Uşak, (pronounced Ushak) is a city in the inner Aegean Region of Turkey. The city has a population of 137,001 (2000 census) and is the capital of Uşak Province.
Uşak city is situated at a distance of 210 km (130 mi) from the region's principal metropolitan center and the port city of İzmir. Pulling advantage from its location at the crossroads of Central Anatolian plateau and the coastal Aegean Region, and a climate and an agricultural production which comports elements determined by both of these spheres, Uşak traditionally had a strong industrial base. Uşak was the first city in Turkey to have an urban electricity network, the first city where a collective labor relations agreement was signed, during the Ottoman era, between leather industry employees and workers, and the first factory of Republican Turkey, a sugar refinery, was set up here through a private sector initiative among local businessmen. The tradition of industriousness continues today around two industrial zones.
Whereas in pre-industrial times, Uşak was already a major center of production and export, particularly of Ushak carpets. Ushak carpets are also called Holbein carpets in reference to the 16th century painter Hans Holbein the Younger who depicted them in minute detail in his paintings, reflecting their popularity in European markets. The level of international popularity attained by Uşak's carpets became such that the word "Ushak" is considered an English word of Turkic origin
Although Uşak's carpet patterns have evolved since then, large-scale weaving still continues and the name of the city still has an important presence in the market for carpets, both hand-woven and industrial. The depending district of Eşme, on the other hand, is famous for its kilims.
Among other depending district centers, Banaz is the largest and is notable for its varied agricultural production as well as for its forests, and Ulubey's canyon is a natural site and an important visitors attraction
The first known organized states to have ruled over the region of Uşak were the Phrygians for the eastern portion and the Lydians in the west during the 7th century BC. Karun Treasure, discovered by clandestine treasure hunters in Uşak in 1965, and whose smuggling outside Turkey and subsequent retrieval after decades from New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art made international headlines, provides a perception of the high degree of civilization attained by these Anatolian states. The region of Lydia was later taken over by the Persian Empire in the 6th century BC and by Alexander the Great and his successor states as of the 4th century. Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, the Beylik of Germiyan and finally the Ottoman Empire as of 1429 had established their rule over Uşak.
In Ottoman times, the city's name was spelled as "Uşşak", which could mean "lovers" and "minstrels" at the same time. The tradition privileges the second significance with regards to the name's origin, which could be a reference to the region's rich folk literature.
Uşak was occupied by the Greek army between 28 August 1920 and 1 September 1922. The city was put to fire by the rapidly retreating Greek troops, causing the city important damages that were documented and calculated. The day after, General Nikolaos Trikoupis was made prisoner near Uşak, the village of Göğem, today buried under a dam reservoir.
A district center depending Kütahya Province until 1953, Uşak was made into a province seat in that year, when Uşak Province was constituted.