Antalya, Turkey

Antalya is the capital of the Antalya Province in Turkey and is situated on the Mediterranean coast. The city covers an area of five hundred and forty-seven square miles and has a population of seven hundred and seventy-five thousand residents. Antalya is located on coastal cliffs, and as a result is surrounded by mountains. The city lies one hundred and fifty-eight miles from Adana, one hundred and fifty-two miles from Ankara and one hundred and eighty-six miles from Istanbul. The mountain range of Taurus runs on an east to west trajectory that is parallel to the Mediterranean Ocean and results in narrow coastal plains that are surrounded by mountains. Antalya lies on one such plain. The mountains retreat from the shore and form two flat areas of travertine rock that rise over one hundred feet. Anatalya’s town center is situated on the rocky plains that is closest to the coast. The Taurus Mountain range forms a natural shield agains the cold northern winds. As a result, the area has a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot summers and rainy winters. The city receives over three hundred days of sun a year and sea temperatures are between sixty and eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. Air temperatures can rise above one hundred degrees in the summer

Antalya is believed to have been founded by Pergamon King Attalos II around 150 BC. During this time he named it Attalia and chose it as a base of operations for his naval fleet. Recent archeaological finds in the city contradict this belief. Artifacts have been found that date all the way back to the third century BC., suggesting that the city was formed at a much earlier date. Upon the death of King Attalos III, the city was given to the Roman Empire. During this time, the city experienced an extended period of prosperity. In the second century, Antalya was swept by Christianity. Eventually, the city would become a part of the Byzantine Empire. During the thirteenth century, Antalya was invaded by the Seljuk Turks and became the capital of the Turkish Beylik of Teke for almost a hundred years, until it was conquered by the Ottamans. During the twentieth century, the population of the city increased drastically as Turks from the Balkans and the Caucasus flooded Antalya. Today, the city has a robust economy that depends on light industry, commerce, agriculture and tourism. Agricultural production includes bananas, olives, olive oil, citrus fruits and cotton. The wholesale food market of the city meets over sixty-five percent of the fresh vegetable and fruit demands of the country. Tourism in the city attracts over thirty percent of the foreign visitors to Turkey and the city has over seventy-two five star hotels.

A popular attraction in the Antalya is the Hierapolis. Hierapolis is the ruins of an ancient Greek city that is situated on top of hot springs in the western portion of the country. It is listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The city was founded in the second century BCE as a thermal spa. In 190 BCE, it was given to the king of Pergamon Eumenes II. The spa would go on to become a center of healing where the hot springs were used as a treatment by doctors of the time. During the second century BCE, the city began issuing bronze coins. This practice earned it the name Hierapolis which means ”Town of the Heiron Temple”. Eventually, the name evolved to become Hierapolis or ”Holy City”. in 17 CE, Hierapolis was destroyed by an earthquake. Then it was struck by a second earthquake in 60 CE. It was rebuilt in the Roman architectural style, which is the city’s present form. Hierapolis is built with a main street that runs north to south, with smaller streets running perpendicular to this main street. Its main street is almost five thousand feet long and forty-four feet wide. At either end of main street, there were gates that are flanked by stone towers. Main features of Hierapolis is the theater, Temple of Apollo, Plutonium, Nymphaeum, Necropolis, Martyrium and a museum.

Another prominent attraction in the city is the Antalya Museum. This museum is one of the biggest museums in all of Turkey. It has thirteen exhibition halls and an open air gallery. It covers an area of twenty-one thousand feet and has over five thousand art works. It also contains approximately thirty thousand artifacts located in storage. The museum was founded after World War I, while the city was under Italian military occupation. Italian archeologist started to remove the city’s works of art and historical artifacts. To keep the Italians from removing the city’s treasures, Suleyman Fikri Bey appointed himself as officer of antiquities. He started the museum in Alaeddin Mosque and them moved it to Yivli Minare Mosque fifteen years later. In 1972, it was moved to its present location. The main sections of the museum include the Natural History Hall, Pre-History Hall, Classic Period Hall, Proto-History Hall, Statuary Hall, Hall of Imperial Statues, Hall of Small Objects, The Mosaic Hall, Sarcophagus Hall, Hall of Coins, Turkish – Islamic Period Works, Ethnographic Hall and the Children’s section. In 1988, Antalya Museum won the “European Council Special Prize”.

Other prominent and popular attractions in the city of Antalya include Pamukkale, Antalya Archaeological Museum, Perge, Anatolian Balloons Antalya, Duden Waterfalls, Kaleici, Koprulu Canyon, Karaalioglu Park, Termessos, Mamure Kalesi, Mini City Antalya, Yivli Minaret Mosque, Konyaalti Beach, Hadrian’s Gate, Ataturk Monument, Kaleici Marina, Kursunlu Waterfalls, Harbour District, Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque, Alexander Waterfall, Antalya Bazaar, Murat Pasa Mosque, Kesik Minaret Mosque, Iskele Mosque and the Clock Tower. Antalya also has a fair number of restaurants which include Atan Park Otel, Melissa’s Secret Garden, Konyalilar Restaurant, Alara Lara, China Garden and Moonlight. Hotels in the city include Alp Pasa Hotel, Hillside Su Hotel, Sheraton Voyager Antalya Hotel Resort and Spa, Porto Bello Hotel Resort & Spa, Aspen Hotel, Argos Hotel and Kaleici Hotel & Pension.