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Çeşme - Turkey Çeşme
Çeşme is a coastal town and the center of the district of the same name in Turkey's western-most end sitting on a promontory on the tip of the peninsula which also carries the same name and which extends inland to form a whole with the wider Karaburun Peninsula. It is a popular holiday resort and the district center, where two thirds of the district population is concentrated. It is located 85 kilometers west of İzmir - the largest metropolitan center in Turkey's Aegean Region with a road connection between the two cities being maintained by a recently-built six-lane highway. Çeşme district has two neighboring districts - Karaburun to the north and Urla to the east - both of which are also part of İzmir Province. The name "Çeşme" means "fountain" and possibly draws reference from the many Ottoman fountains scattered across the city. The town itself is dominated by the Çeşme Castle. While the castle is recorded to have been considerably extended and strengthened during the reign of Ottoman sultan Bayezid II, sources differ as to the original builders and whether it was the Genoese or the Turks. A statue of Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha, one of the naval commanders of the Battle of Chesma is in front of the castle with the Pasha depicted caressing his famous pet lion and facing the town square. The battle itself, although ending in Ottoman defeat, saw Hasan Pasha pulling out honorably after having sunk the Russian flagship Sv. Evstafii, together with his own ship, after which he was forced to follow the main battle from the coast before joining the capital by way of land. There he rapidly rose to become a distinguished grand vizier. A few paces south of the castle, there is an Ottoman caravanserai built in the early centuries of the Ottoman conquest in 1528 by order of Süleyman the Magnificent - now restored and transformed into a boutique hotel. The imposing but redundant 19th century Greek Orthodox church of Ayios Haralambos is used for temporary exhibitions. Along some of the back streets of the town are old Ottoman or Greek houses, as well as Sakız house-type residences of more peculiar lines. A prized location of country houses and secondary residences especially for the affluent inhabitants of İzmir for more than a century - Çeşme perked up considerably in recent decades to become one of Turkey's most prominent centers of international tourism. Many hotels, marinas, clubs, restaurants, boutique hotels, pansiyons and other facilities for visitors are found in Çeşme center and in its surrounding towns and villages in the countryside, as well as having very popular beaches.

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