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İNEGÖL

Birthplace of the İnegöl köfte                       Population: 173,000

Inegol1Market day: Thursday

Midway between Bursa and Eskişehir, the furniture-making centre of İnegöl is best known for the eponymous köfte, meatballs made from a mixture of lamb and veal spiced up with a little ground onion. You can try them at the Beşler İnegöl Köftecisı, founded in 1893 by a Bulgarian immigrant named Mustafa Efendi whose story is detailed in the excellent new Kent Müzesi (City Museum).Inegol3

Around town

At first sight İnegöl doesn't look too promising, especially when you spot the austere modern mosque looking more like a fire station that forms its centrepiece. The trick is to head straight for the Ishak Paşa Cami whereupon all the dull modernity gives way to history.

Founded in 1465, the mosque is a fine example of early Ottoman brick architecture and retains its medrese (theological school) which still dishes up religious education today. Internally it has a transversal "narthex" in front of the more familiar prayer area rather like the Murad Paşa Cami in Yusufpaşa in İstanbul. The walls are decorated with fine examples of calligraphic art.

The mosque sits right beside a shady tea garden adorned with odd traces of the ancient past including a giant pot that probably once served as a burial urn. On one side the Yıldırım Cami presses right up against it. Although this dates back to 1402 it was much remodelled in the 19th century and now boasts a rather pretty turquoise and white interior and wooden columns supporting the dome. 

On another side a wooden clocktower dating back to the 1940s stands guard over the entrance to a restored Kapalı Çarşı (Covered Bazaar) which now sells only fabrics and wool (there must still be a lot of keen knitters in İnegöl). The Besler İnegöl Köftecisi is right beside the bazaar.

Inegol2Finally, you shouldn't miss the excellent Kent Müzesı (City Museum), one of a new breed of museums which try to educate as well as simply to display. Although the labelling is all in Turkish you will still be able to pick up quite a lot from the reconstructed workshops and from the photographs. Look out in particular for those showing entire walls of houses being used to dry tobacco in the days when that, like silk-weaving, was a local industry.

Sleeping

Hotel Park İnegöl. Tel: 0224-714 9292, www.hotelparkinegol.com

Transport info

Buses from Bursa to Eskişehir pass through İnegöl. You can also get there from İznik with a change of dolmuş in Yenişehir.

Day trip destinations

Bursa

Eskişehir

İznik

Oylat

Yenişehir

Read more: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-279469-the-road-to-eskisehir-inegol-and-yenisehir.html

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