KUŞADASI ADALIZADE CEMETERY
Kusadasi Adalızade cemetery is the only historical burial place located in the middle of the town which has a lot of endengared Ottoman gravestones with a shrine in central called as “ Adalızade Turbesi”. Mustafa bin Hamza was one of the famous scholars and sheiks lived in 17th century and we do not know much about his biography. Mustafa bin Hamza was born in Istanbul, educated in Seman madrasah and was sent to Kusadasi to train the inhabitants in his madrasah built in a little bit out of the town surrounded by vegetable gardens. During his training Mustafa bin Hamza was loved so much by the local people and he was given a title known as “ Adalızade-the person from Kuşadası “ then he was known Adalızade all over the Ottoman empire. He died in 1677 according to his gravestone inscription and was buried in the cemetery and later his shrine was built over former grave. The inhabitants of Kusadasi began visiting his shrine on Thursdays, in the eve of religious festivals, in some occasions and anytime when they need spirutal help from him. The lovers of him also wanted to be buried around his shrine to be with him in a spitual way till the resurrection time so a big cemetery has been formed since 1677 with hundred of Ottoman gravestones. In 1930s some small graveyards in Kusadasi were removed due to town’s enlargement and in 1960s tourism began in this town so Ottoman gravestones from the old graveyards were transported to Adalızade cemetery to be protected and preserved. Unfortunately about 3000 endengared gravestones were broken to be used in some constrcutions as substructure, channel border stones or etc and some hundreds were disappeared so we have about 500 Ottoman stones were left today. The gravestones in the cemetery give us interesting and detailed information about the town’s history past with written inscriptions in Arabic. The gravestones in Kusadasi Adalızade historical cemetery were made between 16th and 20th centuries. The Kusadasi Adalızade cemetery are classified in two main parts ; male and female. he female gravestones have some unique ephitaphs and symbols such as mosque figured gravestones are about 26 stones having the beautiful decorations of mosque reflecting their faiths. The main message with double or single-domed mosques adding the minares on ladies gravestones in Aegean region is that the mosque accepted as the sacred place. In Turkish symbolism, the crescent & stars describe the freedom & patriotism, the pitcher motif represents cleanliness & purity , the figured mosque represents a moslem worship place and it reminds Allah is the great creator, the owner of the judgement day , the merciful and forgiving sins. Another group of female gravestones are called “ hotoz “ with slim and charming appearences with chains on their necks and signs at the bottom parts. Hotoz style on ladies’ gravestones have been used for centuries as to show the elegance of Ottoman women with spectecular decorations. The the most special features of Hotoz headgear is to have a thin neck under an elegant headgear surrounded by gold-filled chain necklace on figured coins in flower patterns. The Hotoz headgear looks like a luxury & an attractive hat which grabs the people ‘s gaze at once. The male gravestones in Adalızade cemetery generally Show their occupations or sects while they were alive. Serdengeçti is one of the best exmaple here with unique headgear.Serdengeçti was the headgear used only by delta force soldiers in Janissary army troops. Serdengeçti or Dalkılıç Janissaries were the soldiers who were volunteers in Ottoman military system as special force to do dangereous tasks such as to capture the castles under the seige, to attack enemy lines with swords without fear and to hit the final blow. As they attacked with their swords to complete dangereous tasks, they were noted for as “ Dalkılıç “ among the other soldiers. The second large group of male gravestones in Adalızade cemetery are known as “mariners “ with a special headgear called as “ makdem “.The Makdem headgear was worn by a large number of sailors who have been involving in maritime business such as galleon owners who owned big ship to carry the goods from different parts of the world to Ottoman empire, sailors worked in as captains of the boats, mariners called Azaps as the special mariners. Kusadasi used to be naval base for centuries to control Aegaen sea and Agean islands so there was a big garrison for mariners in the town since 1530 AD. The best examples of main sects Baktashi and Mawlavi gravestones can be seen in this cemetery as well as Malami teaching gravestones.