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Aydın is a city in southwestern Turkey near the Menderes River. It is an important trading center on the Afyon-İzmir highway and railway line. Nearby is the site of ancient Tralles which is said to have been founded by the Argives. Aydın was called Güzelhisar - “Beautiful Castle” - under the Turkmen Menteşe Emirs in the 13th century. Renamed for the 14th century ruling dynasty of Aydın, it was annexed to the Ottoman Empire in about 1390. Timur (Tamerlane), who conquered it in 1402, re-established the principality of Aydın; but it was soon recaptured by the Ottomans. Aydın is located along a region which was famous for its fertile land and productivity ever since ancient times. Figs remain the province's best-known crop even though other agricultural products are also cultivated heavily - in addition the city has some light industry. A six-lane highway connects Aydın to İzmir in less than an hour or much quicker with the Adnan Menderes Airport located along the highway between the two cities. The Aydın region also pioneered the introduction of railway transportation in Turkey during the 19th century and still has the most dense railroad network. Aydın also the largest urban center in Turkey administered by a female Mayor - Mrs. Özlem Çerçioğlu who was elected in 2009.
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