Ayvalık is a small sea-side town in the North West of Asia Minor opposite the Greek island of Lesbos.
Ayvali was founded towards the turn of the 16th towards the 17th Century by people from Lesbos. At the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, it was home to 30,000 Greeks and was the second - after Smyrna - most important economic and cultural centre of Hellenism in Asia Minor.
Ayvali was destroyed by Turkish troops on June 2, 1821, in retaliation for the burning of a warship nearby. It was inhabited again in 1827.
Until 1922 Ayvalik (Greek: Κυδωνίες Kydonies or, more commonly, "Ayvali") was largely populated by Greeks with few Turks.
The Greeks were forced to leave after the Asia Minor Disaster of 1922. Since then the population is Turkish. It is a popular holiday resort for Turks and has several historical Ottoman Mosques.
- Fotis Kontoglou
- Elias Venezis - writer
- Stratos Payoumtzis, rebetika singer