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Samandag

3.5
Samandağ is a town and district in Hatay Province of southern Turkey, at the mouth of the Orontes River on the Mediterranean coast, near Turkey's border with Syria, 25km from the city of Antakya. The mayor is Mithat Nehir .EtymologySamandağ was formerly known as Yukarı Alevışık, Levşiye and Süveydiye and was officially named Samandağ in 1948.HistorySamandağ lies near the site of the ancient Seleucia Pieria, founded in 300 BC by Seleucus Nicator a general of Alexander the Great, in the Seleucid era that followed Alexander's demise. Seleucia Pieria quickly became a major Mediterranean port of the Hellenistic and Roman eras, the port of Antioch. But it was subject to silting and an earthquake in 526 finally completed its demise as a port. Samandağ, then called St Symeon, became the port of Antioch, and played an important role in the capture of the city by the Crusaders in 1098.GeographySamandağ itself is a small town of 35,000 people, close to the city of Antakya. The local economy depends on fishing and agriculture, especially citrus fruits, and Samandağ has the air of a country market town, with young men buzzing through the streets on mopeds. Around the village of Çevlik (derived from Seleucia) there is a long sandy coastline popular with daytrippers from Antakya, although the sea can be stormy. This is an important nesting area of the endangered sea turtle Caretta caretta.
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