Erdek was called Artake in the olden times. It can be derived from its name that the county may have been established by the Sits. Yet, the foundation of Erdek dates to sometime earlier than 5400’s. Artake was one of the legendary kings of the Sits. The island situated in the west of Erdek-what is now called ‘the olive grove’ - was known with its name Artake. The ancient city in the hill opposite Erdek was also given the same name. The meaning of the word Artake, derived from Luwi language which was pretty commonly used in the region, is not known for sure. There is also no evidence or information on when and by whom Artake was founded. In 8th century BC, immigrants from Miletus captured this region and Hellenized it. Stephanos of Byzantium claims that an author of the First Age –Timosthenes, wrote that the word Artake was the name of a mountain in Kyzikos and an island. Plinius also mentions to this island as Artacaeon. Apart from these, there is no information on Artake.
The armada sent by Persians destroyed and plundered the city of Artake in order to punish the cities in the west of Anatolia that took part in the uprising led by Miletus. Residents of the city, having fled from Artake, moved and settled in what is now Erdek. Although Artake attempted to become a vivid city in the region, it always stayed dependent on the nearby Kyzikos. No historical remnants reached to our date from Artake due to earthquakes and fires that the city went through. Herodotus was the first to mention to Artake, which was colonized along with Kapidağ by the people of Miletus in the 7th century BC. And was dominated by Kyzikos before 361 BC. Having lost its importance due to the neighboring Kyzikos throughout the Hellenistic Age, Artace became a suburb of this region. With the backward trend of Kyzikos because of its neglected harbor, looting of the stones of leveled buildings of the city during the Byzantium Age, Artake started to improve however this progress never equaled that of Kyzikos. Historian Herodotus, taking the city’s economic structure into consideration, praised its grape, wine, olive and olive oil of the city. Artake was conquered by SuleymanPasa, the son of Orhan Gazi, in 1339 and dominated by the Turks. We best learn about Erdek from ‘seyahatname’ (itinerary) written by EvliyaCelebi. EvliyaCelebi, who visited the city twice in 1639, mentions muscatel grape, wine of 9 varieties, 25.000 acres of vineyards, 4-niche mosques, caravansaries, baths and two-floor houses of Erdek. He also mentions ‘Zeytinli Ada’ and its curative springs.
The population of Erdek was 33.007, according to the 1891 census by the Ottomans, majority of whom were Greeks (89%) (29.165). Turkish population of Erdek was 3.070 (9%). The majority of the people of the city center were mainly Christians (91%). It was administered by KaresiSanjak in 1807.
Erdek, having been a Sanjak administered by Karesis until the end of the 19th century, was later administered by Bandırma in 1930s and became a sub-district, and the center of the district. The population of 10.000 in 1980 reached 20.000 in 2000. Karacaova and KavalaPomaks, along with immigrants from Crete and Bosnia settled in the center and villages evacuated by the Greeks due to the excambion of 1924