Sirince Koyu was first settled in the 15th century after Ephesus was abandoned. According to one story, it was a group of freed Greek slaves who founded the village, naming it Çirkince (Turkish for “ugly") in order to deter others from following them. Up until the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, it remained a Greek settlement, and in 1926, the village's name was changed to Şirince ("Pleasant" in Turkish). In the 1990s, linguist Sevan Nişanyan and his wife settled in Şirince, and worked to restore the charming village and get it protected as a national monument. Today, this sleepy village is home to only 600 residents, but its 19th century atmosphere is so pleasant that tourists flock here to lose themselves in its cobbled alleys, and enjoy the finest wine and olives in Turkey.
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