An extract on #buca
Buca was one of the preferred settlement areas of zmir's community of Levantines. The great mansions they built in the 19th century stand to this day, most of them restored.
The district center is situated slightly inland like the district of Bornova with which it shares important points in common, and on the higher ground that commands the southern shores of the tip of the Gulf of zmir. Buca existed from the Byzantine times and was inhabited by Greeks, mainly farmers. However, Buca started to develop as of the end of the 17th century when the French consulate in zmir moved there following the 1676 plague and the 1688 Smyrna earthquake that seriously shook zmir's core as an international trade center. Its rich Levantine residents who acquired the surrounding vineyards typically had Latin backgrounds, as opposed to those who originally came from Britain and who preferred Bornova. But in the case both of Bornova and of Buca, the concentration in terms of ethnic backgrounds was far from having an exclusive nature. Yet, in 1770, following the failure of the Orlov Revolt, a revolt of the Greeks in today's Greece against the Ottoman occupation encouraged by the Russian Nobles Orlov in 1770 (during the Russo-Turkish War (17681774)), many Greeks from the revolted regions fled from Peloponnese, Chios, Andros, and Kythira and settled in Buca, contributing to the growth of the place.
Later, in 1861, when the railway reached Buca from Smyrna, many rich Europeans from Smyrna built their summer houses in Buca. Yet, due to its substantial growth, Buca soon became a suburb of Smyrna and people started to stay there permanently. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were three Greek Orthodox churches, two Greek community schools (one for males, one for females) as well as some private Greek schools also, while there were two private English schools, one catholic nonnes' school and one Capuchin monks school. The Greeks, together with other Christian inhabitants, constituted the majority of the local population, while Muslim (Turkish) population was very small. However, Greek inhabitants were expulsed in 1922 and fled to Greece, where they named their new settlement "Neos Voutzas" (meaning "New Buca"), close to Athens. As a result, there are today only a Catholic and a Baptist church in service in Buca. Many of the 19th-century houses have been restored and are still being used either by public institutions or by private persons, although many still need care. The core area of Buca could preserve its traditional architectural tissue based on two-storey residences, while apartment blocks mushroomed in its extensions, as it is the case in all localities in Turkey which had to absorb immigration. There are a number of municipal parks, notably a vast ongoing project that comprises seven artificial lakes.