Ordu is the capital of the province of Ordu, and where I call home. During my first visit to Ordu in the Fall of 2013, I fell in love with the seaside city. Ordu offers exactly what we wanted in our escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city, Istanbul. Within eight months we packed our things and made our escape to Ordu. Many people ask, why Ordu? So I have compiled a short list of my answers.
- There’s Nature. Ordu is still a city of about 180,000 people, so it isn’t necessarily rural. However, within only a 5-10 minute drive you can experience nature. Not only that there’s also a choice of what kind of nature to experience with lush green mountains and rushing streams, or the vast blue expanse of the Black Sea. Being in nature restores my energy and gives me a fresh perspective.
- The Beach. No, this is not the same as the previous answer. Yes, it does consist of a nature component, but Ordu has a great beach to enjoy in all seasons. In Ordu, the coastal highway does not run directly along the coast as it does in the other cities on the Black Sea. Instead there is a lovely park and amenities for picnicking, walking/biking, and for swimming in the summer. The local government does a fantastic job maintaining the park.
- Small Town (City) Feel. I already mentioned that Ordu is technically a city. However, it doesn’t really feel that way. In general there are not very many foreigners, from overseas or from other provinces. So, everyone seems to know one another. Some people enjoy the anonymity of living in a big city, but I prefer to know people and to be known. I am constently running into people that I met, and even the people I haven’t met know that I exist. I like the feeling of being a part of something.
- Slower Pace. Ordu is not the commercial hub like many of the other cities in Turkey. Most people make their living from agriculture which by nature isn’t something that benefits from being in a hurry. In the city people do have other jobs in retail or the service industry, and many of them work long hours. However, there seems to be more of a balance to life and work.
- The culture. The world is shrinking faster and faster due to commercialization and the proliferation of the internet. I admit that there are some benefits to this, but I also love to experience and see how other people live. People are all created uniquely with different worldviews and perspectives. Those that live in a monoculture miss opportunities to see ideas and life from a different vantage point. It is amazing what you can learn about yourself when you look at your world with a different set of glasses. Ordu amazingly has maintained a lot of their culture, and it’s a pleasure to experience it. The farther you get from the city center the more you can witness the cultural differences.
Note: In 2012, the province of Ordu’s municipality structure was changed to “Big City” municipality, Büyükşehir Belediyesi. In short this means that the entire province and all the counties were united under one governance. Since the City of Ordu shares the same name as the entire province and to avoid some confusion, the city name (and county) has changed to Altınordu (or Gold Ordu).