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Dick Osseman | profile | all galleries >> Şirince tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Şirince

This gallery is in the Izmir topic

Wikipedia: "Şirince (pronounced [ʃiˈrindʒe]) is a village of 600 inhabitants in İzmir Province, Turkey, located about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of the town Selçuk. Şirince was settled when Ephesus was abandoned in the 15th century but most of what one sees today dates from the 19th century. There is a story that the village was settled by freed Greek slaves who named the village Çirkince (meaning "Ugly" in Turkish) to deter others from following them. The village's name was changed to Şirince (meaning "Pleasant") in 1926 by the governor of Izmir Province."

I only went there once, in 1992, as a newcomer to Turkey, meekly following instructions of the travel guidebook, and found it charming, but with a hint of tourism that I myself try to avoid (yes, I realize creating this website is a bit of a contradiction. So be it). I have since seen many villages with similar charm and potential, but often off the beaten track. I tend to prefer those, but must agree that Şirince is quite nice. When looking at the current situation on Google Streetview I found it has kept much of that charm, though I thought I saw a hint of tourist overload. The explanation may be in the Wikipedia too: "In the 1990s the well-known Istanbul linguist Sevan Nişanyan and his wife Müjde Tönbekici settled in Şirince, which had been semi-derelict since the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. They were instrumental in having the village declared a national heritage site, and they undertook to renovate ruined historic houses using the original materials and building techniques of the village. Several of the renovated village houses were eventually converted into a highly acclaimed Hotel de Charme by the name of the Nisanyan Houses.["
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