Foundation of the current town of Naoussa and its prime

Unlike neighboring Verοia and Edessa, presenting an uninterrupted presence in the area, near the current Naoussa a significant time gap in organized habitation is observed. The decomposition of ancient residential constructs should be sought in the late Roman Empire and the dark times that followed. The local tradition and other indirect historical evidence situate the settlement of current Naoussa a few years after the conquest of Veroia by the Turks (1385-1386) and before the fall of Constantinople (1453). This was part of an operation of relocation of the residents who had taken refuge in the forests and the inaccessible mountainous areas of Vermio, frightened by older and more recent raids, and remained there under harsh living conditions. The local historian E. Stougiannakis reports an interesting tradition for this settlement, with clear references to the myth of Dido and the beef skin, cut into thin strips that defined the boundaries of the town.
Thus, the foundation of Naoussa dates to the first half of the 15th century. In fact, the Turks, immediately after the conquest of the region, by giving special privileges, tried to agglomerate the residents of the surrounding mountain villages at the site of the current town.
The most common version for the foundation of the settlement is that associated with the General of Sultan Murad, Gazi Evrenos Bey, who will establish a vakif (property dedicated to a mosque or temple) that his descendants maintained at Giannitsa. The Greek population in the area enjoyed considerable privileges from the beginning, thanks to the intervention of Sultana Valide Khanum (Mara Brankovic), daughter of the Serbian prince George Brankovic and wife of Muratthe 2nd.
Naoussa was a Christian city from scratch (except the kadi - judge and the voivode – Commander, there were no other Ottomans in town), with rights of local government, a proper guard and significant tax privileges, which allowed a rapid concentration of population and the development of crafts (tin and gunsmith manufacturing, goldsmith, textiles, etc.). Since the Turkish state granted the city's residents with special privileges by a Sultan Decree (Hati Sherif), which accorded them an almost complete autonomy and conditions of free growth, both in economy and in other areas of social life, there is, already by the 17th century, an urban center with a thousand houses, vineyards, gardens, market and trade fair, with considerable economic influence in Central Macedonia and beyond (due to its location at the path of the caravan routes linking the southbalkan markets).
The 18th century finds Naoussa having reached a fairly high level of development. Known mainly for its excellent wine, it develops significant educational and cultural activities, in parallel with productive and commercial ones. The population almost doubles as compared to the previous century.
This normal life was disrupted at around 1795 by the satrap of Ioannina, Ali Pasha, who wanted to impose his dominance in Naoussa, at first by peaceful means and then by repeated campaigns against it. The first two attempts of the forces of Ali Pasha to take over the town were strongly repelled by the people of Naoussa, who persecuted the Albanians causing them heavy losses. Ali, however, did not give up. He ran a third campaign, besieging this time Naoussa with large forces. He blocked all the entries and exits, cut off the water supply and the residents of the town, facing the risk of dying from hunger and thirst, were forced to capitulate and surrender.
Naoussa succumbed. The first ruler of the city, Zafirakis Theodosiou Logothetis, fled to Thessaloniki accompanied by several companions, in order to obtain the intervention of the local Turkish commander for the release of Naoussa by Ali Pasha. The attempt failed and Zafirakis left for Constantinople, in order to seek the intercession of the mother of the Sultan. As soon as she was heard the news, she informed the Sultan, who, by written order to Ali Pasha, obliged him to leave Naoussa. Shortly after the withdrawal of the Turkish Albanians, Zafirakis returned to Naoussa, where he was elected again ruler of the town which soon regained its former glory and all its privileges.
Another view, which teacher and historian Thomas Bliatkas considers more founded and near to the truth, is that the people of this new town-New Augusta- were Byzantine militaries based in Mieza, if we take into account that the city was built in honor and came under the protection of queen mother Khanum Valide who, in the growing new Ottoman empire, was also the new Augusta, according to the tenets of the Roman – Byzantine Empire. At the time of the advent of the Ottomans and the creation of the new state, only the militaries who agreed to peace did not pay taxes; everyone else, except the militaries, never got rid of taxes. This may explain the rapid growth of Naoussa in the 18th century.
(Sources: http://xartografos.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/203-νάουσα-ηρωική-και-πρωτοπόρα/
A. Oikonomou, Naoussa. The place, the past and the present... Naoussa, 2005
T. Bliatkas, Naoussa, Niaousta, Naoussa, July 2009:
http://tomasnao.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/ceb9cf83cf84cebfcf81ceafceb1-cf84ceb7cf82-ceb7cf81cf89cf8acebaceaecf82-cf80cf8ccebbceb7cf82-cebdceaccebfcf85cf83ceb1cf823.pdf)