Underwater beauty draws tourists to Karaburun
Also home to the Eylül and Alaybey shipwrecks used to create artificial reefs, the peninsula hosts divers who come from Turkey and abroad to take diving training.
After finishing their education, divers can dive in 17 spots in Büyük Ada, Küçük Ada, Domuzburnu and Arsan Kayası.
Diving enthusiasts can see sea creatures such as grouper, leer, tuna, sea bream, barracuda, moray eel, sea bugs, and octopus and also dive into the shipwrecks or the under-water wreckage from a war plane off Mordoğan.
Erkan Ayvazoğlu, the owner and instructor of a private diving school in the Karaburun district, said that with the introduction of the peninsula’s underwater wealth, interest in the region has increased.
Ayvazoğlu said his school had a busy season this year. Last year, 1,000 people enrolled in the school; this year, he said, the number will be greater.
“Here, a very different world awaits people under water. You swim with the fish in the clean waters and shores,” he said. “Especially in recent years German and Dutch tourists have an intense interest in the region. They come on tours or individually and spend their holidays here. They discover both the natural beauty of the region and its different underwater world.”
[HH] A tourist attraction
The settlements that have been abandoned over the years on the Karaburun Peninsula have also become tourist attractions for their hiking and nature activities.
The Sazak village is one of the oldest settlements in the region. The old village, which consists of old stone houses and a historic church, amazes tourists.
Besides Sazak, the villages of Çukurköy, Tepeköy, Saprıncık, Yeniliman, Bozköy, Yayla and Küçükbahçe, the population of which is steadily decreasing, now welcome many tourists, especially on weekends.
The Karaburun Peninsula in the very western part of the Aegean region is 100 kilometers from the center of İzmir.
The peninsula and its surroundings were called Mimas during ancient timnes. After the Ionian rule, Lydians, Persians, Macedonians, the Kingdom of Pergamon, Romans and the Byzantines dominated the area.
After the Malazgirt War in 1071, Turkmen tribes settled in the region. Özel Çakabey Okulları set up the first Turkish Smyrnian seigniory and ruled over the peninsula for several years.