Marmara Ereğli

Marmara Ereğli is a town and district of Tekirdağ Province in the Marmara region of Turkey.

Facts

Ereğli is 30 km east of the town of Tekirdağ, and 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is called Marmara Ereğli to distinguish it from the two other large towns in Turkey with the name Ereğli (deriving from the Greek name "Heraclea"), one in Konya Province, the other on the Black Sea coast.

History

A Greek colony of the island of Samos was founded here in 600 BC. The area was known in Ancient Greek as Perinthos later called "Heraclea", It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 BC. According to John Tzetzes, its original name was Mygdonia; later it was called Heraclea ("Heraclea Thraciae", "Heraclea Perinthus"). It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 BC; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself.

Holiday resorts

Ereğli is a small town with little to offer, and especially quiet in winter. However there is a long coastline and the sea is clean enough for swimming, (not true of much of the Marmara) and the coast on either side of Ereğli is lined with hotels and compounds of holiday properties serving people from Istanbul, who come to relax in the summer sunshine. Ereğli is only an hour's drive from Istanbul and on a summer Sunday evening the road is a solid queue of returning weekenders.

The holiday compounds are complicated mazes of little roads tightly packed with villas or buildings of holiday flats, leading down to the sea. Some of them have cafes and restaurants on the seafront, sometimes open to people from outside the compound. In places there are public beaches, although very cowded on summer weekends, and paths for children to play on bicycles. These holiday homes are family places and not all the compounds have nightlife.

The town and villages

The town of Ereğli and its nearby villages are used by these weekenders and summer residents for fast food, grocery shopping, internet cafes and other amenities. The town itself is a mixture of large modern blocks and old country houses, both types mostly having been built without proper planning or architectural design. There is a small harbour. The people of Ereğli are a mixture of established families who have been in Thrace for generations and recently arrived migrant workers.

Earthquakes

A large faultline follows this coast and the holiday housing of Marmara Ereğli is all vulnerable to damage from the inevitable earthquakes.

Economy

Apart from tourism Ereğli has two natural harbours and three small ports. The natural gas company Botaş and also Total Petroleum have tanker ports and storage tanks on the point of the headland, in the village of Sultanköy.


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