The smiling sky
Spread magically
All its goodness
On the Levantine village.
(Sevdikioi, Kararas)
Free adaption A. Baltazzi


After my articles on Cordelio, Boudja, Paradiso, Bournova, Bayraklı and Turan I believe Seydiköy (Sevdikeuy - Sevdikioi) the village so praised in the past by its inhabitants and visitors merits a place in this site. However present day Gaziemir whose borders includes, Seydiköy, the old Kaziemir and in the south the Izmir airport within Cumaovası and in the north the Free Trade Zone; it is more difficult than other locations to identify the old houses and buildings. Nevertheless I hope that this text will encourage researchers and academicians to a wider scope of research.

I would like to hereby thank Mr. Henrick van Lennep from the Netherlands, Mr. Craig Encer the administrator of this site for having encouraged me to write about Seydiköy. Mr. Evangelos Tsirkas the chairman of the Smyrnean Association, Athens (Enosis Smirneon), its board of directors and its staff for having provided me with a photocopy of the complete book “Sevdikioi” of Nikos Kararas who was also the author for main source on my articles on the locations mentioned below. I would also like to thank the Municipality of Gaziemir for having provided me with the book “Seydiköyden Gaziemir’e” prepared by Engin-Ercan Çokbankır. I would also like to thank the Netherlands Historical-Archaeological Institute of Istanbul for having helped me to obtain the rare book “From Anatolia to Indonesia Opium Trade and the Dutch Community of Izmir (1820-1940) by Jan Schmidt through the Historical-Archaeological Institute of Leiden to whom I also convey my gratitude.

History and Population

Engin-Ercan Çokbankir in his above mentioned book gives a lot of details on the history of Seydiköy as from the Ionian period to the Turkish settlements. We know that due to Alyattes II’s invasion in the VI. Century B.C. of Smyrna, that situated at the today’s Bayraklı, many Smyrniots escape to the surrounding villages such as Boudja, Bornova and Seydiköy. In Seydiköy some vestiges from the Hellenistic and Roman period have been found and there are also many anecdotes of “treasures” found.

During the pre-Ottoman, the Türk Beylik (clans) period, we see some Turkish settlements amongst which the Dergah of Seydi Mukremuddun, the Ulema Seydi Baba (in that time the name Seydi was given to those who were descended from the prophet Muhammed). During the Aydın Oğulları and the Ottoman period population increased steadily.

Some Statistics

Engin-Ercan Çokbankır gives some indications from the official records.
In 1530 - 825 inhabitants
1894 - 6.276 of whom 5.520 Greeks
Kararas mentions that in 1826 the traveller John Martly was indicating:
300 Greek families and 40 Turkish families.
Kararas from Greek records:
In 1921 October - 8000 inhabitants of whom 7955 Greeks - 20 Turks - 20 Armenian and 5 Europeans.

Origin of the Name

Travellers and inhabitants believed in general that the name was derived from the Turkish verb – sevmek which means to love – aimer then as it was mentioned in the Orient Herald1 of 1825 the village was known as the Village d’Amour, “To Sevdalidiko Horio” a name adequate to its beautiful location emphasized by the French travellers, Michaud and Poujoulat2. However researchers made by historians discover that it should have another origin which is village (=köy) of Seydi, who as already mentioned was an Ulema (religious man) The Greek newspaper Amalthia of 20 Jan 1903 gave the same explanation.

Climate and Connections with Izmir

Nikos Kararas gives many details. Seydiköy lies some 16 km. distance from Izmir, is about 150 meters above sea level and has a very good moderate climate, fresh in the summer, although in the past, the winters (November to March) were raw enough for snow (not anymore) with cold winds emanating from the north east mountains.

In the past there was a railway connection with Izmir through a junction at Kazamir (Kazaemir). This junction had been financed and provided by Dimitrio Fotiadis and was bought 20 years after its construction (in 1908) by the British Aydın Railways. The Train coming from Izmir would reach Seydiköy after 40 minutes and there were 5 daily services. The Seydiköy railway station was situated in front of the Fotiadis house (railway fans have located this railway station). Boudja was 8 km distant from Seydiköy and there was a junction for Boudja from the Seydiköy-Paradiso line. A carriage road also passed from the Kazamir Station.

Before the railways, the road from Izmir to Seydiköy started from Izmir - Tilkili going to Basmane, then to the Turkish cemeteries close to the Caravan Bridge, leading along the right shore of the river Meli (Melez) to the plain of Aya Anna, the aqueducts, Profiti Ilia, Paradiso, continuing to the right side of Kazamir and finally reached Seydiköy. This was also the road to go to Ephesus. From Seydiköy towards the south, the road went to Gölkuzlar - Cumaovası and Malkatze (Malcajik-today’s Bulgurca) and from there the line forked whereby to the left it was directed to Giaourköy (opposite Samos) and to the right to Dereboğaz and Kimituria.

In The Village – Mahalades Ke Sokakia - Quarters and Streets

Nikos Kararas writes that the real entrance to the village was from the Smyrna carriage road which led into the village crossing the Kefalini Square and reaching the çarşı (market) and the Church. From there the road divided into two, on the right the road passed some small houses, the vineyard of Foscolo which then led out of the village. The road on the left passed the Church, some beautiful houses and then led to Foscolo’s real estate. From the last row of houses a narrow street led to the cemetery.

In the village there was plenty of green space. According to Kararas, the houses of the wealthy Greeks and Europeans were very luxurious with big gardens, containing a lot of trees and multitude of flowers. The villagers’ houses also surrounded with orchards and klimataries (asma = vine) as well as beautiful flower pots.

The most impressive houses were the ones belonging to de Hochpied, Fotiadi, Foscolo, of the Doctor Ilia Hanioti, of his brother Lambrou, of the brothers Kiriakou and Konstantin Kiriakidi, of Leontsini, Ioanidi and Mavroudi.

The village was not very extensive, in half an hour you could explore the entirety. There where four principal quarters, the upper mahalla, the lower mahalla, the çay (stream) and the station.

The upper mahalla was to the north-west of the village. There was a big well called Beylidiko and the houses of Nikita, Papakou, Roussos, Zenioti, Kurbeti were situated here.

The Station Mahalla was the most aristocratic one. Beautiful houses adorned this location where the train stopped. On the right there was the magnificent house of Fotiadi with a big garden full of cypress, magnolia, mirsinas and flowers. During the Greek occupation this building became the general quarter of the Greek army. A street further along was the coffee place of Vrakozona, the offices of the railways where the head chief of the station was Kostaki Hristodoulo and the station also had its own cafe. Further was the house of Ilia Hanioti. On the left of the big square of the station, a land lot was owned by the Kiriakidi brothers and there were also the warehouses of the Railways. All around, houses of Athanasiou Dimopoulo, owner of the Smyrna Luna Park, of the farmer G. Leontsini who rented it to the müdür [local administrator] of the village Hasan bey, of Mavroudi, Gounari (also a farmer), Kehaya, Tsamopoulo etc. There was also a quarter called the old or low Mosque with some Turkish vestiges, a fountain and cypress.

Another quarter was called “Frangika” (of the Franks), it was an old denomination as there were houses of Europeans which were linked with their properties through their garden gates. There was the “Madama” street which started from the low Church passing in front of the de Hochpied and other Frank (European) houses. The street was called after the wife of Daniel de Hochpied who was locally known as the “Madama”.

Kararas gives many other topographic details of the various locations to notice such as the great square called Kefalani between the station, the low mahalla and market. This was the setting for all the festivities and events of village. The market (çarşi) was at the center of Seydiköy between Kefalani and the Church. There were a lot of shops, two hans, coffee places etc. Markakis had a house close to the branch office of the Regie [tobacco monopoly].

All around the village were locations for promenades and picnics, such as Papayani, the Platane of Foscolo, Kemeri where there was also the factory of Steliou Kostaki, Formozdere, Dablaziki etc.

The Old Inhabitants of Seydiköy

From the XVII century onwards many traders arrived from Europe to Smyrna for trading. The first ones coma before 1660 (B. Slaars – Etude sur Smyrne (1868)) and they were the Dutch followed by French and English merchants.

The Dutch Corneille Le Brun3 going to Ephesus with a party of 72 people passed through Seydiköy in 1678 and noticed that Seydiköy was a beautiful location and that the Consuls had their summer houses there and enjoying hunting in the area (gravure). The English archeologist Richard Pococke in 1739 mentions Seydiköy with its summer houses of the Europeans. Jacob van Dam – Consul of Holland in Izmir from 1668 to 1688 also had a house at Seydiköy. It was later bought by the de Hochepied. According to the “Seydiköyden Gaziemire” book, the English botanist and British Consul at Smyrna, William Sherard lived in Seydiköy in the 1700’s (see also Evelyn Kalças article in our site). In 1753 a Protestant missionary traveller Stephan Schulz4 came to Seydiköy and was impressed by the cypress and the olive trees and visited the houses of van Lennep, of the English Consul Mr Crawlay and the house of Mr Death (?) which he found beautiful and build on arcades.

In 1764 the English traveller R. Chandler5 come to Izmir and there was the Plague. The English trader Lee advises him to go to stay at Seydiköy until the end of the epidemic. He stayed for 3 months in Seydiköy which he described as a little village with a mosque and a fountain and with few Turks and Greeks and the families of the Consul of Holland, de Hochepied and of the trader Fremaux.

The de Hochepieds6 and the Two Madamas

From around 1760 the de Hochepieds lived in Seydiköy, as the family of the Dutch Consul of Smyrna, Daniel. The Hungarian Count de Hochepied was born in Smyrna in 1727 and died in 1796. He was the child of Daniel Alexander de Hochepied (again Smyrna born, 1689-1759) and Catherine Elisabeth Fremaux. He married in 1763 Marie Dunant daughter of Jacques Dunant and Anna Arlaud and widow of the British merchant, Samuel Crawley7.

According to Kararas, Marie was the famous Madama of Seydiköy. She was a great character as is related in the excellent translation of Kararas’ book, by our contributor Achilleas Chatziconstantinou and Madama died in 27 Nov. 1801. However there is some mystery and confusion on the de Hochepied “Madamas” as there are evidences that existed in quite an earlier period another Madama, Clara de Hochepied (1662-1733) born Colyer (Dutch diplomats probably of Scottish origin) wife of Daniel Jan de Hochepied (1657-1723) who was the Dutch Consul in Izmir from 1688 to 1723. This Clara should be the one after who the Madama Han8 of Smyrna (close to St. Polycarp Church) was named. It was bought by the Hochepieds from our Chian relative Constantine Amira in the beginning of the XVIIIth century.

A traveller9 (probably a missionary) Angelicus Maria Myller in Oct. - Nov. 1726 visiting Izmir emphasizes the existence of a “Madama Holland”, “While I was in Smyrna the Dutch Consul was the son of the previous one: the widow of the late Consul was known as “Madama Holland”. She was old but very intelligent, an amazonian heroine. Her life style, the fact that she knows ten language made her famous also amongst the Turks. She give good advice to everybody and not only in Izmir, but in Istanbul too they spoke with respect about her”. In fact the husband of Clara Daniel Jan was Consul and died in 1723. Clara in 1726 was aged +/- 64 and she would die in 1733.

There was a Second “Madama” later on. Marie de Hochepied (1726-1801) born Dunant, I believe heroine of Kararas anecdotes, as Kararas mentions that the Hochepieds lived in Seydiköy around 1760. Of course, the similarities in their characters, both knowing 8/10 languages surprises a little: but let the Legends live! Many of these ancient families had elder ladies with remarkable personalities and longevity to be called as a sign of respect and admiration with “Madama”. An aunt of mine in Boudja was called like this although the family had many things to reprove to her as conflicts for inheritance in these families were also quite frequent in spite of the Madamas myth.

The high level of foreign society of Smyrna came out on Sundays to Seydiköy to the Hochepieds house. There they played tennis and in the afternoon they took tea as was the custom.

In Seydiköy besides Daniel de Hochepied who bought the property of Fremaux, lived his son Jacques, the Hungarian Count de Hochepied Consul of Holland, whose wife was Sara Petronella daughter of David George van Lennep, who died in Seydiköy in 1854. Their son Frederic Pierre (1812 - 1869) was an eccentric who in turn died in Seydiköy in 1869.

Jacques Gerard de Hochepied (Izmir 1839 - Seydiköy 1887), son of Count Edmond and Helen Elisabeth Giraud, whose first wife Elisabeth (Elise Caroline) Pavlo Omirou died, according to Kararas in Seydiköy in 1868 and then he re-married Henriette van Lennep.

Edmond Jacob Paul Count de Hochepied married in Seydiköy in 1890 Maria Wissing. Daniel Jacob Edmond de Hochepied was born in Seydiköy in 1891.

The last de Hochepied who stayed until 1922 was Jacob Edmond, vice-Consul of Holland, who was born in Seydiköy in 1902. The de Hochepied also owned farms at Seydiköy.

Many travellers and personalities were the guests of the Hochipied house such as the countess Pauline Nostitz10 who in 1835 admired the portraits and other valuable paints. She and her accompanied ladies went back on donkeys and she mentions the beautiful daughter of Mr de Jongh Consul of Denmark. The traveller Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert11 in Izmir in 1836 visited both the de Hochepieds and the van Lenneps and praised their hospitality and generosity adding that in the first half of the last century both families had saved a lot of Austrian and Hungarian families (presumably buying of war slaves) and owing to this exemplary action they obtained the title of Baron.

The van Lenneps

Another great old and aristocratic Dutch family mentioned also in my Bornova article, David George van Lennep was born in Amsterdam in 1712, came to Smyrna in 1731 and owned a country house in Seydiköy. He was the chief merchant of the Dutch trade station and Consul of the Dutch nation of Smyrna. He married Anna Maria Leidstar12 (Istanbul 1734 - Izmir 1802) daughter of Johan Justinus and Johanna Maria de La Fontaine. They had 13 children. Jacob, Richard, Pieter mentioned below are three of them.

Catharina (Anna) van Lennep née de Hochpied (born in Izmir in 1767) died on 13 june 1867 in Seydiköy, and she was the daughter of Count Daniel and Marie Dunant and widow of Gerhard von Heidenstam13. She was the wife of the well known Jacob van Lennep (Izmir 1769-1855) trader and Consul general of the Netherlands.

Helen Suson van Lennep was the daughter of Pieter van Lennep (Izmir 1778-1824) and of Henriette Helene daughter of Conrad Schütz and Sarah Crawley, died in Seydiköy on 14 Nov. 1874.

The van Lenneps were prominent traders and assumed functions as Consuls of Holland and other countries and were also owners of big farms (16.000 acres) plantations of tobacco and other products at Malcajik (now Bulgurca) 13 km. south from Seydiköy.

Also born in Malcajik on 17 June 1868 was Evelyne Maud van Lennep née Ogilvy, wife of Pieter Charles van Lennep and who died on 20 Aug. 1886. Another family member born in that village was Charles David van Lennep Consul of Sweden and Norway, tobacco planter. After his death, his sons took care of the farm. Cyril Charles Ogilvy van Lennep born in Malcajik on 30 Aug 1869 continued to be a farmer there from 1891 till 1898.

The other son Oscar Charles (born Izmir in 1857) administered the Malcajik farm until 1922 when he left for Greece. Gertrude Bell in 1902 visited the farm (diary entry).

A descendent, Mr. Henrick van Lennep, living in the Netherlands with whom I had the pleasure of exchanging information, has written a very detailed and interesting report: the van Lenneps Genealogy Smyrna branch and I am obliged to him for all the information he was able to provide.

Many travellers and personalities were the guests of the van Lennep’s Seydiköy house. Besides those mentioned and those citated in the genealogy of van Lenneps, such as. Lt. General Comte Mathieu Dumas, may I add that this is the van Lennep house of 27 rooms (each room being as big as three normal ones) and in 1850 according to the writer Willy Sperco (Lamartine et son Domaine en Asie Mineure) Lamartine, his wife and his companions returning from Tire where the poet had visited the Burgazova Baltazzi farm let to him by the Sultan for an unrealized project14, were the guests of Mr. van Lennep. Sperco mentions:

“Un membre de cette grande famille (van Lenneps) établie a Smyrna depuis des siecles, rapporte que le soir de son arrivée, le poete s’etait accoudé sur la margelle du puits situé prés de la maison et qu’il avait contemplé plein d’admiration les jeunes filles du village qui y venaient plonger leurs cruches”. [A member of this big family (the van Lenneps) established in Smyrna centuries ago, reports that the evening of his arrival, the poet had sat down on the curbstone of the well located near the house and that he had contemplated with full admiration the young girls of the village who came there to plunge their jugs].

It is also said that Lamartine compared the village to the environs of Paris as that of Saint-Cloud and Fontainebleau. Some time later the Fondé de Pouvoir of Lamartine member, Mr. Charles Rolland, on his way to Tire to the Burgazova farm stopped at Seydiköy at the van Lennep’s house. Rolland in his book “La Turquie Contemporaine - Hommes et Choses - Etudes sur l’Orient (1854) recalls this visit with a lot of poetic emphasis:

“Nous atteignimes Seydiköy vers la nuit tombante, l’aieule centenaire des familles Guys et van Lennep a fastueusement acceuilli notre cavalcade dans la villa, moitié chateau, moité forteresse, d’ou elle voit se repandre sur le sol d’Asie la race Neerlendaise dont elle est souche. Le lendemain nous arrivions à Akchameshed”15. [We reached Seydiköy towards the fall of the evening, the centenary grandmother of the Guys and van Lennep family entertained our cavalcade sumptuously in the villa, half castle, half fortress, where she oversees the spreading on the ground of Asia the Dutch race of which she is a member of. The following day we arrived at Akchameshed]

Who was this aieule centenaire [centenary grandmother]? I am enclined to believe Catharina (Anna) van Lennep (Izmir 1767 - Seydiköy 1867) born de Hochepied wife of Jacob van Lennep (1769 - 1855) but I have no proof. The family Guys, a French family of Izmir related to de Hochepied / Van Lenneps, with origins from Marseille, probably descended from an ancestor who was a traveller - writer Pierre Augustin Guys (Voyage littéraire de la Gréce, etc. 1771).

Some Other Inhabitants

Other Dutch citizens resident at Seydiköy were Jan Jacob Cobbe who is mentioned as having married a Greek but we are ignorant of the name writes Kararas. The British Isaac Morier16 (1750-1817) and his wife Elisabeth Clara born van Lennep had a house at Seydiköy. Conrad Schütz who around 1790 was the Secretary of the Dutch Consulate, also lived in Seydiköy. Wilkmann17 who was the previous owner of the real estate of Foscolo in Seydiköy.

Baron van Heemstra owned a farm in the nearby village of Oğlanesi. The well known family of Keun18 in trade and in other activities. The family called Wissing were also Dutch traders who came to Izmir before 1759 and stayed in Seydiköy until 1922. The wife of British Vice-Consul of Smyrna, Nathaniel Werry, Caroline F. Werry died in Seydiköy in 1877.

Jonkheer Willem A. Mock (born in Lisse in 1865) had a factory, a house and windmill a little out of Seydiköy in a location called “Bounaraki” where he was killed by a bandit on 16 Nov. 1912. His wife was Esther Laura born van Lennep (1879-1945) daughter of Gustav Richard van Lennep and Mathilde Keun. Their children Hermine (1903) and Willem (1905) were born in Seydiköy.

Also living in Seydiköy around 1826 were the family Arlaud19, a family of traders from Istanbul. Eulalie Arlaud was the daughter of Richard van Lennep, Consul of Sweden and Adele Marie von Heidenstam, and died in Seydiköy in 1909.

Auguste Arlaud (Istanbul 1813, Marseille 1865) and his wife Eulalie born van Lennep had a son called Alfred who was for many years the teacher of French at the Evangeliki School of Smyrna and was the co-author of the well known “Grammaire Arlaud” as well as the editor of the Journal de Smyrne newspaper. He was married to Henriette van Lennep. Alfred born in Seydiköy (according to Kararas) on 8 June 1846 stayed there till 1922 and died in Nice in 1927. An Armenian family Elmassian as well as an Italian Paulo Caffiero also lived in Seydiköy up to 1922.

The Old Greek Inhabitants

Other old inhabitants were Nicolaos Hadji Lambrinos classmate of Korai, and then Oecumenical Patriarch with the name Neofito. Also in Seydiköy was born Kirilos the Metropolite of Mithimnis (Lesbos) then of Smyrna.

The Omiros20

Amongst the Greek houses we know of pre-1796 were those belonging to Elisabeth (Zabeta) Omiros (Homere), daughter of Giorgio (Tsogia) Omiro. On her death the house passed to her brothers, Ioanis (John) and Pavlo (Paul) bey Omiro, and to her sister Adamanthia wife of Leon Prasakaki21. In 1797 the house was sold to George Apostolaki, the dragoman at the Spanish Consulate of Izmir. Another house was also owned by Ioanis (+1808) and Pavlos (+1823) Omirou which was close to first one and to the north of the Church of Agios Ioanis Theologu (St John Evangelist). This house was rented to the treasurer of the Dutch Consulate, Mr. Conrad Schütz. In 1798 it was sold by the Omiros to the husband of their niece Elisabeth, Mr. Constantin Schilizzi22 for 2.600 krs. ( piastres) as mentioned by Kararas.

The Main Greek Families
XIX Century

The Famiy Fotiadi

A very well known and wealthy family of Seydiköy, with origins from the Peloponese. Their name was initially Saratsi. They became rich with Anastasios who emigrated to Egypt and gained the sympathy of a Pasha there with whom he travelled in the same ship. Around 1854, his brother Dimitros (+1886) also went to Egypt and coming back to Izmir bought a big house at the Quais which later became the Hotel Kramer. He also build another house in Izmir, on the location that later was to become the Regie (the tobacco monopoly). In Seydiköy he build a big mansion with 40 rooms and a very extensive garden in which there were 12 statues representing the 12 months and 4 larger ones representing the four seasons. He was also the owner of vineyards. He married in Cairo with Catherine Hadjimarco (+1908).

They were 4 Fotiadi brothers:
Anastasios died in Egypt unmarried.
Athanasios was killed by bandits in the vicinity of Seydiköy.
Ioanis whose daughter Anastasia married Pavlo Foscolo and their son Constantino, in turn married Vasiliki Tirokomou.
Dimitrio Fotiadi and Catherina Hadjimarcou had 8 children.

1) Marco (1862-1900) went to France.
2) Stavro (1863-1905) married Anthipi Nicolaidou and they had a daughter Catherina Ladaki.
3) Penelopi (1864-1920) married Spiro Alex. Coumoundouro - Minister of Greek Marine affairs.
4) Ioanis (John - born at Cairo in 1865) married Sofia Xen. Latri and had 4 children. He studied agriculture in France and took care of his father’s farms of about 80.000 acres. He left for Athens in 1915.
5) Spiros (1866-1926) a lawyer, married Marica Lambriti.
6) Giorgios (1867-1944) married the beautiful Eftihia Ioanidi. His summer house the Villa Mon Bonheur was close to Kazamir station23 was surrounded with vineyards. He was also the Vice-Consul of Russia in Izmir.
7) Alecos (1870-1943) married Iphigenia Amira and they had a son the writer Dimitri Fotiadi who was also active in many associations such as the Panionio Gymnastic Association of Smyrna.
8) Chariclea (1872-1964) 1st marriage Aleco Amira 2nd marriage the lawyer Stefano Papamihali.

The Family Foscolo (Foskolo)24

A preeminent family. According to Michael Foscolo the family had a noble origin from the Ionian islands, from where also comes the Italian poet Ugo Foscolo. Mr Michael Foscolo informed Nico Kararas that in their Izmir house at Trassa (the name of a street in old Smyrna before 1922. Prokopiu mentions that it was an elegant residential wide street situated after the Fasoula district - view on old map - there was a compilation book with letters from the poet to his mother.

Nicola Foscolo born in Izmir around 1828 married the sister of the famous doctor Michael Masgana of the Greek hospital.

The beautiful house and farm of Pavlo Foscolo, son of Nicola at Seydiköy, which was previously owned by the Dutch Wilkmann from whom Michael Masgana bought it and was passed through succession to Pavlo Foscolo. This real estate had 3.000 acres. In this house a feast was given in 1912 in honour of the Austrian fleet visiting Izmir. The catering was provided by Cafe Kosti and High Life (cafe - restaurant) of Izmir. The Foscolos maintened their Italian nationality but were of Greek Orthodox faith and culture, as mentioned by Kararas.

Paolo (Pavlo) Foscolo was born around 1860 and married Anastasia Ioanou Fotiadi (+1905) and they had 4 children: Nicola, Michael, Helene and Aglea. Paolo Foscolo died in Seydiköy in 1918 and as he wished was buried in his real estate under a palm tree. Nicola married Nina Tsahtsirli also from Seydiköy and died Athens in 1943. Michael married Elefteria Plakotari also from Seydiköy. Aglea (+ Athens 1953) married the architect Ilia Simitopoulo and was famous for her beauty and kindness. Helene died aged 17.

Some other families

The Hanioti (Chanioti) were owners of farms and a vinery exporting sweet wines to Italy and Germany.

The Kiriakidi family had marriages with the well known family Ioanidi. Kiriakos Kiriakidi was the most handsome young man of the village. They had a farm at Kazemir and were also exporters of wine.

The family Happa (Chappa), originated from Arcadia and the family Mavroudi who had factories, houses, vineyards at the Kambo and a movie theater. Spiro Mavroudi was the last Greek mayor of Seydiköy.

Then Kararas makes a list of more than hundred Greek families of Seydiköy to whom I apologize for not being able to include all here but I am at their disposal for any enquiry on this subject.
May I mention few:

Boutsadaki, Boukovinos, Berzeyani, Bilias, Damourakis, Deliyanis, Devenzoglu, Hadjinikolaus, Hitiodis, Hadjiantoniu, Kurtoglu, Kirkilis, Giorgios and Kimon Karalis (exchange brokers in Izmir) Karakatsani, Karavassilis, Maganiotis, Ntakas, Sotiroupoulo, Tzagaras, Zabetas, etc.

Owners of farms: besides those already mentioned, there are the ones of G. Ksenakis, P. Eftimiou, Mazarakis, S. Garanis, M. and A. Mantourekas, who were also the owners of a big grocery shop at Arapian Çarsı of Izmir and the Bourdeli Brothers, who had vineyards, but were also illegally cultivating tobacco as mentioned in the “Smirni ton Smirnion”, the very interesting book of Giorgios Th. Katramopoulos, famous jeweller of old Smyrna whose daughter is now in Athens, a well-known journalist Mrs Eleni Bitsika.

The Beauties of Seydiköy

Kararas states that you would rarely find an ugly woman in Seydiköy. The travellers who visited the village praised the beauty of the women of Seydiköy. The duke of Ragusa (1835) notes that the women of Seydiköy were attractive and beauties to admire with an exceptional feminility in their manners.

Kararas cites many, amongst them, Eleni Genia, Paraskevi Hadjinikolau, Eftimia Fotiadi daughter of D. Ioanidi whose beauty was famous, as well as Aglea Simitopoulo daughter of Pavlo Foscolo. Kararas also mentions that the Madama Marie de Hochepied born Dunant was of a rare beauty. The lieutenant general count Mathieu Dumas (1770-1836) mentions that Mrs. Anna Maria van Lennep born Leidstar was also famed not only for her beauty but even more for her rare qualities of heart and mind and adds that her four daughters Elisabeth, Hester Maria, Annetta, Cornelia Jacoba were strikingly beautiful. Eliza Ann born Ogivly (1832-1872) wife of Charles David van Lennep is described as “Her finely moulded features were radiant with goodness, while her dark blue eyes were full of tenderness and intelligence.” Her father David Stuart Ogivly was a succesful Scottish trader in Far East (the van Lennep Genealogy = Smyrna Branch).

The Seydiköylus, were severe proud men and they were also proud about the beauty of the women of their village which reflect in their popular songs.

Bournova with your clear waters
Boudja with your cypress
And you Seydiköy my happiness
With your beautiful daughters

Free adaptation A. Baltazzi

Churches – Cemeteries and Schools
Agios Ioanis Theologo

The Greek community’s Church was Agios Yoanis Theologos (St. John the Evangelist) which had existed since 1796 and was restored and enlarged with a donation from Anastasios Fotiadis. The Church which was beautiful was situated at the end of the road which led from Kefalini towards north near to the çay (river). This quite large church had in its courtyard the Greek boys’ School and the Nipiagogio (Pupils’ school). It also had two marble fountains and rooms for the priests.

Agios Ioanis Prodromos

The apano (upper) Agios Ioanis (St John Baptist) church was at the heights a short distance from the village. It was a very small church and there was also an ayazma. There was a belief that this Saint made miracles, and it was said that many ill people had been cured. The Turks called him ‘Dede’.

The Greek Cemetery

In the cemetery there were a lot of cypress and mulberry trees as well as many beautiful marbled family tombs and other more modest ones.

In Seydiköy there were no Churches or Cemeteries for Protestants or Catholics who went either to Boudja or Punta for mass. We know that in Izmir there was the Dutch Protestant Chapel (now the Greek Orthodox Nea Aya Fotini) - views - with a cemetery (listing) still existing, but not in regular use and closed for burials.


Besides the schools in the courtyard of the kato (lower) Agios Ioanis Church there was also a Girls’ School which at the beginning was close to the railway station but in 1908 a new and bigger school was built outside of the kato Agio Ioanis Church.

On the 8th October 1910 the State Agricultural School (Ziraat Mektebi) close the Kazamir railway station was opened, whose director was an Armenian Zacharia Efendi, and its secretary was Hayri Bey. There was also a smaller Agriculture School functioning there before 1910.

The Life in the Village

Kararas mentions that Seydiköy was a quite a conservative village. Its inhabitants were quite severe in as far as morals were concerned. The young women could not pass alone in a place where they were only men, such as the coffee places (kahvehane). Women were respected to a very high level.

The hospitality of the Seydiköy’s was also famous. The men were serious, severe, proud, open-hearted, hard workers and the women, modest, respectful and obedient to their men and to the elders and took good care of their houses.

May I add a personal opinion that these particularities could be among the reasons which attracted the Protestant traders community which was known to be conservative and severe in as far as morals are concerned.

It also has to be considered that epidemies of plague25 were frequent in the cities of the Levant including Izmir, Istanbul and many wealthy families had a second house quite away of the metropoles also serving as a summer house where the climate was more fresh in the summer.

Many festivities took place in the village such as marriages, the Carnival which was a countinous feast throughout its period, the Kathari Deftera (the final day of the festival) with picnics at the Platane (estate) of Foscolo, the water source of Papayani etc. Seydiköy’s residents were quite religious and the Church was full all week preceeding Easter. But the day of Easter was a particular great feast in Seydiköy and many people came from Izmir to see the celebration, there was a procession in the village, with religious hymns and music, including celebratory firings of guns. The restaurants were full and many of the visitors where guests at the residents’ houses. Other feasts with songs and balls were held on the 8th of May and 29th of August for the name days of the Churches as well as on the 1st February for Agios Trifanos, the Feast of the Agricultors etc.

The Bandits – Captain Andreas and Others – Kidnappings

As in the other neighborhoods of old Smyrna bandits were quite active in the Seydiköy area: Hendricks van Lennep in the Geneology of his family had already mentioned reports of two kidnappings. The first in 1851 was that of Richard Jacob van Lennep who was walking with his three young children near his summer house in Seydiköy when he was kidnapped. Fortunately he was released after payment of a ransom of 50.000 krs. Upon complaints from the family concerning this incident the Porte (Sultan) sent him a gold snuff box inlaid with diamonds and with the initials of the Sultan engraveld on its lid.

The second incident in 1868 happened to the 17 years old Alfred Oscar van Lennep who was kidnapped by Greek bandits at Malcajik, and after a march of more than a week through the mountains and the coastal plain was released after payment of 1,500 Turkish liras.

Kararas reports that around 1906 the famous Capt. Andreas injured Kiriako, the son of Gianakou Kiriakidi, as this latter did not pay him the ransom he asked.

Collaborators of Capt. Andreas kidnapped in 1908 the Baron van Heemstra (a distant relation of Audrey Hepburn) on route to his farm of Oglanesi situated in the vicinity of Seydiköy. Kararas mentions that a ransom of 5000 gold lira was asked which was paid by his father in law Richard Whittall of Bornova. The authorities took immediately action and the bandits were found, judged and imprisoned.

Products – Activities – Professions

The inhabitants of Seydiköy were mainly agricultors and the main products were tobacco, raisins, pears, figs. The olives of Seydiköy were famous as well as their tomatoes. Today tobacco is still a main product of the region. The region also produced cheese, milk and wool.

Agricultural produce: Many people called Kehayades (herders) owned large flocks of cattle such as Nicolas Kondoyanis with a number of 2000, Hadjithanis 1500 etc.

The local raisins produced wine, raki, and some cognac and liquors as mentioned by Kararas. The producers included Kiriakidis, Haniotis, Bardaksi, George Leontsini. The dark Seydiköy wine was well known.

Recently during my researches I visited the Sevilen Bağ Evi (farm) at Isabey which is situated in the region, some kms after Seydiköy and Cumaovası airport quite before Trianda (Ayrancılar) on the way to Ephesus. The Sevilen family came after 1922 from Bulgaria and acquiring vineyards produce quite good wine called Sevilen. In their farm there is also a nice restaurant in whose garden there is a plane tree which they say is 500 years old (hover to view) a testimony of the pluri-centenary history of the region. The vineyards (850 acres) are in the region - at the village Gölcükler (Menderes county).

Mines: The expert Prentiss De Jesus “Prehistoric mining and mettalurgy in Anatolia” page 258 mentions that in the Seydiköy region there was mining activity for copper derived from pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite going back to antiquity.

Kararas mentions that west from Seydiköy at a distance of 3-4 km in the Ftohutepe (Poors Hill) north-east of Çatalkaya close the Stappa estate there were mines of lignite of Pitakidi, operated by the Italian Genio and by Rahmi Bey, and the charcoal was carried to Izmir and distributed to the factories.

15 km south from that region, close to the village Küçük Gümüldür at Azapdağ Pavlo G. Omiro had a lead mine with the ore containing a silver admixture, but the entreprise went bad and Omiro lost a forturne.

Wheat Mills: There were three. One was that of Mock a Dutchman with his factory in the location Bounaraki situated further than the Foscolo real estate. Mock was killed by bandits in 1912. The mill then passed to Mavroudi and lastly to the Karistiadi brothers. The other two were respectively named Kotsaki and Tzoka.

Farms in the Seydiköy Region:

a) At Dereköy and Beleritsi: (15 km distant) The big farm of Adam Adamopoulo (owned prior by Stavridi).
b) At Oglanesi: (Oğlananasi) (12 km distant) von Heemstra.
c) At Malcajik: (today’s Bulgurca) van Lennep.
d) At Trianda: (today’s Ayrancılar) Anastasio Ioanidis.
e) At Giokagaç: (Gökağaç) Kosti Adamopoulo.
f) At Balan ovası: Fotiadi.

Cinemas: There were two, one was that of Spiro Mavroudi and Cochino in 1915 at the Çarşı (market) The other one belonged to the Doctor Lorando at the Station inside the garden of the house, owned previously by Ilia Hanioti.

Doctors: For long years the local doctor was Ilia Haniotis and on his death, Dr. Nicola Lorando whose husband was Dr. Haniotis Lorando and their daughter’s name was Zoi, came from Boudja to replace him. Another local doctor on call was Ioanis Frangiadi.

Pharmacies: The local pharmacy was operated by I. Malamatini (1890) which later passed to Demostene Berakakis.

Coffee Places: There were many, however the biggest one was by the Seydiköy railway station operated by Yanakou Vrakozona with billiards and musicians every Saturday - Sunday. The Vrakozonas also owned farms.

Sea Trade Activities of the Seydiköy Residents

I was intending to write a short paragraph on this subject but at the end of my researches having also had the chance to obtain the book of Jan Schmidt “From Anatolia to Indonesia Opium Trade and the Dutch Community of Izmir 1820-1940” I realized this is a much wider subject, including activities of many other Smyrniot Levantine companies and individuals which I believe my readers will be interested in, so I decided to prepare a new article which I forsee to call: “The Dutch Sea Trade of Izmir - Opium Trade- Traders”, where of course the trader families which had houses in Seydiköy such as the van Lenneps, the de Hochepieds, the Keuns, the Wissings, the Fremaux, and the Omiros as well as the Arlauds played an important role in the maritime trade of Izmir Port, in time becoming a leading trade port of the Ottoman Empire as it is still on our days with the Republic of Turkey (see my article The Importance of Izmir as Port City).

The planned article will soon be published on this site.

1 The Orient Herald - unpublished manuscripts of a travellers in the East. Tome VI - July - Sept. 1825, page 509.

2 Michaut et Poujoulat - Correspondence d’Orient 1830-31. Paris 1833 1, page 274.

3 Corneille le Brun. Voyage au Levant. Paris 1714, page 29.

4 İlhan Pınar: Hacılar, Seyyahlar, Misyonerler, Yabancılarin Gözüyle Osmanlı Dönemindeki Izmir [Pilgrims, Travellers, Missionaries, Izmir in the Ottoman period through the eyes of foreigners] (1608-1912), İzmir Büyük Şehir Belediyesi Kültür Yayınları 2001.

5 R. Chandler - Researches in Greece and the Levant - London 1831, page 256.

6 De Hochepied: Sturdza- Les Grandes Familles. “Huguenots Français habitant des Flandres Françaises vers 1535 puis la Hollande. Beneficiaires des lettres de noblesse hongroise delivrées par l’empereur Leopold 1. Les comtes de Hochepied furent incorporés a la noblesse des Pays Bas le 12 feb. 1818. [French origin Huguenots from French Flanders around 1535, later moving to Holland. Beneficiaries of letters of bestowed nobility from the Hungarian emperor Leopold 1. The Hochepieds became incorporated in the Dutch nobility in 12 Feb. 1818].” As per Kararas their genealogical tree is at the Libro d’Oro, Nederlands Adelsbook. La Haye 1942 pages 517-525 (communication from Livio Missir to Kararas).

7 Crawley is a name familiar with an earlier study: Through the scanning work of George Galdies in 2008, we are aware of an old Book of Common Prayer from the Anglican Church, Smyrna (at the time held within the Consulate building in Punta), and the family genealogical entry from the mid 18th century, held at the Manuscripts Section of Lambeth Palace Library, London. From the book ‘A history of the Levant Company - A.C. Woods, 1935’, we see on page 255, Samuel Crawley was the Consul of Smyrna (at the time they were appointed by the Levant Company) during 1742-62 (as can be seen above when he died aged 57) - click here to view.

8 Madama Han: Fani Kleanthi – in her book Smirni- “The Madama Han” owned by Constantino Amira (pls see my article Boudja, note 1) sold in the beginning of the XVIIIth century to a French lady who took the name.
Çınar Atay in his book “Izmir Hanları” recounts: The han close to St. Polycarpe was build or bought by a Consul of Netherlands, for his wife Clara de Hochepied. From another source we learn that the Consul’s name was Constantin Amira, concludes Atay.
In my opinion both writers make an error each: Madama Clara was not French and Amira was not a Consul but the first owner. In the book “Les Consuls de France au Siecle de Lumiere” of Anne Meir Clara Colyer, born in The Hague 11 May 1662 and died in 1733 in Izmir, was the daughter of Justinus Colyer (1624-1688), Count of the Holy Roman Empire and of Marie Engelbert (1628-1688). Some sources mention her with the name as Colyear.

9 İlhan Pınar: Hacılar, Seyyahlar, Misyonerler, Yabancıların Gözüyle Osmanlı Dönemindeki Izmir [Pilgrims, Travellers, Missionaries, Izmir in the Ottoman period through the eyes of foreigners] (1608-1912), İzmir Büyük Şehir Belediyesi Kültür Yayınları 2001.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 Leidstar or Leytstar: Dutch Family of probable Swedish origin. David Leidstar left Holland for Izmir in 1731. Justinus born in Istanbul and went in 1739 to Ankara. Dutch merchants in Galata, Pietro Leidstar was treasurer of the Dutch nation, charged with the levying the embassy and consulate taxes.

13 Von Heidenstam: A Swedish family, Gerhard Johan Balthazar von Heidenstam was (from 1782 to 1791) Ambassador of Sweden in Istanbul (Source: İslam Ansiklopedisi). From the families mentioned in the text Ambassador Jacobes Colyer (from 1682 to 1725) succeeded his father Justinus who was Ambassador of Netherlands in Istanbul from 1668 to 1682. Several members of the de Hochepied family occupied the functions of consul in Izmir from 1687 to 1824. In addition, Elbert de Hochepied was the Ambassador in Istanbul from 1747 until 1763. Source: Eastward Bound Dutch ventures and adventures in the Middle East of G.J.H. von Gelder, Ed. de Moor, Page 95, Note 40.

14 Burgazova: See my article (in French) on Lamartine, Tire et les Baltazzi’.

15 Akchameshed (today Şehitler at Torbalı) is one of the six farms (39.000 hectares) in old Tire. Burgazova was owned by my great, great, grand father Emanuele Baltazzi and let to the Sultan for Lamartine (see note 14 above).

16 Morier: A naturalized British family of Swiss origin. There is interesting information on this family in the book “Ottoman and Persian Odysseys - James Morier creator of Hajji Baba of Ispahan of Henry Mc Kenzie Johnston” (viewable on the Internet). The book mentions Isaac and Elisabeth Clara Morier (born Van Lennep). “Her parents (Clara’s) had provided the couple with their own apartments in the rambling house on Frank street and her father (David George van Lennep) build for them a small house at Seydiköy”. James Morier was the son of Isaac and Elisabeth Clara Morier.

17 Wilkmann: I could not find any info on this family, only listed as one of the families with this German name emigrating to USA. Ship Passenger Records list 13 names, possibly all from the same family. (view partial listing)

18 Keun: There is an Aperçu Historique et Genealogique de la famille Keun (info) of Prince Flavio Borghese, Rome 1961 to whom they are related. The Dutch origin Keuns are also mentioned in my articles on Boudja and Bornova where members of this family also lived.

19 Arlaud: As per Jan Schmidt - from Anatolia to Indonesia - Opium traders in Istanbul – Arlaud & Co was established since the 18th century and was the successor to Bornman & Co. The family were under Dutch protection in Turkey. The head of the firm P.C. Arlaud had been for many years the Dutch Embassy’s chancellor in Constantinople. Oliver Jens Schmitt in his book “Les Levantins” mentions (page 150) the Arlaud as French amongst the Catholic (registered in the Church of St Pierre-et-Paul) Galata Levantine Families (1812). - a simplified descendancy tree of the Arlaud family, Istanbul branch:

20 Omiros (Homere): A Greek cosmopolitan family originating from Chios established in Izmir since 1691 and active in sea trade. Giorgios Omiros is one of the founders of the Evangeliki School. I mentioned my close relatives the Omiros in my Cordelio article, a neighbourhood where this family lived and also including a partial tree.

21 Prasakaki: An old Chiot family (in the Dodekada- the first twelve families of the Argenti’s Libro d’Oro), in 1743 visible in Izmir as traders. Later on Leonin Prasakaki was also in Istanbul.

22 Schilizzi (Skilitzi - Skilitsi): A great old Chiot family (in the Pentada, the first five of the Libro d’Oro) of Byzantine origin (11th century) the first Schilizzi was in Chios in 1511. They were sea traders, bankers and physicians. The current hospital in Chios (considered the second best of Greece) the Skilitsion was founded by them. Doctor Petros Schilizzi studied medecine in Florence. A descendant of this branch is Constantinos Schilizzi married an Elisabeth Omiro in Seydiköy. Ioanis Isidoridis Schilizzi published many newspapers in Izmir. The Schilizzis in Izmir, Istanbul, Syra and Marseilles were bankers and traders. They were also benefactors of Greek communities and great patriots. Helene Schilizzi, married Elefterios Venizelos, the great Greek statesman. Some Schilizzis who lived in Bulgaria changed their name for a time to Stefanovitch (we also see some in Istanbul with this name) - genealogy details on Christopher Long’s web site.

23 Kazaemir: According to Kararas in Kazaemir (where before 1922 30 Greeks lived) close the station (Gaziemir) was situated the warehouse of E. Stavridi, a former alcohol factory of the Falbo brothers. Beyond the station was the real estate of G. Fotiadi the Villa Kros (Cros)??. Texier (author of Asie Mineure) also mentions Cumaovası (Tzimovasi) where many of the Seydiköy residents had farms (Pandelidi Ioanidi had a farm of 5000 acres) and where also the Greek Orthodox Church of Agia Irini was situated.

24 Foscolo: Sturdza in Les Grandes Familles with ref. to C. Antona - Traversi – Della Famiglia di Ugo Foscolo – Milan 1886: “Tres ancien lignage de feudetaires venitiens de Crete etablis a Corfou en 1669 puis a Zante a partir du XVIII siecle, sans que la parenté avec la patricienne famille Foscolo de Venise puisse etre prouvée.” They married with native Greeks, in spite of that, Ugo Foscolo affirmed the family was not noble in Zante (Zakinthos) relatives to Narantzi, Serra and with families of the Libro d’Oro, Micalizzi, Voultso and Someriti. Rinaldo Marmara mentions the Foscolos in the registers of Latins de baptemes de Chios (1814-1988) Foscolo Elena, Luigi and Giovanni, sons of Giuseppe, whereas Marco and Masis Foscolos are mentioned as of Tinos origin in the death registers (1800-1858) of St. Marie Draperis Catholic Church, Istanbul. Oliver Jens Schmitt (author of Les Levantins) mentions Foscolos from Tinos – Catholic Ottomans in Istanbul and Izmir and Italians after 1923. I think that there could be various branches of the same family coming from the Greek Islands. Some were Hellenized taking the Orthodox religion whereas some remained Latin Catholics.

25 Plague: It is mentioned by various authors that Aristide Baltazzi Bey built a house in his Aliağa farm to be able to escape during plague epidemies.

The ruins of one of the wine distilleries of Seydiköy today. The Greek community ran 3 Raki and 5 wine distilleries in this town pre 1922 - more modern images of this village.

A contemporary re-depiction of the locations as recalled by a former member of the Greek community of Seydiköy - hover on numbers to reveal English labels.

The English translation of above map - pen translations courtesy of George Poulimenos.

A more detailed Seydiköy map courtesy of Wallis Kidd, from family records - click on image to enlarge - English version.

Translation: View of the Fotiadis residence at Seydiköy (picture 1920). The statue in front symbolizes winter.

The former railway station of Seydiköy, disused since the late 1970s.

A Greek annotated map of Smyrna region, showing the position of Seydiköy - pen translations courtesy of Alex Baltazzi.

Click here for a translated segment of Nikos Kararas’s book on ‘To Sevdikioi’.
Click here for Mr Baltazzi’s companion article on the heritage of Boudja.
Click here for Mr Baltazzi’s companion article on the heritage of Paradiso / Şirinyer.
Click here for Mr Baltazzi’s companion article on the heritage of Cordelio / Karşıyaka.
Click here for Mr Baltazzi’s companion article on the heritage of Bournabat / Bornova.
Click here for Mr Baltazzi’s companion article on the heritage of Bayraklı / Turan and region.

Alex Baltazzi 2009