Silivri is a district of Istanbul along the Sea of Marmara in Turkey, used mainly as holiday and weekend homes for residents of the city.
The largest town in the district is Silivri itself - see Silivri for the history of this ancient town.
Silivri is located at bordering Buyukcekmece to the east, Catalca to the north, Corlu and Marmara Eregli (both districts of Tekirdag) to the west and with the Sea of Marmara to the south. It is with an area of 860 km the largest district of Istanbul. The seat of the district is the city of Silivri.
The district consists of 8 towns and 18 villages, and its population is 108,155 (2000 census). 44,530 in the city of Silivri, the remaining in the surrounding towns and villages - listed below.
Silivri, the ancient Selymbria (or Selybria), preserved its importance in every era of history thanks to its natural harbor and its position on the major commercial roads. It was a colony of Megara founded on a 56 m high, steeply hill east of the bay, but excavations show that it was a Tracian settlement before it was a colony.
According to Strabon, the city's name is a combination of the name of the mythological founder of the city, Selus, and the Thracian word for city , "bria" .
Silivri is the birthplace of the physician Herodicus, and was an ally of the Athenians in 351 BC. Until the second half of the 2nd century BC, the city could preserve its autonomy, but its neighbours Byzantium and Perinthos got more powerful,and the city was under their reign during the next centuries. The settlement was shrunk into a village under the governance of the Roman Empire. In the early 5th century, the town was officially renamed Eudoxiopolis during the reign of Byzantine emperor Arcadius (377 - 408), after his wife Aelia Eudoxia, though this name did not survive. In 805 AD, the Bulgarian Khan Kroum pillaged the town. In the late 9th century, Emperor Michael III (839 - 867) constructed a fortress on the top of the hill, the ruins of which still remain, during an era in which the Byzantine Empire suffered attacks by Saracen corsairs and Russians.
In 1346, the Ottomans became ally of the pretender for the Emperor John VI Cantacuzenus (1292 1383), and helped him against his rival John V Palaeologus (1332 1391). The same year, Sultan Orhan I married Theodora, the daughter of John VI in Selymbria.
In 1399, Selymbria fell to the Ottomans, marking their complete encirclement of Constantinople by land in Europe. Many contemporary observers believed from then on it was a mere matter of time before the Ottomans took the Byzantine capital.
During the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, Silivri, along with Epibatos, stood up against the Ottoman armies, and surrendered only after the city had fallen. Selymbria extended out of the walls only during the Ottoman era, because the non-Muslim residents like Byzantines, Armenians and Jews lived within the city walls, and the Turks built their houses outside the walls at the coast. While the non-Muslims were engaged mostly in growing grapes, vinification and silk production, the Turks earned their life by fishing and making yogurt. The town remained a summer resort during the Ottoman time, as it was during the Byzantine era.
On the order of Suleiman the Magnificent, architect Sinan built 1562 a stone bridge with 33 arches just west of Silivri. The historical bridge, called "Uzunkopru" (The "Long Bridge"), is still in use today, however one arch is not visible due to sedimentation.
Prior to World War I, some Silivrian Jews immigrated to the town of Camaguey, Cuba [*]. Bulgarians occupied Silivri on November 16, 1912 for 9 months until May 30, 1913.
During the war, many more Sephardim in the town left as conditions worsened due to the war. Many Jews at the time were pro-Turkish, as opposed to the Greeks and Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, who instead supported the Allied war effort. Many of these Turkish Jews emigrated to the United States settling primarily in New York and Seattle. Others went to Palestine, France and South America.
According to the Treaty of Sevres, Silivri became a part of Greece on July 20, 1920. However, Italians took it over from the withdrawing Greek troops on October 22, 1922, according to the Truce of Mudania. Finally, Turkish forces entered Silivri on November 1, 1922 .
During the summer months, the population increases 4-5 times. Silivri is 67 km far from the city center of Istanbul, and is a popular summer resort for many Istanbul residents with its 45 km long coast. It is on the highway D-100 and the motorway O-3 (E-80), which connect Turkey to Europe via Edirne. It takes about an hour and a half to get here from the city so is feasible for use in the summer months as a weekend and holiday retreat, although the road out here is heaving with traffic in summer.
Being so accessible from Istanbul the Marmara coast has long been used for holidaying by Istanbul's people. As the city has grown these facilities have moved further and further away. Once Florya and Yeikoy were resorts, today it's Tekirdag and even further. Silivri had its heyday in the 60's and 70s as families would come by the busload to complexes of holiday flats that were built on the beach. Most had their own stretch of beach, perhaps with their neighbours' raw sewage running straight into the sea. The Marmara Sea here has suffered from pollution in the 80s and 90s but now efforts have been made to clean it up and people do swim. Some of these places have sports centres, discos, go-kart tracks, games rooms for the kids etc and many Istanbul families have pleasant memories of trips to Silivri in the 70s and 80s, sitting on the beach in the summer moonlight while the kids run about until they drop from tiredness. Some still go today. All the facilities are located in the holiday housing area, the town centre of Silivri has little to offer in the way of cinema, theatre or any other cultural amenities.
Now the coast has also been blessed with resort hotels and country clubs with sport facilities including golf courses, horse riding centres and tennis courts, health and conference centers. At weekend the area is crowded with day trippers.
With all this development it's hard to find a stretch of open coastline.
The winter months are cold here, as bitter weather blows across Thrace from the Balkans, and holiday homes in Silivri are not much used from mid-September until May or even June.
The district has great agricultural potential thanks to its almost flat landscape, mild Thracian climate and yield-effective soil, and in the 1950's and 1960's the pasture was so rich that the yoghurt of Silivri was renowned. Now the reputation of the yoghurt has declined due to poor quality control and mismanagement of the brand. The Silivri Yoghurt Festival used to be a major event but nowadays there is less interest and in some years it is not even held. Wheat (246 km), sunflower (105 km) and barley (50 km) are cultivated here. Vineyards were once important but have declined since the 1970s. Livestock is still important.
Silivri Lisesi (Silivri High School) Visit web site
Hasan - Sabriye Gumu Anadolu Lisesi (Anatolian High School) Visit web site
Ozel Balkan Lisesi (Private Balkan High School) Visit web site
Necip Saribekir Lisesi
Teknik Lise ve Endustri Meslek Lisesi (Technical High School and Industry - Profession High School) Visit web site
Serife Baldoktu Meslek Lisesi (Serife Baldoktu Profession High School)
List of towns and villages of Silivri
Towns , and villages .
The Anastasian Wall, also known as the Long Walls of Thrace, was constructed by Byzantine emperor Anastasius I (491-518) as part of an additional outer defense system for Constantinople during the 5th century and probably was in use until the 7th century. Comparable only with Hadrian's Wall in England in its complexity and preservation, the fortification stretches some 56 km from Black Sea coast across the Thracian peninsula to the Sea of Marmara at west of Silivri.
Piri Paa Mosque
Uzunkopru (The Long bridge)
People associated with Silivri
Herodicus (5th century BC), Physician.
Andronicus IV Palaiologos (1376-1379), Byzantine Emperor based in Selymbria.
Nectarios Kephalas (1846-1920), Greek Orthodox Saint and Bishop in the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Egypt.
Oguz Aral (1936 2004), renowned political cartoonist born in Silivri.
Mihri Belli (1916), communist leader