Today we’re in one of Turkey’s most charming coastal villages. It resembles a Greek village, and in fact, we’re going to see something unusual, a Greek Orthodox church that shares space with a mosque. We’re also going to wander the maze of streets and stop for refreshments. We’ve got a lot to do, so let’s get going.
Alaçati was originally settled by Greeks in the 17th century, but the Greeks were forced to leave in 1914 and the village was practically emptied. Many returned in 1919 when the Hellenic army occupied the region of Izmir but they fled again in 1922 following Greece’s defeat in the Greco-Turkish War.
The Greeks left a strong impression, however, which remains to this day. You’ll find old Greek homes in the city center and a Greek/Turkish style of life.
To appreciate Alacati, it is enough simply to stroll through the cobblestone streets, to admire the beautifully restored old houses and enjoy the Bohemian atmosphere.
We found a local teahouse where we sat outside to enjoy a type of cookie made only in this region and a cup of Turkish apple tea.
Our next destination was the Agios Constantinos Church. It was built in 1874 as a Greek Orthodox church and later converted to a mosque. We were told that the church still holds Greek Orthodox services, however, operated separately from the space dedicated to the Islamic faith. It made me think if only the world were so tolerant toward religions. Well, it is, in Alacati.
We had a great time in Alacati. It’s a thriving holiday destination that mixes the best of Turkish and Greek culture.