Bursa is a city in the Asian part of Marmara Region, Turkey. Bursa lies in the northwestern part of Turkey near the Sea of Marmara, about 20 km inland. Bursa was the first major city the Ottomans, who started as a small emirate in thecountryside just east of Bursa, had taken control of. As such, it served as the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire, from 1326, when it was captured from the Byzantines, to 1365, when the capital was moved to Edirne in European Turkey, as sultans started to turn their attention to Europe. Most of the historic sights of the city date back to this early period of the Ottomans.
Today, with a population of more than 2,500,000, Bursa is the fourth largest city in Turkey after Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. It is famous for its peach, chestnut, and silk, although lately, heavy industry located in the outskirts of the city has surpassed these traditional industries.
Furthermore, Uludağ—one of the highest mountains in Turkey—lies very close to Bursa and is the main winter sports center of Turkey.
The earliest known settlement at this location was the ancient Greek city of Cius, which Philip V of Macedon granted to Prusias, the King ofBithynia, in 202 BC. Prusias rebuilt the city and renamed it Prusa (Ancient Greek: Προῦσα). After 128 years of Bithynian rule, Nicomedes IV, the last King of Bithynia, bequeathed the entire kingdom to the Roman Empire in 74 BC.
During the Ottoman period, Bursa continued to be the source of most royal silk products. Aside from the local silk production, the city imported raw silk from Iran, and occasionally from China, and was the main production center for the kaftans, pillows, embroidery and other silk products for the Ottoman palaces until the 17th century.
Following the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, Bursa became one of the industrial centers of the country. The economic development of the city was followed by population growth and Bursa became the 4th most populous city in Turkey.
The city has traditionally been a pole of attraction, and was a major center for refugees from various ethnic backgrounds who immigrated to Anatoliafrom the Balkans during the loss of the Ottoman territories in Europe between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The most recent arrival of Balkan Turks took place in the 1940s until the 1990s, when the communist regime in Bulgaria expelled approximately 150,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey. About one-third of these 150,000 Bulgarian Turkish refugees eventually settled in Bursa.