Gökova Bay


Gökova Bay is also known as Kerme Bay or Istankoy Bay and located in the South of Aegean Sea.

This roughly triangle-shaped peninsula takes Bodrum to its North and Reşadiye (Datça) to its south so lies on the east-west direction. Known as Kerameikos during first ages, the region was then called Istankoy or Kerme. First used to indicate the east of the bay, Gökova has become a name for the entire region.

The southernmost one of craters that were formed on the east-west direction due to the tectonic movements in the Aegean Region is Gökova Bay. While the sea is shallow on the east coast, it gets deeper as you move off-shore and toward west. North coasts of the bay are crag and high. Beyond these coasts is Yaran Mountain. The most important feature of this bay is that it’s the waviest coastal area of Turkey. There are numerous lagoons which are intertwined, usually circle-shaped and called “bük” by the local people. Many small creeks with short-term flow usually dry out during summer season; these are called “azmak” by the local people.

The most important isles at the north of the bay are Karaada (Black Isle) across Bodrum, and to the further east, Orak Isle. Surface area of Karaada, the largest isle, is over 9 km2. Many small and large isles are located at the southeast part of the bay. Principals of them are Karacaada, Incirli Ada, Yalı Adası, Şehir Adası (also known as Sedir Adası or formerly Sideyri Adası), Ortaada, Gelibolu Adası (Gallipoli Isle), Zeytinli Ada, and Yedi Adalar. Each of these isles has a surface of less than 1 km2, just like Orak Adası.

To the west of the bay, Greek Istanköy Adası is located. The bay, as it was a part of Karya during Ancient Age, is also rich in terms of historical remains. Most important of these are Keramos and Kedreai. Keramos, which its remains have been found near Oren county, was one of the main cities in ceramic art. Ancient name of the bay, Keramekios was derived from the name of the city. During that age, the bay host Halikarnassos (present Bodrum) at its north and Knidos city at its south. Remains of Kedreai city can be found in Sedir Adası.

There isn’t an important settlement in and around Gökova. Its coasts are surrounded by Bodrum, Milas, Muğla (province center), Ula, Marmaris and Datça. One of the most important settlement areas beside Bodrum is Akyaka town. Akyaka is located at the easternmost of the bay.Along with its natural and historical richness, the bay is also important in terms of yacht tourism. Çökertme Lagoon, Akbük, Gelibolu Lagoon, Söğüt Bük, Ballısu Lagoon, English Port, Windmill (Değirmen) Lagoon, Longöz Port and Mersincik Lagoon with its fresh water spring are the most visited lagoons due the their naturally wind protected waters.

Muğla-Marmaris-Datça Highway runs over Sakar Passage and continues along east coast of the bay. Touristic accommodation facilities and residential areas are mostly located on the east and southeast of the bay. 


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