PTOLEMEDIA

Kayalar was a town located in the region of Manastır in the District of Serfice. It was also called Cuma, Cumapazarı, Serfice Cuması, Kayılar (Sezen, 2006, p.301). Kayalar was divided into two neighborhoods known as Upper and Lower Kayalar by a river known as the ‘Sulu Dere’. What used to be the river is now a street.

Evliya Çelebi wrote the following about is visit to the area known as Cuma: 

“It is the land of Trikala, ruled by a Voyvoda and under the direction of the Yenisehir mullah. It has several council members and a Janissary Commander. Founded on a broad plain this small town has seven neighborhoods, seven mihrabs, vineyards and gardens. The people worship in the Omer Bey and Ali Çavuş Mosques. The first is a lead – covered, light mosque. The town has five Dervish Lodges, one madrasah, one bath, two Primary Schools, three traveler’s inns, two trader’s hans and twenty shops. The air and water is soft and it is a rich and properous town. Hadim Agha and his brother Musa Agha are very hospitable peole''(VIII, 1966, p.58).

After the Ottomans lost the territory, in 1924, the Governor of Macedonia sent a circular to the local administrative authorities and wanted the Muslim community representatives to prepare a detailed list containing the names of the villages, schools, mosques, Dervish Lodges, madrasahs and the registers of all the Muslim religious foundations (Vakiflar). In the Historical Archive of Macedonia there is a document (file number 56, dated May 16, 1914) which was sent to the Governor by the inspector of the Kayalar Primary School. The document has 3 separate lists attached showing the statistics related to the number of students and schools and the Turkish teachers in those schools. The inspector stated that most of the people are Muslims and speak Turkish. The list which carries the title of “Statistics of the Foreign Schools of the Kayalar Region”, lists school type, number of students and teachers, school spending and some other observations. This document is dated May 15, 1914 and carries the signatures of the inspectors.

 In the third list attached to the document, information concerning the teachers in the Turkish Schools is included and it contains entries related to the 51 teachers. These statistics show the names of the teachers, where they lived, their ages, wages, marital status, educational and Civil Service status and the tasks of their settlements. The teachers in the Kayalar Region were young and it can be understood that they graduated from the Manastır Senior High School, Manastır Teaching School, Manastır Junior High School, the Istanbul Madrasah, the Serfice Junior High School, and the Kayalar and Vodina Junior High Schools. Besides the lessons given by teachers in these schools, there were also lessons given by reiligious teachers (hodjas). It seems that most of the teachers and hodjas served in the regions where they were born and raised (Valsamidis, 2003, pp.257-259).

The Turkish Schools continued their activities until the population exchange in 1923 (Valsamidis, 2003, p.269).

 In the early of 20th century, the population of the town was about 23575, of which 7190 were Greek. The District Governor of Kayalar sent a telegraph to the Thessaloniki Governor on 1 February 1923 that read; “There are 29121 Turks, 6270 Greeks, 4800 people speaking Bulgarian and Slavic and 450 Vlah in the region” (Valsamidis, 2003, p.256).

The majority Turks left Kayalar during the population exchange. According to the decree of the Executive Committee dated 17 July 1923, some of them were transported to Amasya, Tokat and Sivas. 7000 Kayalar emigrants were sent to Samsun (İpek, 2000, pp.42, 50). Greeks from Gelibolu, Trakya and the Black Sea Region were settled in Lower Kayalar and others from the Aegen and Marmara regions were settled in Upper Kayalar.

 The only example of Ottoman architecture is the Governor House in Kayalar,which is known as Ptolemedia today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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