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AYVACIK

"Little Quince"                     Population: 8,000

Market day: Friday

Ayvacık is one of those rather unfortunate towns which is always on the way to somewhere else rather than being a destination in its own. If you're heading for Assos, for example, this is where you would change buses.

But once you're safely settled down there you might want to consider a trip back into Ayvacık, especially to see the market, a lively affair that sprawls out from beside the bus station. It's frequented by women from surrounding villagers some of whom still wear distinctive local clothing that indicate that they are descendants of Turkmen nomads who settled in this area. 

The second thing that might lure you back to Ayvacık is the DOBAG Project (Doğal Boya Arıştırma ve Geliştirme Projesi; Natural Dyes research and Development Project), the brainchild in 1981 of the Germans, Harald and Renate Böhmer, who had come to Turkey as teachers in the 1960s. Concerned that memory of how to colour kilims using natural dyes was rapidly fading, they set up the project to persuade local women to return to making kilims in the old ways.

Today most of their handiwork is prepared for export. The showroom is within walking distance (2km) of the market on the road leading out of town towards Çanakkale opposite a wooded picnic site. Prices are fixed and not particularly cheap but it's interesting to see the vivid colours and lively designs even if you end up having to buy elsewhere. 

Transport info

There are regular buses from Çanakkale with onward dolmuşes to Assos/Behramkale, Ezine and Küçükkuyu.

Day trip destinations

Assos/Behramkale

 

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