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Bolvadin (District Municipality, Turkey)

Last modified: 2022-11-19 by ian macdonald
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[Flag] image by Tomislav Šipek, 3 January 2022

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Flag of Bolvadin

The new flag is also white with a new logo.

Tomislav Šipek, 3 January 2022

The municipality of Bolvadin (43,398 inhabitants in 2018, 32,475 in the town of Bolvadin; 111,500 ha) is located 50 km east of Afyonkarahisar, west of Lake Eber.

The logo features historical Kırkgöz bridge, which is named after the word “kirk” expressing the notion of multiplicity in Turkish mythology. The bridge is positioned over the Akarçay (Kaystros) that pours into Lake Eber, which is located 7 km south of the Bolvadin (Polybotum) district along the Anatolian Caravan Road. Historical King’s Way, which is mentioned in many military and commercial journeys, also passes along this bridge. Silk Road, which starts from China, passing Middle Asia and reaching Anatolia over Persia, also passes along Kırkgöz Bridge.

Although it has not been possible to reach definite findings regarding the exact date of its construction, the first sources that mention this bridge are Hittite tablets kept in Ankara ProAsia Civilizations Museum. Accordingly, King Mursil II used this bridge in 1344 BC for the Arzava Crusade.
This bridge has witnessed a number of crusades, wars, processions, destructions, restorations, additions and interventions. In 401 BC, Cyrus, Anatolian governor of Persia, reportedly passed this bridge with his armies of more than tens of thousands of soldiers. In 133 AD, Roman Emperor Hadrian dropped by Polybotum during his visit to Anatolia. A coin was minted to commemorate this visit and statues of the emperor were erected all over the city. Hadrian improved the bridge alongside the city. Byzantine Emperor Ramnos Diogenes repaired the bridge, along with the roads in 1070, which were damaged by the Crusaders in 1097, and repaired again in 1150 by Emperor Manuel Doukas.
After the incorporation in 1362 of Bolvadin to the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Murat I, Kırkgöz bridge was used by subsequent sultans in all their eastern crusades. In 1534, Suleiman the Magnificent passed the bridge on his way to Baghdad and commissioned in 1550 architect Sinan in to repair it. The number of arches was increased up to 64 and a prayer area was added to the Bolvadin side.
Roads changed in 1895 after the opening of the Berlin-Baghdad railway. The Sogutlu Road, which connected Bolvadin to Kırkgöz, lost its significance. The New Station Road was opened and Develi Bridge was widened. Kırkgöz Bridge lost its function and was eventually abandoned after 1970.

The bridge is composed of three separate sections that have been constructed in different historical periods. The bridge previously had 64 arches but today it has a total of only 56. Eight arches were demolished by the State Hydraulic Works in the Republican period, during the formation of the new Akarçay river course towards the north of the existing course.
The oldest part of the bridge, from the Roman period, is located on the Akarçay river course. Starting from the 23rd arched opening from the east, this section has in total 15 round arches, ending at the 37th arch opening on the east. The distances of arch openings and wall construction techniques change at this section. The arches are made of large basalt stones and have circular shapes. This type of arched bridge is observed in the early stages of the Roman Empire period.
The west part of the bridge starting from 38th arched opening, with 19 arches, is from the Seljuk period. The arched openings have different sizes, usually in double-centered pointed tangent shape. The span of the arches increases and rises towards the middle section of the bridge. The 41st arch from the east is the highest and the most extensive arched opening at this section.
What survives to the south of the old bridge shows that originally the road was on the low ground and that later the annual flooding of Lake Eber raised the bed of the marsh and made the construction of the embankment imperative.

Z. Akdemir & G. Sener. 2010. The assessment of Kırkgöz Bridge in the context of sustainable, cultural and architectural heritage.
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 142 117-129.
Ivan Sache, 4 January 2022

Former flag

[Flag] image by Tomislav Šipek, 14 April 2015

The [former] flag of Bolvadin (photo) is white with the municipality's emblem, featuring a stymized poppy capsule. "Belediye Başkanlığı" means "Municipality Presidency".

Bolvadin is located in a main area of poppy growing.
Dried opium poppy fruits (capsules) are worked up to isolate morphine at the Opium Alkaloids Factory in Bolvadin. Morphine consists of 68-70% of total alkaloids in the fruitd. The remaining 30-32% of alkaloids are just wasted. The factory has the capacity to work up annually 20,000 t of poppy capsules. The factory consists of two main units. In the Alakaloid Extraction Unit only base morphine is produced. In the adjacent Derivatives Unit half of the morphine extracted is converted to morphine hydrochloride, morphine sulphate, ethylmorphine hydrochloride. These alkaloids are sold after pharmacopoeial compliance is achieved.
[K. Hüsnü Can Bser & N. Arslan. 2014. Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Pp. 305-330 in Z. Yaniv & N. Dudai (Eds.) Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Middle-East. Springer]

Tomislav Šipek & Ivan Sache, 18 November 2017


Professional boards

Bolvadin Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Flag of the Bolvadin Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 September 2019

The flag of the Bolvadin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (photo, photo) is white with the organization's emblem.

Ivan Sache, 2 September 2019

Bolvadin Commodity Exchange


Flag of the Bolvadin Commodity Exchange - Image by Ivan Sache, 18 November 2017

The flag of the Bolvadin Commodity Exchange (photo, photo) is white with the organization's logo.

Ivan Sache, 18 November 2017