Baia dei Turchi or Turkish Bay

Aerial view of Baia dei Turchi, Puglia region, Italy

Baia dei Turchi or Turkish Bay

The Salento coast offers the opportunity to enjoy unique and wonderful landscape beauties, but also to discover some curiosities which characterise the long and troubled history of this corner of Puglia.
A few kilometres north of Otranto, there is one of the most popular and evocative beaches in the whole of Salento “the Baia dei Turchi”. Its turquoise sea, caresses the white beach set in the rock and is embraced by the thick Mediterranean pine forest.

Turkish Bay (or Baia dei Turchi). Just a few kilometers north of Otranto, this coast is one of the most important ecosystems in Salento and Apulia

Baia dei Turchi or Turkish Bay

In addition to the Alimini Lakes oasis being an important naturalistic location, a historical event that has profoundly marked the events of this area is said to be linked to this beach.
This stretch of coast took the name of Baia dei Turchi precisely because, according to tradition, the fleet of Sultan Mohammed II landed here and attacked Otranto.
The siege lasted two weeks, at the end of which the citizens of Otranto were killed or used as slaves.

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According to tradition, the inhabitants who had taken refuge in the Cathedral were still given the possibility of saving their lives provided they converted to Islam. Following their refusal, the Turks brutally killed them and today those heroic men are remembered and venerated as the Martyrs of Otranto.
The relics of the 813 Martyrs are still kept in the Cathedral of Otranto and every year between 13th and 14th August the feast is celebrated in honour of the Holy Martyrs.

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Gravina in Puglia
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