If it leads to more archaeological excavations, i should be pleased, but i’m a little baffled by these two Turkish politicians in a shootout over whether to excavate in Ä°zmir or Buca, as the evidence that Homer lived in either area, or even lived at all, is pretty damned tenuous.
A bizarre rivalry is going on between Ä°zmir Mayor Aziz KocaoÄŸlu and Ä°zmir’s Buca Mayor Cemil Åžeboy over poet Homer, one of greatest poets in history who penned the legendary Iliad and Odyssey.
The two officials from rival parties are in a race against each other to conduct archaeological excavations in caves located in the districts of Buca and Bornova — where the poet is claimed to have lived.
The interest of the mayors in Homer, who is thought to have been born in Ä°zmir and lived between 750-700 B.C., started during the term of the late Ä°zmir Mayor Ahmet PiriÅŸtina, when a monument in honor of Homer was erected at the Meles River delta, which was named after Melesigenes.
According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Homer’s most favored nickname was Melesigenes, which means “Child of Meles Brook.”
The monument depicts Homer with the carvings of figures in the Iliad.
KocaoÄŸlu, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), vowed prior to the elections that he would realize a project titled “Valley of Homer” in the area surrounding the Bornova River, where the poet is thought to have lived. KocaoÄŸlu said in November that research would be conducted in the caves Homer is claimed to have lived in, with the collaboration of the Ege and Dokuz EylÃ¼l universities.
KocaoÄŸlu claimed the region would become a center of attraction for the world if discoveries proved that Homer had lived in the area.
Buca Municipality quicker:
However, Åžeboy, who is a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has pipped KocaoÄŸlu to the post by signing a deal with the provincial Culture Directorate to launch excavations in the district.
The municipality said in a statement that archaeologist Yusuf GÃ¼l had presented a report to the Ä°zmir Archaeology Museum saying he had made significant discoveries that demonstrated Homer had lived and written his poems in Buca.
The excavations have yet to start in Bornova and Buca.
The rivalry is likely to positively affect the tourism potential of both districts.
Proof that Homer had lived in Ä°zmir comes from the content of his poems in which he talks about a place where the sacred River of Melez reaches the sea.
Seven cities claim Homer as their countryman: Salamis, Argos, Athens, Rhodes, Chios, Colophon and Ä°zmir.
Maybe both mayors ought to read The File on H.