Edremit, Balıkesir

Edremit is a district in Balıkesir Province, Turkey, as well as the central city of that district, on the west coast of Turkey, not far from the Greek island of Lesbos.

Altınoluk resort center near Edremit
Location of Edremit within Balıkesir Province
Coordinates: 39°35′32″N 27°01′12″E
Country Turkey
  MayorKamil Saka (CHP)
  District731.32 km2 (282.36 sq mi)
  District density170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
10x xx
Licence plate10

It is situated at the tip of the gulf with the same name (Gulf of Edremit), with its town centre a few kilometres inland, and is an important centre of trade, along with the other towns that are situated on the same gulf (namely Ayvalık, Gömeç, Burhaniye and Havran). It is also one of the largest district centres of Balıkesir Province. The district of Edremit, especially around Kazdağı, is largely covered with forests.


The modern city of Edremit is named after the ancient city of Adramyttion (Άδραμύττιον) or Adramytteion (Άδραμύττειον), a city of Asia Minor on the coast of Aeolis.

Tahtacı Turkmen, descendants of the army of Shah Ismail I, settled in the mountains near Edremit after their defeat in the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514.[3]

By 1819, Adramyttion continued to occupy its ancient site on the coast and was known as Adramiti. According to Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn, Adramiti was only populated by "a few Greek fishermen".[4] In 1912, the town had 6200 inhabitants, 1200 of which were Greeks.[5]

In May 1914, thousands of Muslim refugees who had fled from the Balkans arrived in the town of Edremit and proceeded to ransack the shops and homes of the town's Greek community. According to Arnold J. Toynbee, the Ottoman government armed and organised the refugees. Many Greeks found refuge in the town church before fleeing to the harbour where they were then granted passage to the neighbouring island of Lesbos. Turks continued to massacre or evict Greeks in the following months in surrounding villages.[6] The Greek army occupied the town on 19 June 1920 but withdrew in late August 1922 and all remaining Greeks fled or were killed by the Turkish army.[7]


Edremit's economy relies largely on the production of olives, as well as on tourism. Edremit is known as the olive capital of Turkey. Kaz Dağı National Park, extending around the ancient Mount Ida (mentioned in Homer's epic poems such as the Iliad), is situated within the boundaries of Edremit district and is an important tourist attraction with its natural scenery and a number of picturesque small villages around it.


In ethno-cultural terms, the population of Edremit is a mixture of Balkan Turks, descendants of immigrants from Balkans, Aegean Islands, some Circassians, as well as Tahtacı Turkmens, who pursue their own traditions and life-style to this day. A private museum of ethnography in the village of Tahtakuşlar is one of the rare institutions in Turkey focusing on Tahtacı culture.

Notable people

Twin towns — sister cities

Edremit is twinned with:


  1. "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. Ayliffe (2003), p. 518
  4. Dearborn (1819), pp.51-52
  5. Pétridès (1912), coll. 595-596
  6. Milton (2009), pp. 48-50
  7. Kiminas (2009), p. 81
  8. Sister/Twin Cities of Balıkesir Province


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Adramyttium" . Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.

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