Söke is a town and the largest district of Aydın Province in the Aegean region of western Turkey, 54 km (34 miles) south-west of the city of Aydın, near the Aegean coast. It had 121.940 population in 2020. It neighbours are Germencik from north-east, Koçarlı from east, Milas from south-east, Didim from south-west, Aegean Sea from west and Kuşadası from northwest. The mayor of Söke is Levent Tuncel.[3]

Söke'den genel bir görünüm 2010.jpg
Söke is located in Turkey
Söke is located in Aegean Sea
Söke is located in Europe
Coordinates: 37°45′3″N 27°24′37″E / 37.75083°N 27.41028°E / 37.75083; 27.41028Coordinates: 37°45′3″N 27°24′37″E / 37.75083°N 27.41028°E / 37.75083; 27.41028
 • MayorLevent Tuncel (CHP)
 • PrefectSoner Zeybek
 • District986.62 km2 (380.94 sq mi)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density120/km2 (300/sq mi)
Post code


Modern Söke is identified with the ancient Greek city of Anaia (Ancient Greek: Ἄνναια, Ἄναια, Ἀναία) (also referred to as Anea, Anaea, Annaea or Annaia), which named after the Amazon Anaea (Ἀναία).[4] Later, it was also called Sokia (Greek: Σώκια). As of 1920, the British were calling it Sokia.[5] Anaia is also the name of a titular see (Anaea) of the Catholic and Orthodox churches. From 1833 to 1922, it was the seat of the Diocese of Anea of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. After that date, the demographics of the population changed and Orthodox Christians declined in number in the area.


The district lies between the Aegean coast and the edge of the fertile alluvial plain of the Büyük Menderes River. Lake Bafa is to the south of the district. The plain contains much rich agricultural land; it is one of Turkey's largest cotton-growing areas and is also important for the commodities of wheat and flour. Other income comes from handicrafts, forestry, and fishing. Söke is Turkey's only exporter of culinary snails.

Söke is a large town in the centre of the Aegean region, and the market town is at the heart of an agricultural district. Although secondary to the nearby centres of tourism on the coast, Kuşadası, Didim and Bodrum, Söke does catch passing trade from the tourist visitors to the area, including visitors to the nearby historical site of Priene. There are a number of amenities on the highway for tourists passing through from Izmir airport to the coast, including restaurants, service stations, and outlet stores. The local cuisine includes çöp şiş (a shish kebab of small pieces of lamb) and pide (a flat bread pizza).


Settled for centuries before the Common Era, the region was called Aneon (Greek: Ανέων) and was inhabited by Greeks. Stephanus of Byzantium, quoting Ephorus, mention that the tomb of the amazon Anaea was at the city.[6] During the Peloponnesian War, some Samian exiles migrated there. In addition, Thucydides mentioned that there was a naval station, and it was near enough to annoy Samos.[7]

In 1426 the city was captured by the Ottoman Empire Turks as the remaining capital of the Sanjak of Menteşe.

According to the 1914 Ottoman population statistics, the district of Karaburun had a total population of 36.976, consisting of 20.028 Muslims, 16.720 Greeks, 133 Armenians, and 95 Jews.[8]

In 18 May 1919, Italian troops landed at Söke. The Allies were afraid that the Italian landing might provoke trouble with the Greek troops, who were near Smyrna. Although Italy and Greece were allies during WWI, their relations were not good.[9]

After the end of World War I, fighting continued in a power struggle after the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. In 1920, large Turkish and Arab forces were fighting against the Italian forces.[10]

In April 1922 Italian troops were withdrawn and Greek troops entered the area.[11] After the defeat of the Greek army in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), Greek troops was withdrawn, and Turkish troops entered in September 1922. Greek inhabitants of the area evacuated to Greece together with the Greek army or they were killed by the advancing Turkish troops.[12] The Turkish resistance in the area was led by one Cafer Efe; a statue was erected later here to commemorate him.

During the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s, the Greek Christian population migrated to the Greek island of Crete and the Cretan Muslims moved here.


Söke has a history of mining lignite. During World War I, it was producing large amounts of lignite. The British described the quality as being "very poor." It was exported to Smyrna via train and used in factories.[5]

Places of interestEdit

  • Priene - ancient ruins, 15 km (9 mi) from Söke

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. ^ Gazete, Banka (22 November 2021). "Başkan Tuncel, belediyenin memurlarını sevindirdi". Gazete Banka. p. https://gazetebanka.com/. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Perseus Search Results".
  5. ^ a b Prothero, G.W. (1920). Anatolia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 101.
  6. ^ Mary Bennett, Florence (December 2007). Religious Cults Associated With the Amazons. Forgotten Books. ISBN 978-1605063867.
  7. ^ ANNAEA or ANAEA
  8. ^ Kemal Karpat (1985), Ottoman Population, 1830-1914, Demographic and Social Characteristics, The University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 174-175
  9. ^ "Greeks Displeased". The Register (Adelaide). Vol. LXXXIV, no. 22, 640. South Australia. 2 June 1919. p. 5. Retrieved 5 July 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Nine Wars On: Vast Sums for Armament". The World's News. No. 989. New South Wales, Australia. 27 November 1920. p. 12. Retrieved 5 July 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "SOKIA OCCUPIED". The Sun. No. 3581. New South Wales, Australia. 24 April 1922. p. 8 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved 5 July 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ Kiminas, Demetrius (March 2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate: A History of Its Metropolitans with Annotated Hierarch Catalogs. Wildside Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-1434458766.

External linksEdit