Birthplace of the Turkish navy                 Population: 47,000

aram1Market: Tuesday

If you're in Yalova with a few hours to wait for a ferry you might want to hop on a bus and head east for Karamürsel which is named after the sailor who founded the Ottoman navy.

The newly landscaped promenade beside the Sea of Marmara is lined with teahouses and restaurants and makes a great place to watch the sun go down. It has a curious whiff of faraway İskenderun about it. 

Around town

The minibuses from Yalova stop close to a cemetery in front of which a monument to Kara Mürsel has been set up along with a model of one of the wooden kadırgas (galleys) that he designed for the new navy. 

If you head down to the waterfront you can then make a choice. Head west and you'll come to several traditional teahouses and fish restaurants beside a small fishing harbour; head east and you'll come to several more glamorous cafes and then to the old ferry terminal building where Atatürk first landed in 1933. There's an equestrian statue of him amid the palm trees in front of it.aram2

Despite its fine stained-glass windows the building is currently derelict. Expect it to turn into a fancy restaurant any day soon.

Further along the waterfront you'll come to two poignant memorials. The more usual one commemorates the local men who died in the War of Independence (1919-22) but the second recalls the terrible day in 1999 when an earthquake and tsunami took the lives of 164 Karamürsellus.

Transport info

There are frequent blue minibuses from Yalova otogar to Karamürsel (45 mins) passing through Topçular and Altınova. 

Ferries leave Karamürsel for İzmit and Hereke on the other side of the Sea of Marmara. 

Karamur3Remembering the Marmara earthquake of 1999

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