Port of Tekirdag
Review and History

The Port of Tekirdag is located on the northwestern shores of the Sea of Marmara in European Turkey about 125 kilometers west of the Port of Istanbul. The Port of Tekirdag serves a productive agricultural hinterland, exporting flax and sunflower seeds. It is also well known for its wines and vineyards. In 2000, over 107 thousand people lived in the Port of Tekirdag.

The capital of Tekirdag Province, the Port of Tekirdag also serves the industries in Istanbul and in the provinces of Corlu and Cerkezkoy. There are about 800 factories in those regions. The Port of Tekirdag handles a wide range of both imported and exported bulk and general cargoes and containers.

Port History

The Port of Tekirdag was most likely established as a Greek settlement named Bisanthe in the 7th Century BC. When it was made the capital of Thrace in the 1st Century BC, the Port of Tekirdag was renamed Rhaedestus.

In the 6th Century AD, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I restored the Port of Tekirdag. Even though it was sacked in 813 and then again in 1206 by the Bulgarians, the Port of Tekirdag continued to be an important port for the Byzantine Empire.

While the Ottoman Turks conquered the Port of Tekirdag in the latter 14th Century, it was a number of foreign occupiers that included Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece.

In the 18th Century, Prince Francis II Rakoczi, a leader of Hungary's independence movement, lived in exile in the Port of Tekirdag and died there. His memoirs, co-written with Kelemen Mikes, are one of Hungaria's literary treasures.

The Port of Tekirdag was the major port for the modern Edirne area for many centuries. However, when Greece's Port of Alexandroupolis became a railroad terminus in 1896, the Port of Tekirdag declined.

In 1905, the Port of Tekirdag had a population of about 35 thousand, about half Greeks. In 1923 when the Republic of Turkey was established, half of the city's Greek population was sent to Greece in exchange for Turkish Muslims living in Greece under the Laussane Treaty.

The modern Port of Tekirdag is a large commercial center and rural-feeling hometown. Some holiday homes appear on the coastline, but the area suffers from both air and water pollution, so tourism has not become a major industry.

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