History of Çamaltı Saltworks

Çamaltı Saltworks is located in İzmir region, Çiğli district, Sasalı town.

Çamaltı Saltworks established over 73km2 in Gediz Delta is the biggest solar saltworks of our country with an industrial history of 150 years. Sasalı town, Sasalı Organized Industrial Area, Süzbeyli village are located at the south and west, İzmir – Menemen Organized Industrial Area and İzmir Bird Paradise are located at the north.

The place of establishment is chosen by considering the reasons that the area has a lower slope, low rainfall ratio, high degree of net evaporation, dry winds and large marketing opportunities.

Gediz River has created this biggest sea saltworks of Turkey by the alluvions being carried from the inner Anatolia to the shores throughout thousands of years. Gediz River which have flown towards the south of the saltworks until the 20. century, have changed its stream bed twice to the north and reached its current location.

The current production capacity is 600.000 MT in the Çamaltı Saltworks which dates back to the 250-300 B.C. where the salts accumulating in the small coastal lakes over the centuries were collected by primitive methods. The saltworks which was used for the first time by Macedonians has been operated and developed by Seljuk and Ottoman periods as well. It is mentioned as “Tuzla-i Melemeniye” in the Seyahatname book by Evliya Çelebi who visited the area between the years of 1671-1672. Salt produced in the saltworks which was first privatized in the period of Sultan Abdülmecid used to be sent to Balıkesir, Aydın and Afyon regions with thousands of camels. Tax was collected from the salt producers at that time.

Çamaltı saltworks which was modernized for the first time in 1863 by Italians was operated by local salt producers for a while and later the management was taken over by the Galata bankers with the condition that they were to pay a small amount of tax to the treasury against the salt production. Çamaltı saltworks was reconstructed again between the years 1909-1910 due to the overflow of Gediz River in 1902.

Çamaltı Saltworks has been expropriated in 1912 and transferred to the Ministry of Finance and then in 1933 it was attached to the Ministry of Monopolies. The production capacity has been increased to 400.000 tons with the expropriation and extension works carried out since 1952. These works were contributed by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 1973. In the report which is prepared within this scope it has been mentioned that the production is decreased due to not being facilitated from the missing evaporation area, lack of enough reserve and water and the lack of high density sea water stock. Due to this reason 20 km2 area has been expropriated and the area is extended to 73 km2.

As a result of these improvements, the production capacity of the Çamaltı Saltworks has been increased to 600.000 MT depending on the seasonal conditions.