Home of Rooted History
The Hittites, who settled in the Büyük Menderes Basin, spread this deep-rooted Anatolian civilization from here to overseas countries. Then, first the Phrygians, then the Lydians, took over our basin from one end to the other. The geography where our district is located was under the rule of the Persians until 500 BC. For a while, the region was under the rule of the Athenians. However, when the state established here in 333 BC collapsed, the rule of Alexander the Great began. Then the Roman period began, followed by Christianity. With the arrival of the Seljuks, the region turned into an Islamic land. Meanwhile, the Crusades began. The Byzantines took these lands back during these expeditions. Our region later remained under the rule of Aydınoğulları and Ottomans. Today, Seljuk tombs can be found in Kestel and Arpaz in Nazilli. In addition, there are the tombs of Kasım and Mehmet Bey from Germiyanoğulları in Kestel.
Nazilli in the National Struggle Years
Nazilli, which was entitled to become a district in 1831, was invaded by the enemy on 28 May 1919. Thereupon, Gendarmerie Commander Nuri Bey and Colonel Nuri Vural founded the National Front together. They took Efe and Zeybeks from the mountain and made them take part in the defense of the homeland. Yörük Ali Efe defeated the enemy on the Malgaç Bridge. But the enemy invaded Nazilli again on 24 June. In Nazilli, which was occupied by the enemy for 27 months, those who took up arms from the people joined the National Struggle Forces. Finally, on September 5, 1922, our district was liberated from the enemy occupation. The population of Nazilli grew rapidly in parallel with the developments in agriculture, industry and commercial areas during the Republican era. Today, Nazilli is one of the two largest districts in Aydın with a population of over 150 thousand.
Where Does Our Town’s Name Come From?
There are different rumors about the origin of the name Nazilli. The first of these is that Nazilli was founded near Dereköy by a Turkish tribe chief named “Nazlu”. Oymak Bey gave his name to the city he founded, Nazlu, according to the traditions of those days, and over time, the name of this place was changed to Nazilli. According to another piece of information we have, Evliya Çelebi likened the beauty of the region to his coy and charming girls, claiming that the name Nazilli originated from here. Another legend tells the story of the hopeless love that the sons of the sanjak lords of Aydın fell in for the coy daughters of Nazilli from time to time in the Ottoman period.