is called Balıkaşıran - literally, the place where fish may leap across, and is also often used for the portage of small boats.

According to Herodotus, during the Persian invasions in 540 BC, the Knidians had sought to dig a canal at this spot as a defensive measure and in order to transform their territory into an island.

But an oracle was consulted who reportedly said "If the gods had so willed, they would have made your land an island. Do not pierce the isthmus." Whereupon they surrendered to the Persians.

The quarters of the city of Datça are Reşadiye, Eski Datça 'Old Datça' and İskele 'quay', separated by about a mile from each other.

Reşadiye was the original administrative core when the town was renamed Datça and turned into a district center in 1928, before it was moved to İskele quarter.

The center town is crossed by the short course of the Datça Stream - or Datça Çayı in Turkish.

Datça Peninsula is outlined by many small bays and coves. The Datça district has nine villages scattered along the peninsula.

Datça, TurkiyeThese are; Cumalı, Emecik, Hızırşah, Karaköy, Kızlan, Mesudiye, Sındı, Yakaköy, Yazıköy. Historically, apart from small coastal patches, Datça Peninsula has two fertile areas along its length.

The whole of the eastern half is bare, mountainous and scarcely inhabited. The western part is also mountainous, rising in places over 1,000 meters, but has towards its western end on the south side a considerable extent of well-watered land reaching to the coast at Palamutbükü.

At this locality and supporting a group of villages known collectively as Betçe (the five villages). These are; Mesudiye, Sındı, Yakaköy, Yazıköy, Cumalı.

The village of Mesudiye, very near the sea shore has a jetty owned by the community of villagers. The village's bay is called Hayıtbükü. Palamutbükü, more to the west, also has a little pier in which boats are allowed to moore. Palamutbükü today is a holiday village with a long beach.

The second and larger area of good land is in the middle of the peninsula southwest of the median isthmus dividing the two halves and centered on the town of Datça.

The region's promising potential was noted early in the 1880s by the hydrographer Thomas Abel B. Spratt in his following assessment:

"The plain and valley of Datça is very fertile, having fine groves of olive and valonia, and of almonds and other fruit trees, with abundance of water, if properly utilized."

A point of note on the general settlement pattern of these villages is that the locations chosen were never along the immediate coastline, but always at a mile's distance or more from the sea and at a relatively safe altitude on the slopes of higher ground.

Datça, TurkiyeThe reason for this was from times past when the fear of pirates, advantaged as they were by the intricate geology of shores of southwestern Turkey and of the many islands and islets that are its natural extensions, in an environment not unlike that of the Caribbean Sea.

Piracy remained a serious security problem well until the beginning of the 20th century - especially during the weakening of the Ottoman Empire and the issue often necessitated foreign intervention.

Datça Peninsula is popular among tourists, especially by mariners, because of its many coves and larger bays, which are promoted as part of the Blue Cruise route along Turkey's southwest coast.

Their boats depart from Bodrum, Marmaris, or Datça. The road from Marmaris to Datça is quite rough in parts.

The Datça climate which has the typical Mediterranean climate has a long holiday period because of its mild climate. The average temperature during summer months is 32 degrees while the humidity rate is between 35-60%.

The cool summer breezes blowing from the north eliminate the suffocating heat and humidity. The temperature in winter months is between 12 and 14 degrees. Even when a large part of the rest of the country is under the effect of cold weather and rain - in Datça - the sun shows its face even in winter months.

Almost 300 days of a year is sunny in Datca. The appropriate climate attracts not only the people coming for vacations but also foreign and domestic people who are coming here to the area to settle.

Datça, TurkiyeRegarding this Datça people say; “One summer ends and another starts here, this is Sarica Summer". If it snows here, which happens very rarely, it becomes a carnival for Datça people who see snow very rarely.

Almond trees blossom in January, and Mimosas follow them; the season is always spring now. Halikarnas Balikcisi (Halikarnas Fisher) Cevat Sakir has said it well about Datça’s weather:

"The climate is just as big as the human's size. Both the cold and the heat do not go beyond a person’s resistance. There is no need to amend the climate with coats, stoves or fans."

3 B's of Datça: They say Datça is famous for its three “B's”; Bal (honey), Badem (almond) and Balik (fish). However, if there is anything that adds to the fame of Datca it is remoteness of its roads.

Datça Peninsula, which is named by its local people as “a blind street” and which has Aegean Seas to the North and Mediterranean Sea to the South, mostly owes the fact that it has protected its virginity and wild nature until the present day thanks to these geographical problems.

Datça almonds are the tastiest almond of Turkey. There are various species of almond such as Nurlu, Ak, Kababağ, Dedebağ, Sira and Dis almonds. The most quality one is Nurlu and the one that is easily eaten is Dis almond.

Datça, TurkiyeThe fruit that is eaten while the outer shells of almond are green and fresh is called Green almond. The Latin name of it is Prunos Amygdalus and Prunusdulcis.

One of them is a sweet almond while the other is a bitter one and it contains phosphor, zinc, copper, calcium, iron and special oils.

Its nutrient value is very high and it is used in many areas in pharmacy. Datça almonds are accepted as the best almond in the world right now with American almonds coming in second.

Its season is between February and April. The almond kernel which is sold within ice by travelling salesman on trays is obtained by removing the shell of the almond that has matured between the months of May and June.

The fruit which is collected from trees during July-August months after the outer shells are opened, which is dried under the sun and sold with or without its shells is called “almond” or “dry almond”.

Datça people put one or two almonds inside the dry fig and put it in the oven. That is called 'fig with almond'. Also, an almond type which is mixed with honey is sold in jars.

We are pretty sure that Datça fish are the most delicious fish around here. Fishery sector has also developed in Datça and it has become the income source of a part of the local people.

Apart from the traditional settlements, there are also a dozen recently constructed vacation villages on the peninsula.

Datça, TurkiyeDatça has become a major rock climbing destination since about 2013, most popular from fall to spring.

Datça is often called the new Turkish gem in climbing media press. Tufa-rich limestone cliffs and a beautiful coastline offer everything a climbers heart desires for an exciting climbing trip.

The best place to stay near the main climbing areas is Datça Base Camp. It offers camping and a few bungalows for rent and some space for caravans. It is also a good place to meet other climbers and to obtain the latest news.

Alternatively, check one of the many pensions or boutique hotels in Datça and rent a scooter or car in which to move around.

It's mediterranean environment sometimes produces strong winds and dry forrests. It is absolutely forbidden to make fires or camp in nature. Any wrong doing might result in closing of this beautiful climbing spot!

New bolting should only be done using stainless steel glue-in bolts!

Datça is a relatively recent addition on the climbing map. The area was discovered by a man named Olivier, a Swiss mountain guide, who also did most of the development in the years 2013 to 2016 with the support of climbers from France, Turkey and elsewhere.

Datça, TurkiyeYou will read many names in the route history in this guide but to name a few of the most prolific bolters there are Adrien Boulon, Nicolas Nastorg, Emrah Özbay, Zorbey Aktuyun, Evren Kirazli, Yvan Muscat, Werner Luneau, Fabrice Pini, Aykut Knidost, Rafsta, Lucien Abbet and Klemen Becan.

Most of the bolting was financed by Olivier Nicolet, Adrien Boulon and Yvan Muscat and through generous donations by climbers such as Fabrice Pini, Claudia Schrotter and Pierre Morand.

A big thank you goes to Sumeyra Çakiroglu, Faruk Yavuz, Kurtulus Canbey and Yasin Kolasin who helped dealing with local authorities and in so many ways with the development of climbing in Datça.

This information about Datça climbing was sourced from www.thecrag.com/en/climbing/turkey/datca where you can download a free climbing guide book for Datça.

On the 29th of August 2012, a fire in the town of Emecik, Datça burned 75 hectares of forest.

In Turkish literature, Datça is associated with the poet and the accomplished translator (notably of Shakespeare) Can Yücel who spent the last decades of his life in Datça and is also buried there.

As part of the sister citys program with the United States Datça is a Sister City of - Houma, Louisiana, in the United States.

Datça, TurkiyeHistory of the historical findings in Datca peninsula goes back to 2000 B.C. Carians were the first known local people and it has had its most brilliant period during that Dorians period.

They had come to the region through Greece by coming down over Thracia during 1000 B.C. They founded Knidos at Burgaz Area which is to 1.5 kilometer northeast of the centre of the current Datca district.

Knidos had become the centre of the Dorian civilization until it went under the reign of Persians from Lydians in 546 B.C. This peninsula, which has lots of archeological remains, has hosted important civilizations throughout the history.

Knidos ancient city is the most important one among them. Remains of 28 churches in the peninsula belonging to the recent period also show us that the area has also had mystic roots.

If we are to summarize the general history Datça has been ruled by Carians first and then by Dorians after 1000 B.C. Knidos was built in the place where the magnificent remains of today are seen - that was the edge of the peninsula for commercial reasons in 4th century B.C.

Dorians and Romans built many temples in Knidos. Temples left their place to churches during Late Romans and Early Byzantine period when the population of the city had reached around 70 thousand.

The city which had been weakened with earthquakes and through pirate attacks had been completely deserted during the latest period of Byzantine reign and the population of the peninsula decreased to thousands of people at that time.

Datça, TurkiyeSettlements on the peninsula have been connected to Mentesoğullari Principality in 13th century. In 15th century it has become an Ottoman Empire land and taken the name “Datça”.

The name “Datça” changed by Sultan Resat - one of the latest Ottoman padishahs, to "Resadiye”. During the time of the foundation of the Turkish Republic it was named "Datça" again.

Dorians founded six cities under the name of Hexapolis Federation. Knidos, which is one of those cities, was founded on the Datça Peninsula and become the centre of the federation.

Persian people were welcomed in a friendly manner. The Datça Peninsula has been controlled by Athena people, Romans and finally Mentese Bey from Germiyanogullari Principality in 1282 after the Persian reign.

Find a hotel in Datça at www.kayak.com

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