Location of Aydın Province in Turkey
|• Electoral district||Aydın|
|• Total||8,007 km2 (3,092 sq mi)|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
Aydın Province (Turkish: Aydın ili) is a province of southwestern Turkey, located in the Aegean Region. The provincial capital is the city of Aydın which has a population of approx. 150,000 (2000). Other towns in the province include the summer seaside resorts of Didim and Kuşadası.
Aydın was founded by the ancient Thracians and was once known as Tralles. The area is an earthquake zone and the city was built and rebuilt by a succession of Spartans, Phrygians, Ionians, Lydians, Persians and Ancient Romans. In 1186 the Seljuk Turks took control of the area, followed by the Anatolian beylik of the Aydinids. During this period the town was named Aydın Güzelhisar, and was brought into the Ottoman Empire in 1426.
The central and western parts of the province are fertile plains watered by the largest river in the Aegean region the Büyük Menderes River, with the Aydın Mountains to the north and the Menteşe Mountains to the south. The western end of the province is the Aegean coast with Lake Bafa a major feature of the Menderes delta area. The climate is typical of the Aegean region, very hot in summer. The Germencik region contains a number of hot springs.
Aydın province is divided into 17 districts:
Much of the countryside is a mix of fig, olive and citrus trees, especially figs.
The major sources of income are agriculture and tourism.
The coastal towns of Didim and Kuşadası in particular are tourist resorts. Kuşadası is near to the Dilek Peninsula - Büyük Menderes Delta National Park, while Didim has a temple of Apollo, beaches, and the ancient ruins of Miletos nearby. The province contains archeological sites, including the ancient Carian cities of Alinda and Alabanda.
Aydın is Turkey's leading producer of figs and exports dried figs worldwide. The very name by which the fruit was called in the world markets was "Smyrna figs" until recently, due to the preponderance of figs exported from İzmir over other species of the genus. But İzmir got the name by being the center for the wholesale trade and exports, while in fact the fruit was traditionally cultivated in Aydın. The term used within Turkey is "Aydın figs" (Turkish: Aydın inciri). Turkey's yearly production of roughly 50,000 tons of dried figs, is almost all from Aydın, Within Aydın province, the best figs are reputed to be grown in Germencik. Aydın produces olives from the varieties of Memecik, Manzanilla, and Gemlik, as well as chestnuts, cotton, citrus fruits, water melons and other fruits.
Aydın has some light industry
Adnan Menderes University was built in the city of Aydın in 1990s and has branches throughout the province.
Aydın is the home of the Zeybek folk art. This involves a special type of war dance which is performed in a ring to resemble birds. The Zeybek is performed to sounds of the Kiteli and other Turkish folk instruments.
The folk songs of Aydın are famously short, indeed a popular saying in the Aegean region to get someone to stop talking, is Keep it short, make it an Aydın tune.
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