Namik Kemal University
| Adem Dalgic (CHP)|
Tekirdag ( see also its other names), is a city in Turkey. It is a part of the region historically known as Eastern Thrace. Tekirdag is the capital of Tekirdag Province. The city population as of 2009 was 140,535. There are honorary consulates of Hungary and Bulgaria in Tekirdag.
Tekirdag was called Bisanthe or Bysanthe (Greek: ), and also Rhaedestus (?????????) in classical antiquity. The latter name was used till the Byzantine era, transformed to Rodoscuk after it fell to the Ottomans in the 14th century (in western languages usually rendered as Rodosto). After the 18th century it was called Tekfurdagi, based on the Turkish word tekfur, meaning "Byzantine feudal lord" – though this etymology has been challenged. In time, the name mutated into the Turkish Tekirdag, and this became the official name under the Turkish Republic. The historical name "Rhaedestos" (transcribed also as Raidestos) was continuously used till today in Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical context (e.g. Bishop of Raidestos, Metropolitanate of Heraclia and Raidestos (18th-19th centuries).
Tekirdag is situated on the northern coast of the Sea of Marmara, 135 kilometres (84 miles) west of Istanbul. The picturesque bay of Tekirdag is enclosed by the great promontory of the mountain which gives its name to the city, Tekir Dagi (ancient Combos), a spur about 2000 ft. that rises into the hilly plateau to the north. Between Tekirdag and Sarkoy is another mountain, Ganos Dagi.
The Tekirdag Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography contains archaeological artifacts found in and around the province, as well as ethnographical items used by the residents of the region relating to the history of cultural life.
The Namik Kemal House Museum is devoted to the life and works of theTurkish nationalist poet Namik Kemal (1840–1888).
The Rakoczi Museum, an 18th-century Turkish house, where the Hungarian national hero, Francis II Rakoczi lived during his exile, from 1720 till his death in 1735. Today, the museum is a property of the Hungary and is widely visited, having become a place of national pilgrimage.
The church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Rheumatocratissa contains the graves, with long Latin inscriptions, of other Hungarians who took refuge here with their leader.
Of all the statues of Ataturk in Turkey, the town centre of Tekirdag holds the only one that was made exactly life-size.
The history of the city of Tekirdag dates back to around 4000 BC. The ancient Greek city of Rodosto is said to have been founded by Samians. In Xenophon’s Anabasis it is mentioned to be a part of the kingdom of the Thracian prince Seuthes. It is also mentioned as Bisanthe by Herodotus (VII, 137).
Its restoration by Justinian I in the 6th century AD is chronicled by Procopius. In 813 and again in 1206 it was sacked by the Bulgarians after the Battle of Rodosto, but it continued to appear as a place of considerable note in later Byzantine history. It was also ruled by Venetians between 1204-1235. The 11th-century Byzantine historian Michael Attaleiates owned property in Raidestos which he describes in his will.
In the Ottoman period the city was successively a part of the vilayet (province) of Rumelia, Kaptanpasa (centered at Gelibolu), Silistre and Edirne.
In 1905, the city had a population of about 35,000; of whom half were Greeks who were exchanged with Muslims living in Greece under the 1923 agreement for Exchange of Greek Orthodox and Muslim Populations between the two countries.
Tekirdag was for many years a depot for the produce of the Edirne province, but its trade suffered when Alexandroupolis became the terminus of the railway up the river Maritsa.