Osmaneli (pop. 16,000 in 2018) is bisected by the former alignment of highway D650 (which now bypasses the town to its east): the upper side on a gentle hillside is the old town, while the lower part across the road towards the river is modern. Both are mostly low-rise.
Osmaneli used to be known as Lefke (from Greek leuka, "poplar"). In 1913, during the final decade of the Ottoman Empire, this was changed to the present name ("Osman's land"), after the founder of the empire. In the next year, the first ever Turkish air mail was transported from here to Bilecik, 25 km (16 mi) away as the crow flies.
While Osmaneli has a train station in the newer part of the town, about 30 minutes away on foot from the centre/old town, with the suspension of the Boğaziçi Express due to COVID-19 measures, no trains stop here as of Mar 2022. Try Bilecik, 35 km (22 mi) south, instead. It is served by the YHT high-speed trains from Istanbul to various destinations in Central Anatolia, including Eskişehir and Ankara.
Osmaneli is located off the highway D650, which connects Adapazarı to Bilecik, and eventually linking Istanbul with the southern city of Antalya. From Istanbul, head eastwards via D100, O-4/E80 (toll) or O-7 (toll) to Adapazarı, where you should branch off into D650 southwards.
- Traditional architecture. The old town is full of white-washed two-storey houses which maintain traditional Ottoman architecture. A brief stroll is particularly enjoyable to architecture enthusiasts.
- 1 St George Church (Aya Yorgi Kilisesi) (on the top of the hill overlooking the town, walk towards the streets to your left after entering a bit deep into the old town). Built in the late 19th century by a Hungarian architect after the whole town burnt down in a big fire, this church has been in disuse since the 1920s, when the Greek community of the town left for Greece after a population swap was mandated between Greece and Turkey. Not cared for since then, its picturesque shell now ironically looks like a fire victim, with all but its stone structure gone. However, its stone structure seems sturdy enough, with crosses still visible here and there. Although it was built for the Greek Orthodox, its architecture is atypical and resembles the Protestant churches of Central Europe better, perhaps because of its builder's origin. There is a talk of renovation and converting it into a cultural centre for the town.
- Dia (on the corner of the highway and the street which is the main entrance of old town). Daily 10:00-21:00. National supermarket chain Dia has a store in Osmaneli, where you can find bottled water, soft and alcoholic beverages, snacks, and fresh fruit on a discounted rate. Credit cards are accepted.
The telephone code of the town is (+90) 228.
- İznik, another historic town in the region, is about 30 km (19 mi) to the west. Six minibus services daily, with two-hour intervals between 08:30-18:30, connect to İznik.
|Routes through Osmaneli|
|Ends at (E) ← Adapazarı ( W, W / E) ←||N S||→ Bozüyük ( W / E) → Kütahya|
|Orhangazi ← İznik ←||W E||→ Taraklı → Ends at|