URLA – VOURLA – KLAZOMENAİ
History of Urla goes back to 3000 BC. Founded as a result of the Dorian and Achaean migrants to this region by the Ionians, the town was ruled by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans respectively.
One of the twelve Ionian cities, Clazomenai was founded in the area just in front of the modern Urla Quay. It was then moved to the island off the quay for protection purposes against the Persian attacks. Of the city which has been proven to have been founded centuries before the Hellenic civilisation through archaeological findings, the coastal parts were called Clazomenai and the inland parts Vourla. The fact that the name Clazomenai does not emerge from the Greek language, is supportive of such findings. However, one may consider that Kal(a)ass(a)umna which means the people of the port town was the former name of Urla and was converted to Clazomenai in the Greek language. It has been found out that the names of grape, wine, fig and especially olive did not originate from their originals in the Greek language in the modern or ancient Greek language but from an Anatolian language just like a great many mountain, promontory and gulf names. Wine production started in Urla in the 4th millennium BC. The people of the city then erected olive oil mills (oldest olive oil workshop excavated on earth is in Urla), produced perfumes and also erected workshops for weaving. They also became masters in mining.
Piri Reis, who lived in the 15th and 16th centuries, included the port of Urla in his “Book of the Seas.” He related the indented coves of Urla, what direction the wind blown and the condition of the isles. Piri Reis mentions that roes lived in the Isle of the Church and the Kosten Isle off the former because there were steep cliffs on the isles.
The Turks reached the Aegean Sea and Urla under the command of Caka Bey in the 1080s. Urla was conquered in 1390 by the Ottomans. The Greeks entered Izmir and then occupied Urla on 18th May 1919. At the end of the Liberation War was re-liberated on 12th September 1922 by the Turks.