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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kırklareli monument to the "forties"
Location of Kırklareli within Turkey.
Coordinates: 41°44′N 27°13′E / 41.733°N 27.217°E / 41.733; 27.217
Country  Turkey
Region Marmara
Province Kırklareli
 - Mayor Cavit Çağlayan (Republican People's Party)
Elevation 203 m (666 ft)
Population (2000)[1]
 - Urban 60.000
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 39x xx
Area code(s) 0288
Licence plate 39

Kırklareli (see also its other names) is the capital of Kırklareli Province in Eastern Thrace, on the European part of Turkey. Ongoing archeological excavations in the city support the claim that the area may have been the location of the first organized settlement on the European continent.



It is not clearly known when the city was founded, nor under what name. Greek Byzantines called it "Forty Churches" ("Σαράντα Εκκλησιές", Saranta Ekklisiès) and in the XIV Century, this was translated to Turkish and called "Kırk Kilise" . During the Republican Period, Sanjaks became cities and on December 20, 1924, Kırk Kilise's name was changed to Kırklareli. The Bulgarian name of the town is Lozengrad (Лозенград), which means "vineyard town".


In 1878, Kırk Kilise was home to 6500 Bulgarians, 2000 Greeks and 2500 Turks. The city was damaged during the Greek War of Independence. During the Balkan Wars, Kırk Kilise was occupied by Bulgaria, and then by Greece in the aftermath of World War I. The city was retaken by the Turks on November 10, 1922. According to the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, non-Turks here were exchanged for Turks in Greece. Most of the inhabitants of the city are Turks who formerly lived in Thessaloniki until the First Balkan War of 1912.

Cultural Assets

  • Hızırbey Complex: This consists of the Hızırbey Mosque, Hızırbey Bath and Arasta (Bazaar)
  • Hızırbey Mosque: Located at the center of the city, it was built on a square plan by Köse Mihalzade Hızırbey in 1383. Built of cut stone and having one minaret, it was restored by Yusuf Pasha of Aydost in 1824. Still used today, the final praying place and garden walls of the mosque were built afterwards.
  • Hızırbey Bath: Also located at the center of the city and built adjacent to Bath and Arasta by Köse Mihalzade Hızırbey in 1383. There are two entrances, one each for women and men, and so it is also called "Paired Baths". According to an inscription in the women's bath, Hacı Hüseyin Ağa restored it between 1683 and 1704. Still used today, the outer walls are regular and built from coarse sandstone. It's a Turkish Bath in the traditional Ottoman architecture style.
  • Arasta (Bedesten): Built adjacent to Hızırbey Bath in a "T" form, it has arch-type walls. The upper cover is a vault 15 m long. There were 12 shops inside formed by three beams. It was restored in 1704.
  • Kirklareli Jewish Quarter - a historic neighborhood

Kırklareli is also host to the only cave that is open to tourists in Thrace, the Dupnisa Cave (which is believed to have formed 4 million years ago). Dupnisa Cave was used for Dionysian Rituals (Sparagmos) in ancient times. Even the name of Dionysus is believed to have come from Mount Nisa that is above the cave of Dupnisa.

External links

1383 built Hızır Bey religious compound (külliye) in Kırklareli

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Turkey : Marmara : Eastern Thrace : Kirklareli

Kırklareli is a city in Eastern Thrace, NW of Turkey. It’s located in the northern part of the region, near the Bulgarian border.


(+90) 288 is city's telephone code.

  • Igneada to the east, on the coast of Black Sea, is a town known for its long and almost desolate beaches, lush forests, and many lakes.
Routes through Kirklareli
VarnaBurgasTurkish-Bulgarian border ←  N noframe S  KeşanCanakkale ()
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Alternative spellings



  • IPA: /kɯɾklaɾeli/

Proper noun




  1. A city of Turkey.




  • IPA: kɯɾkɫɑɾɛli

Proper noun


  1. Kırklareli


Derived terms


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