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Akarca Farm Production
The total area of The Akarca Farm is 2000 hectares ( approx. 4945 acres) wherein 500 hectares ( approx. 1235 acres) of organic olive production ensues. The age of trees differs from old ones (ages 100+ years) that were grafted with new saplings to newly planted young ones.
The predominant varietal is "Memecik" type olives which are native to the Milas Region. There is a small number of trees from other varietals such as "Gemlik", "Kalamata" and "Domat" to be used as table olives.
The olives are hand-picked where possible and mechanical shaker rakes are used. The harvested olives are then transported to the pressing mill in plastic crates and pressed within 12 hours of the daily harvest.
The carefully spanned nets between trees in selected areas similar to the farms in Italy or Spain, prevent the fall of the olives that prematurely drop from the trees, onto the ground and thus significantly slow the inevitable process of olives start fermenting inside when getting in touch with the ground after its link severed from the tree as well as making easy for pickers to harvest them.
The mill likewise has an organic certificate. It is not enough for olive oil to be deemed organic even though the olives are organic unless it is also pressed in a plant with an organic certificate. In our facility, only the Akarca Family olives are pressed and we don’t accept petitions from other producers. As of 2022 Akarca Farm, as well as the Mill and the bottling plant, have TR, EU, NOP (USDA Organic), and Japan (JAS) organic certificates. The mill also has JAKIM Halal certificate from Kascert International.
Only cold extraction (20⁰C - 24⁰C) is used in production. This is done to ensure the quality of olive oil, preservation, and bringing out the sensory characteristics as well as phenols in the olive oil.
In our facility with an organic production certificate, the leftover waste is channeled to two pools (600 and 1300 metric tonnes) and left alone for the natural vaporization of water.
Our company and facility are also dedicated to proper recycling where paper, plastics, and metal trash are collected in separate bins to be later on collected by the municipality to be taken to the nearest recycling center.
The Akarca Family is committed to preserving the olive oil that is harvested, in its pristine quality and at the flavor at the time that it was pressed. We store olive oil in our temperature-controlled storage unit in chrome/steel tanks with airtight nitrogen-layered lids.
Akarca Farm History
The first deed that defines the borders which is the modern Akarca Farm now resides, dates from 1640 AD. The farm itself was founded on the southwest Aegean Coast in Anatolia during the Ottoman rule by the descendants of the first Afshar (Awshar) Turks that belong to the Oghuz Tribe who first settled around the land during the rule of Beylik of Aydınoglu. The exact location today is the opposite of the village of Kiyikislacik and the ancient Greek city of Iasos within the municipality borders of the town of Milas Turkey.
During the rule of Sultan Abdulmecid (Reign 1839-1861) under the treaty of reciprocity for the United Kingdom and with the financial support of the Greek Orthodox Church, the newly independent Greek State followed the doctrine of Megali Idea which expressed the goal of establishing a Greek State where the Greek population used to live in Turkey, started buying large farms and land from Turkish owners in all Aegean region to create 16 big farms as small Greek colonies.
The Akarca Farm was similarly purchased from the Turkish owners in 1860 by two brothers: Bodrumos and Vasili. Akarca Farm is the only farm (out of 16) that remains intact after all those years.
In 1872 after the death of Vasili, the farm was left to his two children: Mihaliki and Despina in which Mihaliki, later on, sold his shares to Despina. When Despina’s husband escaped after murdering of passion to the Greek Islands and then to Greece, in the first years of the new century, Despina then decided to sell 43% of her shares to a Greek Italian named Alyotti, 27% to Nikola the Greek, and 10% to her daughter Vasilya in 1905. At the beginning of the 1910s when the Ottoman Empire was suffering from embarrassing defeats in the Balkan Wars and a shadow of a Great War becoming more palpable with each passing day, Alyotti decided to sell 34% of his shares in the farm to Mehmet Bey (Akarca) the rising magnate of Milas. The official transfer of ownership though had to wait until 1924 because of the tumultuous years of the Great War and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. The rest of the ownership of shares was transferred to the newly formed modern Republic of Turkey by the treaty with Greece aftermath of the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922). In 1927 those shares were bought by Mehmet Ali Akarca in a State-sponsored auction for 30,300 golden Turkish liras.
The Akarca Family
The Akarca Family whose ancestry goes back to the ancient Beylik of Menteşe first settled around the town of Milas in 1798.
The Family took an active and prominent role in the commerce web of the region. The rise of the wealth of the family started with Hadji Ali Agha (aka Hacellağa B: 1845) son of Ömer Agha. When he took the helm of the clan, he started buying land in and around Milas using the wealth he generated from the main source of revenue of the family which was exporting and selling livestock. When he died not only he left a sizable wealth to his children but also rose to become the richest man in the region. Amongst his six children Mehmet Agha (B: 1876) who was the second eldest, was the most successful and business savvy and thus he expanded his portion of the wealth by utilizing the Harbor of Güllük to a higher degree to export livestock and various commodities more.
He wanted to become more active in the olive and olive oil business and he became an equal partner in Asin-Kurin Farm in the 1910s because of not only its high-quality olives and olive oil but also the Farm itself having its pier to export goods.
He was active during the War of Independence due to his wealth and manpower, assisting in recovering downed bi-planes and transporting them to Muğla. Smuggling weapons and war materials from Italian Occupation forces to Ankara.
After the founding of the modern Turkish Republic, Mehmet Ali (Akarca) bought the remaining shares from the state in an auction for thirty thousand golden Liras.
His eldest son Ömer Faruk Akarca (B: 1918) chose to study the science of horticulture to get a better scientific understanding of plants and crops. After he graduated he moved to the United States in 1951 with his spouse, first living in NYC and then in Fort Collins, Colorado. Although he almost became a co-owner in one of the soda ice cream producers at that time he chose to come back to Turkey in 1958. He tried to better the quality of the olive trees and product variation and to achieve that he examined the farms in Italy and Spain in person and grafted samplings to the trees on the farm. After his father Mehmet Ali Bey’s death in 1960, he started running his portion of the estates.
The Akarca Farm is currently owned by his two sons; M.D. and former M.P. Mehmet Umur Akarca and Ali Akarca Prof. Of Economics at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Dr. Mehmet Umur Akarca's two sons, successful up-and-coming neurosurgeon Dr. Onur Akarca and electrical engineer & angel investor Ömer Faruk Akarca are part of the management team as the fourth generation.
The Akarca Family served the Turkish political and academic scene with various notable figures becoming mayors, MPs, senators, and professors.
In the Akarca Family’s illustrious past in the Ottoman times, there were no less than five Sheikh-ul Islams (Vizier of Justice), eight Qadi of Istanbul (Konstantiniyye), 11 Military Governor of Rumelia and numerous other governors and qadis in other parts of the Empire.