Dedeagatch - Encyclopedia

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DEDEAGATCH, a seaport of European Turkey, in the vilayet of Adrianople, io m. N.W. of the Maritza estuary, on the Gulf of Enos, an inlet of the Aegean Sea. Pop. (1905) about 3000, mostly Greeks. Until 1871 Dedeagatch was a mere cluster of fishermen's huts. A new town then began to spring up, settlers being attracted by the prospect of opening up a trade in the products of a vast forest of valonia oaks which grew near. In 1873 it was made the chief town of a Kaza, to which it gave its name, and a Kaimakam was appointed to it. In 1884 it was raised in administrative rank from a Kaza to a Sanjak, and the governor became a Mutessarif. In 1889 the Greek archbishopric of Enos was transferred to Dedeagatch. On the opening, early in 1896, of the Constantinople-Salonica railway, which has a station here, a large proportion of the extensive transit trade which Enos, situated at the mouth of the Maritza, had acquired, was immediately diverted to Dedeagatch, and an era of unprecedented prosperity began; but when the railway connecting Burgas on the Black Sea with the interior was opened, in 1898, Dedeagatch lost all it had won from Enos. Owing to the lack of shelter in its open roadstead, the port has not become the great commercial centre which its position otherwise qualifies it to be. It is, however, one of the chief outlets for the grain trade of the Adrianople, Demotica and Xanthi districts. The valonia trade has also steadily developed, and is supplemented by the export of timber, tobacco and almonds. In 1871, while digging out the foundations of their houses, the settlers found many ancient tombs. Probably these are relics, not of the necropolis of the ancient Zone, but of a monastic community of Dervishes, of the Dede sect, which was established here in the 15th century, shortly after the Turkish conquest, and gave to the place its name.

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