Şirince is a village of 600 inhabitants in İzmir Province, Turkey, located about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of the town Selçuk. It is a small village which is famous for its wine and houses. Şirince was settled when Ephesus was abandoned in the 15th century but most of what one sees today dates from the 19th century. There is a story that the village was settled by freed Greek slaves who named the village Çirkince (meaning “Ugly” in Turkish) to deter others from following them. Sirince was a Greek village before the Greco-Turkish War. In 1923, Turkish and Greek governments exchanged populations.
The Turkish government exiled Christian Greeks of Turkey to Greece, while Greek government exiled the Muslim Turks of Greece to Turkey. Şirince forms the setting of Greek writer Dido Sotiriou’s—a native of Şirince—Farewell Anatolia, in which the events around the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 are depicted through the eyes of a fictional character from Şirince. The village’s name was changed to Şirince (meaning “Pleasant”) in 1926 by the governor of Izmir Province.
Şirince today is very popular with tourists, especially on weekends when it can become packed and incredibly touristy.
Special thanks to MEA for inviting me on this trip and attending MEA Digital Event. It was an opportunity for me to visit the vibrant city of Izmir, historical Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, beautiful village of Sirince, and finally Alacati Herb Festival.