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SIĞACIK

 

sigacik1Old names: Gerraiidai, Sığla, Sığala

Market day: Sunday

On the Aegean coast west of Seferihisar, Sığacık was until recently a virtually forgotten little harbour town hunkered down inside city walls that some say were built by Genoese traders and others by the Ottomans (inofrmation at the site favours the Ottoman version of the story).

It had a couple of long-lived fish resaurants and a couple of pensions and that was about it. 

Now, however, it has been discovered and all that is about to change.

When I last visited in July 2013 the local authority was in the middle of a project to remove all the accumulated plaster and paint on the houses inside the castle walls. These will then be whitewashed and given a cohesive look that, one suspects, will draw heavily on the fashionable Alaçatı model.sigacik5

As a first step in the renovation project some of the houses now have nice new pantiled roofs with gable ends in the shape of snails, a nod in the direction of Sığacık's connection to Seferihisar and through it to the Citta Slow movement. Some now also come with terracotta birdhouses attached to the walls. 

Sığacık also has a new marina and a small Migros and Tansaş where yachtees can stock up on necessities.

This is still a sleepy little place except over summer weekends when İzmrlis pour in and everything comes under strain. Do yourself a favour and visit at other times.

There's not a lot to do here but it's a great place to relax for a few days with the beach at Akkum only a short bus ride away and the ruins at Teos not much harder to get to.

sigacik2Around town

Siğacık's old city walls are low and relatively inconspicuous although you become aware of them as you pass in and out of the arched gateways to cross through the residential İç Kale (Inner Castle) area.

In one corner the actual castle is now sometimes used as a venue for concerts in summer. 

Signs at the site assign the castle to an admiral called Parlak Mustafa Paşa who supposedly erected it in 1521-22 as part of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent's preparations for war with Rhodes.

It mainly served as a naval base protecting what became an important harbour for the import of grain and dried fruit although it also served as a customs base too. Stones quarried from the ruins of Teos were used in the building work.

In the middle of the İç Kale you'll find the small mosque complex which appears to date back at least to the 17th century since it was mentioned by Evliya Çelebi. The columns of the portico appear to have been filched from the ruins of Teos.

Right beside the mosque the old hamam is still in ruins while across the road the small tomb-like building housing the medrese has been pressed into service as an upmarket boutique.sigacik3

Pieces of old Teos crop up all over the place, including in front of the Liman Restaurant.

Eating

The fish restaurants by the harbour aside, I can vouch for the food at the Teos Pansiyon. Spare a moment, too, to sit down for a snack in the quirky Paşa Kaptan Cafe, its walls covered with shells and pieces of mosaics - it's one of those truly individual places ones fears there may be little room for in the new-look Sığacık.

Sleeping

Since Sığacık was discovered recently a number of small pensions and hotels have opened mostly inside the walls but also along the road out from the harbour. Unfortunately few of those running them seem to have been in tourism long or have much idea about how it should be operated.

Prices are high for what is on offer. It was certainly a first to have a hotelier tell me straight-faced that I could be confident that no one else would be coming to share my TL60 room!

Antik Hotel Pansiyon. Tel: 0232-745 7179

Burg Pansiyon. Tel: 0232-745 7464

Mandalin Pansiyon. Tel : 0533-366 6301

Teos Pansiyon

Transport info

The half-hourly minibuses from Seferihisar continue on to the beach at Akkum. Unfortunately these buses depart from the centre of Seferihisar rather than from the otogar so if you're arriving from somewhere like Kuşadasi you have first to go to the otogar, then change to a bus into town, then change to another to Siğacık, a considerable disincentive to bothering.

Day trip destinations

Akkum

Seferihisar

Teos

Read more about Siğacık: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-324952-the-secluded-pleasure-of-sigacik.html

sigacik7Is this what the new Sığacık will look like?

sigacik6

 

 

 

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