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ÖDEMİŞ

Home to the Ödemiş kebab                              Population: 75,000

DSC08522Market day: Saturday

Ödemis is not an obvious destination for casual travellers who are mostly likely to transit it en route from Tire to Birgi. However, with a couple of hours on your hands it has a couple of museums to visit plus a fine 19th-century mosque.

The Saturday market is one of the biggest in the region with stalls spreading their tentacles into almost every side street.

Around town

The centre of Ödemiş is Hurriyet Meydanı which is marked by a statue of one of the efes (heroes) who fought for Turkey during the War of Independence (1919-22).

Behind it is the imposing Merkez Gürgüzade Camii (1811) with a wonderful elegantly carved wooden ceiling and a mimber to match as well as some interesting frescoes. It shares the courtyard with a neat little porticoed library. Both reuse columns and capitals obviously filched from a Roman settlement on the site.DSC08538

Surrounding the mosque is a rambling and interesting market where you can see old-fashioned yorgancıs (quiltmakers) at work. 

Follow the signs to find the new ÖYKAM Museum. ÖYKAM stands for Ödemiş Yıldız Kenti Arşivı ve Müzesi (Yıldız City Archive and Museum) and you'll find a state-of-the-art ethnography museum housed inside a fine 19th-century mansion that started life as the Kececi Han and then went on to house the Yıldız Oteli which, in its heyday, hosted Prime Minster Adnan Menderes and the singer Zeki Muren. Later it became effectively a dosshouse before the decision was made to convert it. 

DSC08527Now the museum has rooms covering many aspects of local life and history, including an interesting room that commemorates the lost local tobacco-making industry (the factory now houses the local vocational high school) and another that shows an old barber's shop. 

A cafe is housed in a courtyard overlooked by the galleries of the han. 

As you walk back along the high street (Mithatpaşa Caddesi) from ÖYKAM to the otogar you will pass another magnificent late 19th-century building that used to house the local branch of THK (Türk Hava Kurumu) and is now used by a lively branch of the Kahve Diyarı cafe chain. DSC08521

Ödemis has a second more traditional Archaeology Museum (closed Mondays) but it's about one km out on the road towards Birgi (buses pass it). Here you'll find archaeological finds from nearby Hypaipa as well as some exceptionally fine embroideries and costumes donated by a local collector. 

Not far from the statue of the efe a third museum (closed Mondays) is dedicated to reminders of the Ödemiş-born folk singer, Bedia Akartürk.

Sleeping

Çiftçi Otel

Tel: 0232-545 5874, Mithatpaşa Caddesi

Otel Güven

Transport info

As of April 2014 Ödemiş' otogar was still beside the station in the town centre but a new site was being prepared for it and is likely to be a good deal less convenient. The main intercity bus station is out on the Tire road. 

There are frequent bus services to İzmir (80km), Tire (30km) and Birgi (9km). A few buses also serve Salihli and Aydın. Check the times carefully - the last bus to Salihli (for Sardis) leaves at 3pm and is very oversubscribed on Saturdays when the market is in town. 

Day trip destinations

Aydın

Bayındır

Birgi

Hypaipa

İzmir

Salihli (for Sardis)

Tire

Events Calendar

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