BODRUM: Homer's description of Bodrum as "The land of eternal blue" and the words of another resident of Bodrum, Cevat Sakir, who said "The heavenly bliss of life in Bodrum is better than any eternal bliss that may await us" were not without foundation in reality. Throughout history Bodrum, known as Halikarnassos in ancient times, has always been fought over and people have been unwilling to share its beauty with others. Built on a peninsula formed by the meeting of the eastern and westernharbors, Bodrum, with its narrow streets winding down to the sea, is famous for its castle, its world-renowned yachts, its shipyards and the dazzling white houses and tombs lining the shores of its two harbors Bodrum has been the cradle of several civilizations. Down through the ages it has suffered from the countless invasions of those coming from the Aegean islands and has been important to all those powers wishing to dominate the Aegean.Halikarnassos (Bodrum) was an important city in the Caria civilization which was located between its much more powerful neighbors Lykia and Ionia. The region boasts such greats as the historian Heredotus, history's first woman admiral Artemisia I, and the just-as-skilled Artemisia II as well as artists like Leachares and Shepas. Bodrum experienced the dominance of various civilizations throughout the history such as Mecedonians,Roman Empire and Byzantines. Byzantines lsot their power inAnatolian region after they were defeated by the Seljuk Sultan Alpaslan at Malazgirt in 1071. It was located by the Ottoman Ruler Mehmet Celebi to Halikarnassos in 1415. Rhodian knights had constructed the present Bodrum castle and established theirrule over the region. Kanuni Sultan Suleiman on his military expedition to Rhodes conquered Bodrum together with Rhodes and tied them to Ottoman Empire in 1522.
Today Bodrum has everything that one would expect to find in a vacation getaway. It is an important tourist center in both winter and summer. Bodrum has what it takes to make everyone feel at home, from the rich yacht owners who come from around the globe to the penny-counting tourists who just wants a reasonable room so that he can stretch his budget to make his vacation last all summer. Bodrum town is a famous resort place, both among Turkish and foreign travelers. The population jumps from 50,000 people to more than half a milllion during summer time. The heart of Bodrum beats loudest in the narrow streets clustered around the bay where shops, restaurants, bars and discos via for attention. Strolling along the most popular of the streets, Cumhuriyet Caddesi (the locals call it Barstreet), the visitor becomes immersed in a blend of native and cosmopolitan culture that is Bodrum today. Here small boutiques offer latest hits, hand-made sandals are crafted; fezzes and harem slippers are sold side by side with baseball caps and T-shirts bearing universally recognized logos and humorous or bawdy captions. Cafes and restaurants serve a wide variety of cosmopolitan 'international' fare as well as tasty Turkish kebabs; Chinese, Mexican, Indian or Thai specialities and also the delights of traditional Ottoman cuisine; visitors 'go native' by replacing beer or wine by the deceptively light national Turkish drink: raki. When night descends Bodrum lights up with laser shows to the rhythms of the same hits that are current in London, Berlin or New York, but if you listen you can still hear strumming of the Turkish oud and the folk melodies of Anatolia. Bodrum today is truly a Symphony, or better still, a Living Ode to Joy. Bodrum casts a magic spell. It exerts a lasting fascination on everyone who visits, irrespective of age, nationality or sex. Bodrum retains its charm despite the crowds and development. Women feel more beautiful, men feel more intriguing. This is Bodrums spell.