Summary Information About Balıkesir

Balıkesir Province is a province in northwestern Turkey with coastlines on both the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean. Its adjacent provinces are Çanakkale to the west, İzmir to the southwest, Manisa to the south, Kütahya to the southeast, and Bursa to the east. The provincial capital is Balıkesir. Most of the province lies in the Marmara Region except the southern parts of Bigadiç Edremit, Kepsut, İvrindi, Savaştepe and Sındırgı districts and ones of Ayvalık, Burhaniye, Dursunbey, Gömeç and Havran, that bound the Aegean Region. Kaz Dağı, known also as Mount Ida, is located in this province. Balıkesir province is famous for its olives, thermal spas, and clean beaches, making it an important tourist destination. The province also hosts immense deposits of kaolinite and borax, with some open-pit mines. The Kaz mountains are also threatened with the expansion of gold mining using cyanide which puts the villagers’ lives, the agricultural economy, and tourism at risk.

Balıkesir and its districts, besides the wealth of thermal resources, have healing waters with reputed physical and chemical compositions


The capital of the Balıkesir Province is Balıkesir City.




14292.00 km 2










History of Balıkesir

Close to modern Balıkesir was the Roman town of Hadrianutherae, founded, as its name commemorates, by the emperor Hadrian. Hadrian came to the region in A.D. 124, as a result of a successful bear hunting he had established a city called his name here. It is estimated that the city consisted of the castle, the homestead, the stud and a few homes. It is thought that the small town was where the current stadium is present.


Members of the Roman and Pre-Byzantine dynasty had used this castle as a vacation area and for hunting. During the Byzantine period, the small town which had become increasingly neglected was known as Palaeokastron (Greek: Παλαιόκαστρο) meaning Old Castle.


Also, when the Turkmens came from Middle Asia to Mysia, they called it Balukiser because of the remains of the castle, as Hisar is the Turkish word for castle. Balıkesir’s former name was Karasi because Balıkesir city was founded by Karasi Beg in the 13th century as using the remains of the small town. 1297 is considered as the date of establishment of the city which was one of the few to be founded by the Turks in Anatolia. The Karasids was a Turkic principality in Mysia. Since the 13th century, Balıkesir city have been the administrative centre of the Mysia region.


In 1345, Balıkesir city was annexed by the Ottomans. In 1898 an earthquake destroyed much of the city. The number of buildings that were not destroyed in the 1898 earthquake was only 51. In 1914, Turkish students marched through the streets of the city singing a song of hatred against the Greeks. In April 1916, the Christian refugees of the villages in the vicinity of Balikesser underwent persecution from the Turks. They were refused bread on payment. The women were told that they should become Muslim so as not to die of hunger.


At the beginning of June, many young Greeks were forced by the authorities to convert to Islam at Government headquarters. On 30 June 1920 Balıkesir city was conquered by the invading Greeks but on 6 September 1922, the Turkish army took back the city. During the Turkish War of Independence, Balıkesir was the main centre of the militias in Western Anatolia against Greeks.


On 3 August 1950, a major fire destroyed the centre of the city which was rebuilt later. That fire destroyed an important part of the city. According to estimates, it was the result of the firing of firecrackers belonging to child guns in a shop. According to another opinion, it was caused by the gnawing of the firecrackers of child guns by rats and this fire spread to the electrical contact. 498 shops completely burned. It is the second biggest disaster to befall in Balıkesir after the 1898 earthquake. Nearly a thousand people were unemployed. The tents were set up by the Turkish Red Crescent and food aid was provided for a long time

Districts of Balıkesir

  • Altıeylül
  • Ayvalık
  • Balya
  • Bandırma
  • Bigadiç
  • Burhaniye
  • Dursunbey
  • Edremit
  • Erdek
  • Gömeç
  • Gönen
  • Havran
  • İvrindi
  • Karesi
  • Kesput
  • Manyas
  • Marmara
  • Savaştepe
  • Sındırgı
  • Susurluk

Point of Interests in Balıkesir

Balıkesir is home to a number of natural attractions, including Kuş Cenneti (bird sanctuary) National Park; the bays of Erdek, Bandırma, and Edremit; Ayvalık’s coastal beaches; Şeytan Sofrası, Marmara Islands, Alibey (Cunda) Island; the Erdek and Gönen open-air museums; Pamukçu-Bengi, Balya Dağ, Hisar, Hisarköy (Asarköy), Karağaç (Uyuz), Kepekler hot springs, Dutluca Village mineral springs, and Zeytinli Ada hot springs and mineral water springs.


Among the cultural attractions of Balıkesir are the ruins of Cyzicus and Saraylar on the Sea of Marmara, Dascylium (near Bandırma/Ereğli), and Antandrus (near Edremit/Altınoluk); Balıkesir’s Yıldırım Mosque (Eski Cami), the Zagan Pasha Mosque complex, Clocked Church Mosque and quantity of Ottoman vernacular architecture at Ayvalık, and Alibey Mosque (Çınarlı Cami). The Kuş Cenneti National Park near Lake Manyas is an ornithological site where 266 different species of birds flourish – every year over three million birds fly through there. There are horse breeding farms 13 km southeast of Bandırma, in Karacabey.


There are a city museum and a fine arts centre in Balıkesir. Also, there are several camping facilities in Erdek, Altınoluk, Akçay, Güre, and Ören.


Balıkesir have coastlines both Sea of Marmara and Aegen Sea. Edremit, Burhaniye, Gömeç and Ayvalık are the districts which are popular for their beaches, located in the Aegean coast of the Balıkesir; Marmara Island, Erdek, Gönen and Bandırma are the districts that are located in the Marmara coast of Balıkesir.


Around the Gulf of Edremit in Balıkesir province are some of the coastlines where encircled by clear waters and sandy beaches and silvery green olive groves. Ayvalık, a holiday towns on this coastline, is located in the midst of pine and olive trees. Its houses ornamented with wood and stone. Cunda Island, linked to Ayvalık via a bridge, is known for its sunsets, seafood and taverns


Many spas which claim to have health-promoting features surround the city, including Pamukçu and Ilıca. The center of the city also contains the historical Turkish “Pasha Hamami” bath, which is still in use.


Balıkesir is a historical folkloric dance source. Balıkesir’s historical folkloric dance is most popular in Turkey and academical searching,Bengi, Guvende and Balikesir Zeybeği are a typical dance of this city. These dances’ figures spread throughout Balıkesir plainness. Also, Balikesir’s ballads are popular in Turkey. Akpınar, Mendili Oyaladım, Karyolamın Demiri are some ballads sing by women surround Balikesir city. Like these woman ballads, on the other hand, have dance figures in terms of traditional dancing. Although Balıkesir is an industrial region, traditional village culture is superb and deeply. So, for folk culture, Balıkesir is an important area in Turkey. Balıkesir’s local dance came to first in Nice folk festival joined 21 countries at 1958 be of value by European academical folklore authorities. Also, Balıkesir’s local zeibek dance was the first zeibek participation from Turkey which had seen European folk authorities. Nowadays, Balıkesir folklore is chosen “intangible cultural heritage” of Turkey by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Let's see the cuisine of Balıkesir

  • SURA

For more information about Balıkesir



For more information, you may visit the official government website of BALIKESIR


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