Inside the borders of Denizli province, Çardak county has a population of 8960 people as of 2015; it is located on historical road that leads Big Menderes Valley. Today, the transportation towards west is done via Denizli-Aydın-İzmir Highway and towards east is done via Afyon-Isparta-Burdur highway. Çardak is included in Western Toros lakes region and it shows its geographic characteristics.
Çardak was founded by a Turkoman tribe called Körin in the mountain foots of Mount Maymun (Monkey) in 1105. It was under Roman Empire’s governance for some time then in 1207 they joined Anatolian Seljuk. Then later on they joined Ottoman Empire in 1429. After foundation of Turkish National Assembly (TNA) in Anatolia with the leadership of Mustafa Kemal (aka: Atatürk) Denizli was separated from Aydın on the date of May 31, 1920 and became a province by its own. After this regulation Çardak, with all other settlements in Hanbat plain are tied inside Afyon province’s borders and included in Dinar county’s lands. However Çardak was tied to Afyon officially, because of its geographic location, social and economic relations, it was always faced towards Denizli. Therefore Çardak, was tied to Denizli in December 12, 1944 by ruling government of Şükrü Saraçoğlu. Çardak at first with all villages around it tied to sub-district of Honaz and then after a while to sub-district of Bozkurt (gray wolf), which was the center of all settlements in Hanbat plain. Yet it got bigger and bigger, because of its properties and becoming a county itself in April 1, 1958.
Where is the name of Çardak derived from?
While sitting on the outskirts of Mount Maymun (Monkey), Çardak, was a little village with its people live on raising livestock in medieval times. With the purpose of protecting their animals from sun, they all constructed pergolas adjacent to their houses, called “Çardak” in Turkish. This little Turkoman village called “Çardaklı Köy” (the village with the pergolas) by other villagers and the merchants passing by through pack trails south of the village. Later on this name embraced by the local Turkomans, too and it reached today as Çardak (pergola), after omitting of the word “Köy” (village).
History of the County
The history of the county begins with the Phrygians as we can understand from the works of historians.
In the book “Seven Church”, when he left the Kelene, Persian ruler Xerxes mentions city of Phrygia, and also a salt lake, that close to a town named Avana. Famous historian Herodotus also mentioned this bitter lake (acı göl) on his book, it is now believed that the bitter lake mentioned on these books was “Acıgöl” and the settlement was Çardak. County was ruled by Seljuks, after Phrygians. County has lots of remnants of these and the following civilizations. Seljuks, because they were pursuing mostly merchant and military policies, they left historical buildings like Akhan (White Inn) on the big trade route and Han’i Âbâd (Convenances Caravanserai) in the county. The Caravanserai now surrounded by Çardak County. Like all caravanserais Han’i Âbâd was built on trade route for merchants to stop over. According to historians, Han’i Âbâd caravanserai was built in 1299 by Esüddin under the reign of Sultan of Seljuks Alaettin the first, however on an epigraph on caravanserai it is stated that the caravanserai was built in the year 627 on Ramadan by generalissimo Ayaz under the reign of Bi Ribat Khan Alaettin Keykubat. Çardak was a defense center for Seljuks as a border castle. In times of Anatolian Beyliks, the area first captured by Ladiks, then Germiyanids. The lands of Germiyanids were annexed by Sultan Beyazid (the 1st) Khan for Ottoman Empire. After the Battle of Angora, the area was captured by Timur and some of his soldiers are settled for a couple of years in a caravanserai in the county. After the withdrawal of Timur towards east for a short time some other beyliks ruled the land till the year 1429, then it is again captured by Ottoman Empire and tied to Aydın province. After the reconstruction of governmental provinces on the beginning of Republic era, Çardak, as a little village back then, first tied to Dinar and then Honaz county. On the date of April 1, 1958, Çardak tied to Denizli as a county while it was still a village. County’s surface area is 235,867 km². County area is originating from 4th period alluvium layers. The North-west of the Lake Acıgöl (bitter lake) consist of this structure. The Mount Maymun (monkey) lying north of the Lake Acıgöl is consist of limestone.
The Çardak county center’s altitude is 850m. The altitude of Mount Maymun, which is lying north of county center, is 1733m. The Han’i Âbâd (Convenances Caravanserai) is located in west of lake Acıgöl and surrounded by Mount Maymun in the North and Söğüt Mountains in the South. There is no stream in Çardak. Çardak is located between Aegean and Mediterranean geographical districts but shows the characteristics of continental climate. Summers are hot and dry, winters are cold and snowy. In the borders of county there are three lakes named Lake Acıgöl, Lake Beylerli and Lake Gölcük.
The airport which is 65km away from Denizli city center, first opened the civil transportation in 1991 with a 250m² prefabricated building after the signed protocol about “The Usage of Military Airbases for Civil Transportation Services” between DHMİ (State Airport Management) and Airforce. The 250m² terminal was not to fit on service and in October 26, 1998 another 2000m² prefabricated building, which transferred from another airport, was put to service. Meanwhile because of the opening of international flights, places for passport check and custom offices were set. Because of increasing passenger activity and opening of international flights it is thought this new 2000m² terminal won’t be enough, too and a feasibility work began in 1998 on tarmac’s south eastern part for a terminal can cover 2.200.000 pax/year with 280.000m² ground coverage. The construction began in 2001 and began serving in April 23, 2008. It is still serving, beginning with the given date in its new 18.739m² terminal with fine and clean working environment and elite service understanding.
Ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), mating in both marshy areas and the mountains surrounding them can be seen a lot throughout the year. In 1993, a flamingo colonia consisting 150 nests was discovered around the Acıgöl (Bitter Lake). This discovery put Acıgöl on 5th spot that flamingos mate in Turkey, however it is believed that they don’t mate annually in the lake area. Also with pied avocet, snowy plover, spur-winged plover and smiley tern populations area earn a “Special Guarding Area” status. Till not so long ago there were an otis tarda (Toy in Turkish) population around. It is not a coincidence that an area Nort-East of the lake called “Toygüden” (Otis Tarda Herd).