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YENİŞEHIR

The new city that isn't                      Population: 52,000

Yenisehir1

Old name: Başşehri (Ottoman)

Market day: Tuesday

The small town of Yenişehir sits midway between İznik and İnegöl. In Ottoman times it was called Başşehri (Main Town) which hints at more history here than the modern name might suggest. 

Around town

The town centre is marked by a soaring pink and white clocktower topped off with a ramshackle stork's nest and with the numbers still shown in their Arabic versions. Nearby the Belediye building is a fine half-timbered building in a style that can also be seen in Bursa. 

Behind the square a sizeable market takes place once a week and as you wander round you will spot several old Ottoman mosques and hamams, including the 15th-century Balı Bey (Çarşı) Cami which boasts of its five mihrabs.

Signs direct you to the Sinanpaşa Külliyesi, a mosque complex dating back to 1570 which has been restored so that the medrese can serve as a schoolroom, while other parts of the complex serve as lecture halls and meeting rooms. The mosque itself is surprisingly small and usually locked. İznik tiles stolen from the mosaic have recently been returned to Turkey and are stored in the Ankara Ethnography Museum until a final home can be found for them.

Yenisehir2Also worth seeking out is the early 19th-century Şemaki Evi, an externally plain but internally glorious house built for an Iranian immigrant and now open to the public. The downstairs rooms have astonishingly low ceilings but upstairs you'll love the spectacularly carved wooden ceilings and the frescoed walls which show scenes of the Bosphorus in İstanbul as well as of fruit and flowers. Yenisehir3

Transport info

There are hourly dolmuşes from İznik (24km) and İnegöl (28km) to Yenişehir. 

The frequent buses from Birecik to Bursa and vice versa also pass through Yenişehir - the part of the journey from Birecik to Yenişehir is along a winding country road. 

From Bursa buses to Yenişehir leave from the Doğu Garaj. 

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

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