Soke
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HISTORY

HISTORY

Since as back as 5000 B.C., Söke has always been a  human settlement. The first civilization conquered the area was Hittites.  When Hittite dominance was abolished was Ions, a new era has started for the area which then become an important settlement of the age.

 

Miletus, Didiyma, Priene, Heraclia and Magnesia are Ion cities which still stand and continue to marvel the beholders.  Like other areas of Asia Minor, this settlement was conquered by Persians in 547 B.C.  Persians demolished the Temples of Apollon in Miletus and Didiyma in 494 B.C. 

In the year 333 B.C. the area was conquered by Macedonians lead by Alexander the Great.   But reign of Macedonians over the region did not last long and the empire forged by Alexander was divided into smaller kingdoms upon his death.

 

 

In the 1300s Mongolians started to press on Anatolia who captured the area in its entirety thus ending the Seljuk Sultanate of Anatolia thus new and smaller states, called  “Beylik” (principality) were formed.  To end the pressure, Aydın Bey, a Seljuk commander, gathered Turkmen tribes and founded the Principality of Aydinogullari.  Suleyman Shah, Chief of a Turkmen tribe, founded Söke which was named after his grandfather Söke Bey.  It is written that the name of the region was thus given.  Until 18th C, Balat was the largest settlement of the area whereupon Söke gained importance and became the most prominent settlement.  Söke was the capital of Menteşe Principality until its demolishment in 1426. Later in Ottoman Era, Söke was the center of Menteşe Province.  

 

At the beginning of 18th Century, Söke had become the center of Sığla Province.  In 1864, the administrative center of Sığla Province was moved to Izmir whereupon Söke became a district.  In 1868 Söke became a district of Aydın Province.  Upon occupation of Izmir during the National War of Independence, the administrative center was moved back to Söke.  Originally, Söke was established at the area of “Tek Kışla” nearby the current military drill area located 3 km away from today’s district center and then moved to its current location in 17th C. 

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