Alanya's History

Alanya's History


Alanya is established on a small peninsula with the Taurus Mountains in the North and Mediterranean sea in the South. In ancient times it was called either Pamphylia or Cilicia for its location on the border of those cities.

There is no definite information of the first inhabitants in Alanya. According to the research done by professor Kılınç KÖKTEN, in 1957 in Kadiini cave located 12 km away from the city center, it shows that the history of the area reaches as far as the Upper Palaeolithic (20,000, -17,000 BC) period.

It is not sure by who were the first people to live here and when Alanya was established. The first known old name of the city is Korakesium. During the Byzantine period, the city was given the name Kalanoros. The name Alaiye was given by one of the Seljuk leaders, Allaaddin Keykubat (1200- 1237) on the 13th century AD when he besieged the castle. When Atatürk visited the city in 1935 he gave the name Alanya. The name Korekesium was first mentioned by one of the ancient geographers called Scylax in the 4th century BC. During this period, the region was under the sovereignty of the Persians who invaded an important part of Anatolia. Later on, many famous travelers from ancient times, such as Strabon, Piri Reis, Seyyed, İbn-i Batuta ve Evliya Çelebi have mentioned the town.

There is very little information about the area from the beginning and during the Byzantine period. In the 7'th century when the Arabs were invading, it became more important to protect the city from the inflow by building a fortress. This is the reason why most of the historic castles and churches are from the 6'th or 7'th century.

In 1221 one of the Seljuk Leaders, Alaaddin Keykubad defeated the Christian dynasty of Kyr Vart and thus taking over the fortress. The leader had a palace built for himself. The capital of the Seljuk administration was Konya, but they made Alanya a second capital as a winter centre and started building the city.

The Seljuks were able to protect the city from Mongol attacks in 1243 and when the Egyptian Mamluks entered Anatolia in 1277. But in 1300 the Seljuk government had been torn apart, and the area was taken over by The Karamanogullar and sold to sultan Memluk for 5000 gold coins. Later on in 1471, the Ottoman ruler Fatih Sultan Mehmet had added Alanya into the borders of the Ottoman Empire.

Alanya and Tarsus were connected to the providence of Cyprus in 1571, in 1868 it was part of the Konya providence. Finally, 1871, it was attached to Antalya and became its district.

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