A castle lost in the
concrete jungle of the summer houses and only 8 kms south
of Kuşadası has been called as Kadıkalesi by the natives.
It has been identified with Anaia, a satelite of Samos
and a hoop within Bynzatine cirle of defense against
the Turks built in the 12th century on a tumulus dating
back to the prehistoric ages.
The site has been excavated since 2001 by a team from Ege
University with the supports of Kuşadası Municipality and
Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the mistries of the
castle have been brought to light one bye one.
The Kadıkale tumulus should have had quite a different
landscape in the early antiquity. The findings show that
the earliest settlement started here in the early bronze
age (3rd millenium B.C.E.).
The bronze statue of a Hittite god or a warrior found
in 2002 will bring new ideas for the history of the region
for the 2nd millenum B.C.E. Both the Hittite statue and
the legends telling that the city of Anai was founded by
an Amazon queen tell us that this town was quite a strategic
spot for the Hittites.
The number of the protogeometic pottery received through
excavations claim that Kuşadası Kadıkalesi/Anaia was an
importatn center in the Greek colonization period starting
from 1050 B.C.E. Pottery findings dated to the following
periods also show the long term contiunity of the habitation
in the town.
We first meet the name Anaia within the tax paying towns
to Attic-Delos Union in the 5th Century B.C.E. She also
played an important role in the Peloponnessos war in the
second half of the same century. Though she was of less
importance during the Hellenistic period (3rd-2nd Century
B.C.E.), the tomb stones indicates the presence of a temple
dedicated to Hera in the Roman period (2nd-3rd century
According to the sources, Anaia remained as an important
town as a bishop seat after Christianity became official
relegion (4th Century C.E.). Located on a strategic spot,
Anai always attracted all the great powers which had advantages
in the Aegean Sea. The attacks of the Turks to the Western
Anatolia should have led the Komnenian Emperors to protect
the town with a castle. But the town could not stay within
the Byzantine Empire for long since it was given to the
Genoesians with the treaty fo Nymphaion signed in 1261.
Through the following 50 years the area was occupied by
the Genosians, the Venetians, the Catalans and the Turks.According
to the historians Anaia was captured by the Turks in the
early 1300s. In the 14th century the area was under the
rule of Aydınoglu Emirate and then in the 15th century
it became under the rule of Ottomans. We dont know exactly
when the town changed her name into Anya and her location
to todays Soğucak village but getting a lesser harbour
to Kuşadası from 16th century and on could have been caused
by her harbour filled up and got shallow sharing the same
destiny with Ephesos.
In fact the aim of the
excavations started in Kadıkalesi in 2001 was to do some
clearing and let the castle seen with all its magnificense.
However the excavations here will also brought some light
to some unknown parts of its history. In addition to
its contribition to the archaeology of the region, it
will become a major higlight of Kuşadası which get hundreds
of thousands people in the summer time when still existing
castle is being conserved and restored.