Historical house offers modern Ottoman setting

Historical house offers modern Ottoman setting

MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
Historical house offers modern Ottoman setting

One-night accommodation for the suite room where the first owner of the mansion, Mehmet Ali Aga, stayed is 700 euros. AA photo

The restored 19th century Mehmet Ali Ağa Mansion in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Datça district is drawing a great number of tourists interested in spending an opulent night amid Ottoman history and culture.

The mansion, called “koca ev” (huge house) by locals, was transformed into a boutique hotel in 2005 by its latest owner for $1.5 million. Standing as one of the oldest examples of unique architecture in the region, the mansion began to receive interest from wealthy tourists after it began offering lodgings, a restaurant and modern conveniences housed in a carefully restored Ottoman atmosphere.

“There is great interest in the hotel from domestic and foreign tourists. We sometimes refuse guests during the high season because of this interest. Everyone leaves the hotel very pleased. We generally host Turkish guests during the high season. Americans, Brits and Germans are among our foreign guests,” the hotel’s spokeswoman, Sevgin Denizhan, told Anatolia news agency.

The building features five mansion rooms and 13 stone rooms on the upper floor for guests, Denizhan said, adding that prices for accommodation fluctuated seasonally. “Prices are different in the beginning and end of summer. The stone rooms’ prices range between 200 and 220 euros in the high season. Prices for mansion rooms are about 350 euros because there are antique objects in these rooms. One-night accommodation for the suite room where the first owner of the mansion [Mehmet Ali] stayed is 700 euros.”

History of the Mehmet Ali Ağa Mansion

The mansion, which was built in 1809 in the area’s Reşadiye neighborhood, bears the name of one of the men who administered the Datça Peninsula during the late Ottoman Empire. Mehmet Ali, a governor in the Datça Peninsula, lived in the mansion, which was commissioned by his father and built on land owned by the family for centuries.

Mehmet Ali never had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul because of domestic duties. As a result, he brought famous Istanbul painters to Datça and to create paintings depicting Istanbul on the ceilings of the mansion.

The mansion severely deteriorated over time and Mehmet Ali’s descendants sold it in the 1990s. In 2002 businessman Mehmet Pir carefully restored the mansion according to its original design.

One of the most striking parts of the mansion is the hall where special guests are hosted as a colorful pinwheel draws attention to the ceiling of the hall.

A secret tunnel was discovered in the mansion during restorations. It was believed that Mehmet Ali used the tunnel to secretly leave the mansion or transport visitors.