Pay a visit to a local pub.
When taking a tour around by bus we also went to a real Turkish pub. All the old Turkish men were there and there we were, all Dutch men and women. We didn't see any Turkish women overthere. It's not a fancy pub but it gives you an idea of what Turkish life is about.
Güvercin Ada ~ "Pigeon Island"
Cuvercin Ada or Pigeon Island, regrettably, was not a stop on the itinerary of the shore excursion we took when we visited Kusadasi and Ephesus. Actually, I don't remember seeing Pigeon Island until our ship was leaving. As our ship slowly passed the island by on out way out of port, it looked like a very enticing place to spend a Summer's day by the Aegean Sea! Waves splashed the rocky beach area which hugged the hilly island. Boats bobbed at their moorings and colorful umbrellas flapped in the sea breezes which I thought must have be very delightful because it was extremely hot & humid on the mainland that day.
The island is in the flight path of birds during the seasonal migrations, and it was originally known as Bird Island. The island lent its name to the close by town on the mainland and the town then became known as "Kusadasi" (kus" meaning bird; "ada" meaning island). However, sometime during the Ottoman reign, the island started to become to be called "Pigeon Island," and it retains that name today.
Even prior to the Ottoman period, the island was used as a defensive position which guarded the shores from attacks by sea and as such was used for military purposes. A Byzantine castle or fortress was built high atop the island, with some walls and towers remaining today. The castle was known as "Pirate Castle," although there may be conflicting opinions as to why. One source states that "Ironically, legend has it that during the 1500s the island was used by Kheir-ed-din Barbarossa (Ottoman admiral and privateer, or pirate, depending on point of view) as a base from which to operate through the Mediterranean Sea, and also as a place to stash his treasure" However, some Turkish guide sources contend that it was actually used as a citadel against pirates.
The causeway to the island makes it very accessible for day trips where several cafes serve refreshments but offer a splendid seaside retreat to view a glorious sunset. The "Citadel of Küçük Ada" now boasts a lighthouse, restaurant, and nightclub. For birdlovers, there is an aviary with several birdhouses, and with migrating birds still descending on the island. Day visitors enjoy diving " for the rocks scattered nearby in the sea give sanctuary to stingrays, sponges, morays, sea turtles, and octopi."
Kusadasi - For Better or Worse
"The Good, The Bad, The Ugly"
Honestly, Kusadasi is not one of those places people are willing to visit unless they are on a package tour and don't know any differently. That, and flocks of overaged rich women seem to congregate there for the nightlife. Aside from the overcrowded beaches and shop-lined streets in the summer time, good times can still be found if you look hard enough. Though some of the bars are cheesy, if you want a laugh, it's not bad for one night out. The weekly market takes place on Friday, and you can find cheap knock-off brandsAnd the tourism has yet to destry the natural beauty surrounding the port. Quieter options are nearby Selcuk or Sirince, but a day to Kusadasi is always an option.