Akçakoca is both a town and district of Düzce Province, in the Black Sea region of Turkey, located about 200 km east of Istanbul. The town was named after a Turkish chieftain of the 14th century CE who captured the area for the Ottoman Empire, and sports a statue in his honor. The town features a modern mosque of unusual design. Tourist attractions include beaches and a small ruined castle. It is the regional center of hazelnut cultivation. The mayor is Cüneyt Yemenici (Ak Parti).
Akçakoca had different names during its history. Akçakoca was known as Diapolis or Dia in the period of Romans, The British and The Byzantines. However after the Turkish conquest they changed its name. After the foundation of Turkish Republic it was named as Akçakoca in 1934
Akçakoca is located West Black sea’s coast line and it is the road of Düzce which reaches the sea. Its distance from İstanbul and Ankara with the TEM highway is about 3 - 3,5 hours and 235 km to İstanbul and 270 km to Ankara. It is separated from Düzce with Akçakoca Mountains. It geographically resides at 41.05° parallel North and 31.07° meridian east.
Although Akçakoca’s estimated population is about 40.000; it is doubled at summer months due to tourism activities and cottage owners. Due to war between Ottoman and Russia in 1877-1878 wide range of people which are descendants of east Blacksea region (Lazs, Georgians, and Abkhasians) emigrated from their native lands.
Settlement in Akcakoca is not known exactly when, Thracian nomads from The Thyne and Bithyni tribes pass through the Marmara then they settled the area then known as Bithynia and Thyne.
In 1109-1110 Romans appointed Pliny and Younger as an administrator for Byzantines. And Ereğli where is so close to Akcakoca was so important city for Heraclea Pontica. After Romans and Pontus wars, The Western Black Sea and Central Anatolia’s owner became absolute. After Roma was divided into two, Byzantines got the control of the area which is named Diapolis. In Akçakoca residue and documents for these periods were very rare.
During 4.the crusade, Crusade conquered Constantinople, as a result of that they founded Latin Empire for a short period. Because of this situation, Genoese located for their interests at coasts of The Western Black Sea. They built Genoese Castle 13th century in Akcakoca. This castle helped to protect ways in this area and this castle was used for colonialism activities. With the end of the Latin Empire, the Byzantine Empire took the control of area again.
Before control of Ottoman, The Seljuks was controlling region of Akcakoca, according to another source, Seljuks had begun to settle in Akcakoca. Then these villages; Gökçeali, Doğancılar, Beyören, Balatlı, Kınık, Ketmenli, Kepenç, Göktepe, Keramettin, Kapkirli and Cumayeri were founded by Seljuks.
According to Cevdet Türkkaya (The Historian), Kerameddins settled in Akçakoca and they had named Akçaşar or Akçaşehir because it seems white from the sea. There is no certain evidence it was conquered by the Ottomans. According to some historians, the nomadic population (yörük) is connected to the Ottomans automatically. (According to Oktay Kenan)
Sadly first administration marks are belonged to Tanzimat Reforms. The town was bonded to Bolu Voivodship between 1692 - 1811. Then it is bonded to Bolu-Safranbolu (Viranşehir) – Has Voivodship which is located in the center of Bolu between 1811 – 1864. In 1864 by the courtesy of a new regulation which removes states and generates new provinces Kastamonu province, Düzce and Akçakoca were bonded together and managed with the name of Akçaşehir-i maa Düzce.
After the foundation of Turkish Republic it was named as Akçakoca in 1934. In addition, Akçakoca registered as a district. The first governor Ali Zarifi (Okay). Due to 1999 Düzce and Marmara earthquakes Düzce has been declared a province by the 57th Turkish Government the town has been bonded to Düzce as a district.
After 1950’s touristic activities in summer seasons attained an important place in Akçakoca’s economy. Number of the tourists has been gradually increased due to it is nearby place of two big provinces İstanbul and Ankara. With the construction of the tourism facilities and new transportation improvements tourism has been influenced positively in later 1970’s. From 5 stars hotel to pensions there are various selection of accommodation types are presented today in Akçakoca.
Numerous water sports such as sailing, swimming, water skiing, sunbathing, fishing, scuba diving and etc. are performed in Akçakoca. Sailing and diving sports has been become more prominent in last few years. Additionally artificial reef project is actualized for diving sports. In 2010 sailing races has been held as part of the 14th Akçakoca Festival. Furthermore first Marine and Sailing Club have been opened in town in 2012.
Akçakoca is suitable for marine tourism besides Hiking & Walking Natural (Eco) also. Especially natural structure of Akcakoca is suitable for camping, but it is also limited. Waterfall of Aktaş Village, ruins from Seljuks is Turkish bath and mosque in Cumayanı and there is Orhangazi Mosque in Çayağazı village, this mosque has been restored again. Çayağızı, Kum Pınar area, Akkaya village, Fakıllı Cave are beautiful places of Akçakoca to hike, to walk and to visit. In addition, many gravestones and old wooden two storied houses of Ottoman era are waiting to be restored and to be used for tourism.
|• District||440.26 km2 (169.99 sq mi)|
|• District density||85/km2 (220/sq mi)|
There are lots of wooden Houses in Akçakoca in Yukarı district, in Cumhuriyet district and in Orhangazi. The government declared these places as protected area. The problem is that no one could do anything about for these houses even the owners could not. Most of house collapse and some of them burn in fire because it is illegal making any changes on the area. Also government doesn’t do anything about this houses and area. They are waiting for their own end silencely and lonely. And there are some problems that environmental pollution, rapidly growing constructions and people who doesn’t know foreign language.
Akçakoca distance to İstanbul and Ankara is about three or four hours. There scheduled buses from Akçakoca to Düzce, Ereğli, Karasu, Kocaeli.
Americans in Black Sea 2 was filmed in Melenağzı village and also it has short scene from city center. Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ, Metin Akpınar, Peker Açıkalın are some famous artist who rolled in the movie.
Akçakoca has one big scale factory which produce large pipe for different purpose. It has great importance both Akçakoca and Ereğli. Akçakoca also has only natural gas platform over the Blacksea. There are four platforms which three of them are small and one is big.
Under favor of immigrants who came to land due to war between Ottoman and Russia, Akçakoca which was engaged in classic agriculture in old ages met with the hazelnut. In 1950’s plenty of agriculture fields in Akçakoca began to get covered with the hazelnut. %90 economy of Akçakoca is consisted of hazelnut. However separating the agriculture fields with the inheritance was caused negative influences for who live off their life’s with hazelnut. Chestnut honey is another important product for Akçakoca. It is very expensive and very rare. Also hunting is also very popular among the people who live in the countryside.
1. Hazelnuts (Filberts)
4. Potential (e.g. all-season tourism)
Many people who live in villages of Akçakoca feeding chicken. The reason for this, there is not grassland and plains in Akçakoca. There are 300 hencoops in 43 villages.
Fishing is traditional job in Akçakoca, Locals say "There is no grave for men of Akçakoca in land" Fishing affects town’s economy positively. Anchovies, nonita, bluefish, whiting, red mullet, clams, jack mackerel, sea bass, salmon, trout, and turbot are some of fish can be found in Akçakoca.
One district governorate and one municipality building in Akçakoca.it has one state hospital, 6 cottage hospital around the town and one rest home and small tourism office for tourists. There is collage Akçakoca Tourism and Hotel Management which part of Düzce University Many primary middle and high schools are available.
In recent years in Turkey the interest for Akçakoca, summerhouse, hotel, hostel, dormitory for students are active because of rapidly growing construction sector. Seasonal workers and construction workers come to Akçakoca from south-eastern and eastern provinces.
There is an attractive mosque what built in 2004. Akçakoca Central Mosque was built similar Faisal Mosque in Pakistan. Mosque was designed by Ergün Subaşı.
Akçakoca has numerous issues that are waiting to be solved which are originating from vision, planning and problems that are occurred from the locals. Division of agriculture fields is the most critical problem of the town. %90 of Akçakoca’s economy is consisted of the hazelnut. Separating the lands between the family members is caused lesser profit and income rates year by year.
Unfortunately Akçakoca which tries to be in a demanding position in tourism industry has not promoted an effective marketing strategy for that. Locals behaviors to the tourists is caused another problem. Lack of hospitality, feeling anxious when seeing foreigners is caused to stonewall to future investments for tourism. Due to hazelnut and student which has come from different cities in recent years are constituted important source of income for the town’s economy, tourism gets less importance year by year. Unfinished road maintenance works, alleys which are always ruined and the university road which is still undone for years affect town’s prestige and tourism in this region negatively.
Tourism activities in Akçakoca depend on short summer tourism and it is also called beach tourism. However before 1945’s Akçakoca had more larger and longer beach. The beach which extended from Çuhallı to rocks in the west side (Today there is a 5 stars hotel called as Skytower.) and it continues until castle beach it is under the Geonavise Castle. With the construction of the roads, cafes, restaurants, hotels and houses was made the beach more narrow and shorter than before in Çuhallı side. In the center of Akçakoca, There was large and beautiful beach which was the part of Çuhallı Beach but now there is a port for fishermen out there. Some people said that the port was constructed to the beach due to some conservative people think swimming and walking with swimsuit and shorts is disturbing for local peoples. On the other hand; "these are just speculation and fiction, that is true walking with shorts and bikini around mosque and bazaar, we just request that police officers should warn this people. However anything about the port is just fiction.The protected area for old houses is another problem which causes some of houses collapse while they are waiting for restoration.
Akçakoca shows both Marmara and Black Sea climate. Average temperature is 13.6 centigrade. It takes rain every season, it also takes snow but it does not stay too long on the ground.
There is a traditional festival in every July. Last festival is organized as 14th Shining City Akçakoca and ın summer period its population gets double. Also during festival, scheduled bus from its neighbors Ereğli, Düzce, Zonguldak, Bolu and Adapazarı carries people to Akçakoca. Festival program publish in site of municipality of Akçakoca every summer.
Minority language is nearly forgotten but there are some towns and people who speak Georgian, Laz language, Circassian. As result of lots of people from East Black Sea 'Horon' 'Kemençe' is popular in area.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Akçakoca was part of the Kastamonu Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.
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