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Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, Turkiye

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeDoğanbey is a village in the District of Söke, Aydın Province, Turkiye. As of 2010, it had a population of 714 people. Its GPS coordinates are - 37.618611, 27.180833

The majority of travellers in Turkiye have heard of the abandoned Greek village of Kayaköy near Fethiye on the Lycian coast.

Its ruined houses evoke the memories of the displaced Greek inhabitants of Turkiye. However, few people know that a very similar place exists on the Aegean coast, not far from the well known holiday resort of Kuşadası.

The settlement of Doğanbey is located in the region of the Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park, on a hill on the southern side of the peninsula.

An old village that was once inhabited by a Greek community and, until the population exchange between Greece in Turkey in 1924, was called Domatia.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeAfter 1924, Doğanbey was settled by the Turks, but in the 80's of the 20th century, they left the village in search of more modern conditions of life.

Since then the village has remained uninhabited. As a result, it managed to retain its original character with old buildings in the state from almost a hundred years ago.

Some of the buildings have been restored and sold as holiday homes, but many old houses have fallen into disrepair.

Currently, Doğanbey is like a village-museum, where you can admire the beautiful examples of traditional architecture of the 19th and early 20th century.

Among the old houses, is an historic church and chapel. The village is divided by a deep ravine where a stream flows.

Its noise and the chirping of birds are often the only sounds that can be heard in Doğanbey, especially outside the summer season.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeIts old stone houses create a beautiful view and atmosphere filled with nostalgia. The hill where Doğanbey is situated offers the scenic views of the Büyük Menderes River Delta and the Aegean Sea.

In Doğanbey, apart from looking at these old buildings, you can also visit the Information Centre, created especially for the guests of this remarkable open-air museum.

The building, which houses the centre, in the 19th century served as a hospital and later was turned into a school.

After the resettlement of the Greeks, it fell into disrepair and was finally restored only in 2001.

In the Information Centre, there is an exhibition hall, a computer room, and a library where visitors can take part in meetings, slide shows and watch the birds inhabiting the Büyük Menderes River Delta through a telescope.

The Information Centre is open daily, from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Admission to the village is possible at all times, and there is no entrance fee charged.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeSince the 90's of the 20th century, further renovation of houses in Doğanbey has been taking place.

Currently, some of the traditional stone houses have been transformed into apartments for rent, so that visitors that enjoy peace and quiet can even spend the night in Doğanbey.

A visit in Doğanbey can be combined with a trip to the ancient city of Priene, the ruins of which are located on the route leading from Söke to Doğanbey.

A little further to the west of Doganbey is Karine, a fishing village, where visitors can enjoy a meal at a fish restaurant.

Getting there by car: the easiest way to get to Doğanbey (also known as Eski Doğanbey) is by car.

From the main road in the region, the İzmir-Aydın highway, you need to turn off in Germencik and drive in the direction of Söke.

From Söke to Doğanbey there is a straight road taking you in a south-westerly direction for 29 kilometers. To get to the centre of the village turn off to the right from the main road and drive uphill.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeGetting there by minibus: reportedly there are some minibuses from Söke to Doğanbey, but their schedule is irregular so be prepared to take a taxi to get back.

Doganbey village takes approximately a one hour drive from Kusadasi to the former Greek village located by the ancient Mykale Mountains.

Across from the Greek Island of Samos, it was the birth place of famous mathematician Phytogoras.

In 1924 there was an exchange of populations between Greece and Turkiye. Turks living in Greece were exchanged with the Greeks living in Turkey.

This is one of the rare exchange villages. Approximately 300 houses were located in this village at that time.

After the exchange in 1924, the village was hit by an earthquake in 1959 and abondoned. The villagers founded a new settlement and named as ''Yeni Doganbey" meaning the ''New Doganbey''.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeToday the villages stone homes are being restored by their new owners from big Turkish cities who can afford to restore the abandoned homes.

Visitors can enjoy seeing typical Greek homes from 19th century and can walk on the cobble stone streets.

The streets and majority of the homes are restored and now in very good condition. It is a picturesque town.

The beauty of the homes and cleanliness of the streets and great views of the Aegean sea and fresh air are extremely impressive.

There are no shops, hotel accomodations, but visitors can enjoy walking in the village of Old Doganbey, with colorful flowers, plants and green trees, ornate narrow streets.

You can try a variety of meals and drinks from the restaurants and cafes run by the local people in the village. The village today is like an open air museum.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeThe village is so quiet in the winter, that it is like visiting a ghost town. Majority of the home owners come to the village to spend their summers.

It is close to the Didim and Kusadasi districts of Aydin. Eco tourism and nature trips are also organized in Doganbey village.

During the War of Independence, after the population exchange, the Greeks went back to Greece. The new people who settled in the village left the village after a while.

Now wealthy people, many of whom were artists and doctors, bought the houses and had them restored to their original form. Many of the buildings in the village are similar to Ottoman architecture.

Today, Doganbey Village is divided into old and new. It is the old Doganbey Village that should be visited.

A stone house at the entrance of the village serves as the “Buyuk Menderes National Park Visitor Information Center”.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeIn this old stone house, you can see the species of plants growing in the region and the animal species living in the region.

There is an attendant at the building whom gives detailed information about the region to the visitors.

The village has the distinction of being the only settlement within the borders of the national park. Today it is like an open-air museum where unique examples of Greek and Turkish architecture are exhibited.

It has become a place where eco tourism continues to develop with its walking tracks, numerous bird species, advanced flora and local plant species in the village.

The visitor information center in the village informs visitors about the village and the national park. You can also go for a nature walk with a guide if you wish. The hiking trail is approximately 15 kilometers long.

During the walk, you can get to know the vegetation closely and see the wonderful view of the streams and waterfalls.

Doğanbey, Söke, Aydın, TurkiyeIf you like to do sports, you can join the mountain biking event. You can join botanical tours to get to know the vegetation and its diversity better.

There are plant species belonging to 95 families in the national park. Among the species included in the plants, six of them can only be seen in Doganbey Village.

Due to the diversity of plants in the National Park, it is a region that has been declared a “Flora Bio Genetic Reserve Area” by the decision of the European Council.




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