There are many various opinions and assumptions about the origin of its name. The fact that the name of the peninsula was ‘Capo Calaberno’ makes people think that the name came phonetically from the phrase by changing. According to an assumption, by considering the color of the rocks, the peninsula was called as ‘Karaburun (Black Headland)’ because people saw firstly a place called ‘Komur Burnu (Headland of Coal)’ when going to the peninsula by sea. Another assumption was based on the reason that the direction of north called ‘Kara’ and the direction of south called ‘Ak’ in the old Turkish naming methods. The present district center was mentioned as ‘Karaburun’, the headland of Esendere was mentioned as ‘Akburun (White Headland) in old maps.


Karaburun was established on 600 km2 land of Karaburun Peninsula, which forms the northern part of the line between Balikliova and Gerence Bays of Urla Peninsula, which extends towards Izmir's Aegean Sea. Its distance to Izmir is 100 km. Cesme is in the south and Urla in the east. Surrounded by seas in the East, West and North, located at the entrance of the Gulf of Izmir and forming a large part of the southern shores of the gulf, Karaburun Peninsula is located between 36 - 38 ° east longitudes and has a surface area of 415 km². It is 50 m high above sea level.

Climate: It is Mediterranean climate and its vegetation is typical of Mediterranean vegetation. Summers are hot and dry, winters are warm and rainy. According to the average of the last 5 years, annual rainfall is 650 - 750 mm, the lowest temperature is -2 ° C and the highest temperature is 35 ° C.

Landforms: The peninsula generally has a quite hilly earth structure. The Bozdag mass extending in the north-south direction in its central part forms the highest part of the peninsula with its height reaching 1212 meters (Akdag Hill). The mountains descend perpendicularly to the sea and this has greatly affected the settlement of the Karaburun Peninsula. Some parts of Mordogan, Yeni Liman, Badembuku and Denizgiren regions are flat.

The North and West coasts lie like a strip with a beautiful view along the Gulf of Izmir, and they have bays. These bays are respectively; Sicagibuku, Kumburnu, Catalkaya Pier, Mordogan Pier, Ardic, Kaynarpinar, Boyabagi, Akbuk, Esendere, Olcabuk, Bodrum, Karaburun Pier, Yeniliman, Denizgiren, Karareis, Kocadere and Gerence.

In Karaburun, there are Buyuk Island, Uzun Island (Uzunada), Goyne and Bayta (Goni) Islands where there are no settlement.

Its administrative boundaries fit almost to its geographical boundaries. Karaburun District Center is 100 km from Izmir and 46 km from Cesme. Coastline of Gene Peninsula is 14 miles from Foca, 20 miles from Lesbos Island in Greece and 15 miles from Chios.

Mordogan: It is a beautiful coastal town which is 80 km from Izmir, at least as much as Karaburun. It is a town of Karaburun district, 20 km from the district. It is located right across Uzunada. Mordogan is especially famous for Catalkaya, Ayibaligi rocks and Beach, Ardic Beach, amateur fishing and 70 kinds of purple flowers. It can be reached from the Karaburun junction on the 45th km of the Izmir-Cesme highway. It is not as popular as Cesme and Kusadasi due to its winding path, along with the maquis and olive trees, which are typical vegetation of the Aegean. It is possible to reach this town of Izmir in 1 hour by minibuses departing from Izmir Uckuyular.

Mordogan town was established in 1987 with the merger of Catalkaya and Eski Mordogan Villages. Today, Mordogan town consists of five neighborhoods known as Ardic, Catalkaya, Eski Mordogan, Kutlucek and Merkez and three villages in the adjacent area. Villages are Eglenhoca, Koserede and Inecik.

History of Mordogan: Mordogan was founded in the 4th century BC under the name of Mimas. At that time, it was administratively attached to the Kingdom of Erythrai. Eritrea is the Ildır village of Cesme. In the 16th century naval maps, Mordogan's name was registered as Mimas. The name Mimas was mentioned in ancient maps and the lines of the Roman poet Ovidus telling about the Trojan Wars. At that time, convicts sentenced to death in the Kingdom of Eritrea were sent to Mimas and allowed to spend their last days there. Mimas, which was attached to Eritrea in terms of management, developed its commercial relations with Kilizmanya (Guzelbahce today) and done all its shopping with Kilizmanya. Mimas' products, especially seedless grape, were exported to Europe.

The peninsula, which was residential for old times, pretty developed in Roman period forming a political union around Mediterranean. However, today there are not many ruins left from Klozemenia (Kilizman), which was more effective for the political and intellectual history of ancient period. The sarcophagus of daughter of Eritrean king founded in the field of Omer Sanguder in the plain of Catalkaya village is in Izmir Archeology Museum. There is a part of chine of the girl in the sarcophagus. Mimas extends from Catalkaya Plain to Kumburnu and it is next to island of Karavela today. There is a shrine belonging to people of Mimas, made of black granite and left from century in Akdag. In that time, people of Mimas gathered in this shrine, held religious rituals and prayed to fertility deity for rain and abundance.


The flora of the peninsula of Karaburun consists of typical Mediterranean vegetation but it has some distinctive differences. It is possible to find Hurma olives, narcissus in flowers and artichokes in vegetable with their unique features in this peninsula. The peninsula of Karaburun contains hundreds of healing herbs, dozens of Thyme and Sage and hundreds of wild flower, which is a unique gift of nature. In general, the maquis forms the vegetation of the peninsula. It has not many forests. There is a forest of calabrian pine which is almost 27.000 hectares.

Although herbs forming vegetation differ from region to region, they are mostly rye grass, arbutus, Greek strawberry tree, terebinth, cermes oak, canna, white birch, pistacia, marsh marigold. The peninsula is abundant for healing herbs. There are almost 47 healing herbs, which are known to grow in the peninsula and have an important value in terms of phytotherapy. Euphorbia, pennyroyal, poppy, centaury, capers, thyme, centaurea, mullein, scilla maritima, sage are examples of this type of plants. While Karaburun Peninsula was a region known for its vineyards and olive groves in the past, the amount of vineyard areas has decreased considerably over a long period of time. Being a migratory region, economic reasons, diseases that cannot be prevented and most importantly the changes in the local population have played an important role. Of course, olives mean a lot to the peninsula today. There are 470,750 olive trees on approximately 2560 hectares of land. Approximately 3500 tons of products are taken in the product years. Products of some olive groves cannot be collected because of the transportation difficulties, some of them cannot be collected because of not being adopted. This causes a loss in the products. On the other hand, vineyards are grown on 70 hectares of land, 60 hectares of which are seedless and 10 hectares of seeded.

Today, the most important agricultural products of Karaburun Peninsula are cut floristry, citrus and artichoke. As Narcissus and Hyacinth, 22,000 flowers are obtained from 156.3 decares of land. Artichoke production is made on approximately 140 hectares of land and 6,450,000 artichokes are cut. Citrus production is made as lemon, tangerine and orange. Approximately 1060 tons of products are taken from 90 hectares of land.

In Karaburun, all these plants have different features. Although herbs forming vegetation differ from region to region, they are mostly rye grass, arbutus, Greek strawberry tree, terebinth, cermes oak, canna, white birch, pistacia, marsh marigold.

Healing Herbs

The peninsula is abundant for healing herbs. There are almost 47 healing herbs, which are known to grow in the peninsula and have important value in terms of phytotherapy. Euphorbia, pennyroyal, poppy, centaury, capers, thyme, centaurea, mullein, scilla maritima, sage are examples of this type of plants.


The fauna of Karaburan is rich. It is possible to encounter with various and rare types of animals both in land and in sea. It hosts animals such a wild boar, fox, weasel, sea otter, badger, rabbit, squirrel, raptors (eagle, hawk, falcon etc.), a large number of various pesticides and butterflies, terrapin and crabs, chameleon, lizard and different game birds.

In the sea of the Karaburun Peninsula, it is possible to find almost all of fish species and marine animals living in the sea of Türkiye. Although there is a big decrease in the number of these species during senseless and illegal hunting, variety and numerically increases are ensured thanks to precautions and controlling.

Although all of these land and marine animals provide an important wealth, ‘Mediterranean seal (Monachus monachus)’ whose number is 500 in the world and 100 of which live in Türkiye and ‘Audouin’s gull’ which is threatened with extinction are undoubtedly most important ones among these animals. There are a large number of seal caves in the coasts of the peninsula and some of them are used by seals for giving a birth. All of them are taken under preservation with very important and intensive work. The animals that remedial measures are taken about continuation of their generations make the importance of the peninsula increase in this point.

Population: According to the results of address-based population registration system of 2010 published by TUIK (Türkiye Statistical Institute) by 28 January 2011, 2.685 people in Karaburun and 3.271 people in Mordogan are registered.


While the district of Karaburun was a town named Ahirli and attached to the district of Cesme, it was separated from Cesme district and became a separate district in 1910 and was called Karaburun.

Karaburun Municipality: It was one of the oldest municipalities founded in Türkiye. It is in an effort to provide the best service with its extremely limited budget and facilities within the service area that covers 5 villages in the District Center and the Adjacent Area.

The date of 1902 written on the emblem of Karaburun municipality shows how it is old and rooted.However; yearbooks of Ottoman Empire, Aydin and Izmir provinces and Republic of Türkiye and researches make the history of the municipality take much further back. The first Mayor's record in these yearbooks began with Mehmet Ali Effendi, who served in this job in 1881-1886. The municipality structure, which was formed after the establishment of ‘Karaburun District’ in 1900, may have caused 1902 to be written as the year of establishment.



The history of Karaburun Peninsula starts from the Prehistoric period. In examination of found handmade stone axes, some hand and vehicle tools, it was determined that they belong to 400 BC (Chalcolithic Period). In this period, the obvious traces of the settlement that are known today and the settlement estimates of this age are limited with Manastir, Cakmak Tepe, Mordogan and Ildiri. The real settlement became more evident in the 12-11th centuries BC, after the end of the Hittite civilization in Anatolia, with the immigration of Aka and subsequently the establishment of "Aiolis" and "Ionia" regions. These are the regions that include some Aegean Islands (Chios and Samos ...). Meanwhile, 12 very important Ionian cities were established. These; Miletos, Myus, Priene in the south, Ephesus, Kolophon, Teos and Lebedos in the south, Erythrai (Ildırı), Klazomenai, Phocaea (Foca) and Samos and Khios Islands in the north.

Karaburun Peninsula, also known as "Mimas", is located within the territory of Erythrai, one of these cities. Erythrai is one of the most important and rich cities of the time. Besides its richness, one of the reasons for Erythrai's reputation in this age was that one of the most important people called "Sibylline Seers" lived here. In the late 5th century BC, Erythrai came under the reign of the Persian Empire and regained its independence after Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 334 BC. Erythrai joined the Roman territory when the Kingdom of Pergamum was attached to the Roman Empire in 133 BC. Later, it became the city of Eastern Rome. It is known that there were 5 other smaller cities in the city of Erythrai. These were Polikhna, Pteleon, Sidousa, Boutheia and Elaiousa. However, it is not known which settlements these cities are equal to today. The Karaburun Peninsula passed to the Byzantine rule established after Eastern Rome, but it was taken over by Turker in the period of 1086-1095 by Chaka Bey and then passed back to the Byzantine rule.


The fact that Turks captured the region completely started thanks to Aydinoglu Mehmet Bey since he captured the region. Later, the Karaburun peninsula was incorporated in Ottoman territory in 1426. One of the most important historical events for the Karaburun Peninsula is undoubtedly that after Borkluce Mustafa from Sheikh Bedreddin disciples drew back to the peninsula and then he was defeated, he was killed by crucifying in the event, which is called ‘Sheik Bedreddin Uprising’ and was taken place in interregnum after Battle of Ankara in Ottoman period. ‘Sheik Bedreddin Epic’ was written by being inspired from this event by Nazim Hikmet who is a famous poet. After World War I, Karaburun Peninsula was captured by occupying forces like many other region of Anatolia. Greek Invasion starting on 15 May 1919 ended on 17 September 1922 after the Big Victory.

The Karaburun Peninsula is one of the oldest settlements of Anatolia. The settlement starting in Chalcolithic Period reached to its brightest point in Antique Age and 5 cities of Erythrai, where it was one of the richest and most important cities of Ionian civilization, were founded on the peninsula. Sidusa of these cities was on the islands and Karaburun whose old name was Ahirli and which is the district center today. It was attached to Ottoman Empire by Celebi Sultan Mehmet in 1415.

Karaburun (Ahirli) became a municipality in 1902 and it reached to the district position in 1910. After World War I, it was occupied by Greek forces on 15 May 1919 and regained its freedom on 17 September 1922. After this date, it reached to its present administrative structure forming a full-compatible district border with Karaburun peninsula.


Ruins and findings in the Karaburun District, Kosedere Village and Boyabagi Location have showed that the region was a settlement between 1000 BC and 1000 AC. There are a lot of quarries and marble businesses in the Karaburun District today. The region was used for the same purpose in antique period and old quarries were registered for this reason. The ruins of castle in Hisarcik Alti Location show that the region was also a settlement in the late periods of East-Roman Empire.



Ayse Kadin Mosque: For the will of a girl whose name is Ayse Kadin in Mordogan town 700 years ago; her mother got a mosque, which was brought from Kaaba and has no equal in Türkiye, built. Motives of narcissus, hyacinth, clove and olive of Mordogan were embroidered on her dower stuffs by the girl. These motives were crafted by a master on the dome of the mosque with paints made of mixture of natural herbs and egg white. The clock made of wood, which was made 450 years ago in the mosque, is 1.5 meters long and is still working. The mosque has not been repaired since that year, and it has been started to be repaired by the İzmir Regional Directorate of Foundations for the repair of some of its broken parts.


Mimas: It is obvious that Karaburun (its old name is Mimas) was mentioned in Greek mythology frequently. The mountain of Mimas mentioned as Windy Mimas in Odysseia, which is famous work of Homer, is the mountain called ‘Bozdag’ today. The fact that this mountain was called as Mimas before is based on a story, telling that a giant, whose name was Mimas and which lead the giants fought with mythological gods and also made difficulties for Zeus, was killed by spilling melted iron, steel and copper over itself and then it was buried in the mountain not to wake up again. Considering how windy Karaburun peninsula is and that a lot of windmills were built by using winds before, it is easy to correlate between both.

Nergis: Narsis (or Narcissus), named in Narcissus in Greek mythology, which gave its name to narcissism, narcosis, a flower family (amaryllidaceae) and a flower, is a hero in Classical Mythology. Narsis's story is briefly described as follows: Narsis was born as the son of the river god, Kephissos, and the guard fairy of purifying waters, Liriope. A priest told his parents that Narsis would live in the world unless he saw his own face. One day, Narsis came to a spring pouring into a puddle and settled back the puddle and started drinking from the water there. Naturally, at this time, he saw his face reflected in the puddle. When he saw his own face, he was astonished first, then admired himself and fell in love with him. Narsis, who couldn’t help but to watch himself, gradually became numb, closed his eyes to the world life and turned into a flower opened by taking root there. This flower, like the sun, is a flower with yellow navel, white leaves, which emits beautiful scents around.


Karaburun is one of the unknown and hidden heavens of Türkiye and pearls of İzmir thanks to many bays and natures where there is no housing. With its pristine sea and beaches, it is a cute district to be chosen for rest. There are Esendere, Saipalti, Igdealti, Buyukkent, Dolungaz, Yildizkent, Akcakilise, Yeniliman and Kumbuku beaches which tranquilize as you move away from the center besides four beaches in the center of Karaburun, 2 of which are awarded by blue flag. Karaburun, which has the cleanest sea since it overlooks the open sea, has important potentials about fishery and diving tourism. Karaburun is one of places where you have a comfortable holiday thanks to its beautiful beaches and sea.

Hotels in Karaburun certified by the Ministry

In the center of Karaburun, there are hotels, which are also certified by the municipality, such as Astoria Hotel, Mimas Hotel, Kuyucak Konak Hotel, hostels such as Devir Hostel, Ergin Hostel, Alkis Hostel, Dogancan Hostel, Kalyon Hostel and Keyfim Hostel. In the center of Mordogan (Mordogan is 20 km far from Karaburun), there are Deniz Hotel, Yildiz Motel, Akman Hotel and Gul Hostel.

What to eat? : There are restaurants where all of sea foods are cheap in Karaburun. Since Karaburun is an Aegean town surrounded by sea, you can find every kind of fishes in almost every season, taste hurma olives, artichoke, salad made of chicory and herbs being peculiar to Aegean, delicious meals cooked with olive oil. Katmer (crisp flaky pastry), Dede Sarigi (a kind of pastry), Sarmasik and Arapsaci Yemegi (dishes cooked with herbs), Arapsaci Koftesi (hash browns made of a kind of herbs), Keskek (a dish of mutton or chicken and coarsely ground wheat), Fava (mashed broad beans), Nisan (a kind of desserts with sherbet), Firinda Ceviz Tatlisi (a kind of desserts), Nohutlu Bulgur (cracked wheat with chick-peas), Rice (Pilaf) , Hosmerim (a sweet made of unsalted cheese), Cevizli Kivirma Boregi (a kind of pastry) and Pelte (a dessert made of starch, sugar and fruit juice) are among main dishes.

Transportation: Karaburun District Center is connected to Izmir Province via Urla District by road. Bus services are available from İzmir / Balcova district garage with half an hour in summer and 1 hour in winter. Karaburun and Mordogan Town carry out joint transportation by road.

Banking Sector: In the district, only Ziraat Bank serves and doesn’t have an office in Mordogan Town. In addition, Isbank and Garanti Bank have ATMs in the district center.

In Karaburun, there are 2 blue flag beaches: Kuyucak and Akvaryum (Incirlikoy) beaches.

One of the most important beaches to swim in the District Center is 2 beaches located in Iskele. It should be definitely mentioned Esendere, Saipalti, Igdealti, Buyukkent, Dolungaz, Yildizkent, Akcakilise, Yeniliman and finally Kumbuku, which tranquilize as they move away from the center, but become so mysterious.

In order to experience the privilege of having a holiday in an unpolluted tranquil environment besides the sounds of the sea, birds and insects, it is necessary to come to Karaburun and learn what the real holiday means by living.