Tekirdağ (pronounced TEH-keer-daa) is a city of 973,000 (2016 census) in European Turkey, on the northern shoreline of the Sea of Marmara. Tekirdağ is 132 km west of Istanbul, the biggest city of Turkey. The city is surrounded by the Sea of Marmara on one side, and by sunflower and grain fields on the other. On the hillsides to the southwest, viniculture is an important activity.
Tekirdağ was founded as "Byzanthe" by Thracians in what is now Barbaros, a village 9 km southwest of Tekirdağ. It was then colonised by Greeks from the Aegean island of Samos. After the Roman Empire was split into two parts, Tekirdağ remained in Byzantine hands and in 14th century captured by Ottoman Turks who gave the city the name "Rodosçuk". Its name underwent several changes and took its current form in 1927, in the early years of Turkish Republic.
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