The story of the mansion begins well long after ancient Knidos disappeared into history.Captain Ali Aga's successful service in the navy was rewarded with land that included Datça in 1100 AH (1694 AD). It is Ali Agaki, the ancestor of the Tuhfezade family, who founded the old Elaki quarter (today's Resadiye).
The building locally known as Kocaev (big house) was commissioned at the beginning of the 19th Century by Mehmet Halil Ağa, the father of Tuhfezade Mehmet Ali Ağa; it bears witness to the last two centuries of Datça's history. Kocaev enjoyed a splendid reputation during Mehmet Ali Ağa's lifetime; he was the Governor of Rhodes in the first half of the 1890s. His two sons Fehmi and Halil read Law and died childless; likewise, one of his daughters, Seza, died before she could marry. Münire, his second daughter, married Hidayet Şahingiray, of the Crimean royal family who had emigrated to Rhodes. Unfortunately, they did not have any children either. Upon the deaths of first Münire, closely followed by that of Hidayet at the beginning of the Fifties, the house was sold by the Tereke Court, along with the rest of the Tuhfezade estate. Kocaev then changed hands a number of times, serving as a tobacco depot, cinema, school and wedding hall. Purchased by Mehmet Pir of Pir Tourism Management Co in 2002, the house was reborn from its ashes.
Mehmet Ali Aga Mansion is a significant example of Anatolian Turkish civil architecture. Set in a large piece of land, the Mansion was designed as a two-storey building of 1,000 sq. m .
The ground floor is of stone and the first floor constructed of wood and filling, plastered on the exterior. The northern façade is circled by stone arches; this section turns into a sofa onto which its five main rooms open up. Documents and testimonies indicate that Greek masons worked on the construction.
The Mansion is one of the oldest examples of civil architecture still surviving; it is the first building in the area to have used glass windows.
Mehmet Ali Aga Mansion , with its similarities to the Giray palaces, reflects the Crimean building style that reached this region subsequent to the exile of the Crimean dynasty to Rhodes.