All about Alanya Turkey
Alanya is a beach city which is located in a district of Antalya province, it is placed on the southern coast of Turkey, in the Mediterranean area, and from the east, it is about 140 km to Antalya. Until 2010, Alanya had a population of 98,627 and the whole district of Alanya which is the region of 1,598.51 km2 had the population of about 248, 286.
Alanya has been a headlock for several empires in Mediterranean area due to the special position and natural strategic part on a peninsula which is in the Mediterranean Sea and under or below the Taurus Mountains. The middle ages were the significant political era for Alanya Turkey, in other words, it changed to the important region politically with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum that was ruled by Alaeddin Kayqubad I.
Because of the remarkable attributes of Alanya including Mediterranean climate, natural and beautiful attractions, historic tradition, this city became a well – known destination for tourism, and approximately ten percent of Turkey's tourism industry and about thirty percent of international transactions of real states relate to Alanya. As a result of the augmentation in population, the tourism industry has become the prominent industry in the city since 1958. In Alanya the visitors can enjoy various sorts of activities such as water sports and cultural festivals annually.
The history of the name
During the history, Alanya was one of the essential cores for various empires like the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman and throughout these era it has been named differently, as an instance, Korakesion which means land of the Rook; Kolonoros which means beautiful mountains, Alaiye which means city of Alaeddin, and Alanya where the sun shines about 300 days.
On the basis of the geographical study, Skylaks, the first name that was seen for the first time for Alanya on the pages of history was Korakesion that dates back to 2400 years ago in the 4th century B.C. In spite of the minor and unimportant role of Korakesion in the history, it was said that it had a great reputation over the antique world.
Korakesion became a head office for a rebel named Diodotos motivated piracy in the district of the settlement, his rebellion was against Seleucid King Antiochus VII. Then Alanya became the foundation for the known Cilician pirates, of course after a sequence of bloody fights. These rebellious events were irritated the imperialist Romans because they were worried about their commercial trades which were on the way to the eastern world, as their trade was in danger by the pirates. To stop such problem, the Romans sent Pomepy the Great to rule the Roman Naval Forces as the commander.
At this time the beautiful blue seashores of Mediterranean were the battle of fight and its blue color turned to red by the blood of the pirates which was done by the soldiers of Roman Empire. The shores of Korakesion would never forget such disguising setting that were full of blood, flames and smoke which demonstrated the triumph of Roman.
In 32 B.C. Mark Anthony one of the Roman Commander of Cilicia Area and The last Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, fell in love with each other and their romantic relationship continued and they got married in Alanya. As a present of the wedding, Anthony gave Alanya to Cleopatra. It is said that not just because of the beauty of this town, but also due to the density of Cedar trees, Cleopatra was chosen this town.
After some times the name of this town was changed, maybe the story of piracy was starting to forget and it was decided to turn its name from Korakesion to Kolonoros which means beautiful mountains. This name could be suit this town because of the existence of the unique glory of the mountains which can be seen well from the Cleopatra beach. At this time, Kolonoros was received the devotion, observance and prayer of priests and a Christian association. As these days you can see the trace of 11th century praying by visiting the church and castle of that time.
Some of the habitants of this town came from the cold plains of central Asia to Anatolia (Turkey) because of its hospitality and fertility. At the beginning of their arrival to Anatolia, they entered from the east and stayed at the first capital Konya. Although it was placed in the center, its weather was not as warm and suitable as Kolonoros. While the winter was so cold, Alanya was the best destination for the winter immigrant of the Sultan.
The present castle that now is seen in Alanya, was built from 1226 until 1232 and is the part of the ancient memories of Alanya. As this town would be a Turkish town its name also must be like a Turkish one, so, the name of the city was changed to Alaiye after the victory of Alaeddin Keyqubad. And then, the town was completely turkified by building Turkish baths, mosques, boatyard, a 6.5 km castle wall and etc.
And now its name is Alanya which was chosen by Mustafa Kemal ATATURK the originator of the modern Turkey. In 1935 he visited Alaiye and decided to convert the name to Alanya because it is more adapted to the Turkish alphabet.
The climate of Alanya is a usual hot – summer Mediterranean climate. As it is located at the Mediterranean Basin, it is clear that the majority of the rain comes during the winter and it would leave all the summers, very warm or sometimes hot, dry and long.
As result of the existence of the Taurus Mountain near the sea, it causes fog and it is also possible to visit rainbows most of the mornings. As the mountains are so high, the snow would be seen on the peak of them even in hot days of summers. The temperature of the sea in Alanya has the average of about 21°C and in summer especially in August it has the temperature of 28 °C.
Main sights of Alanya Turkey
The Alanya castle and a Seljuk era castle dates back to 1226. The majority of the landmarks of this city can be found inside or near the Alanya castle. Some parts of this castle were refurbished in 2007, like Byzantine church which is used as a community of Christian, and also there are Suleymaniye mosque and Caravanserai that are located inside the castle and they were built by Suleiman the Magnificent.
Moreover, there are the ancient city walls that inside them there many historic villas, which all of them are the good examples of the Ottoman architectural period and the majority of them were made in the early 19th century.
The other Alanyas’ landmarks
The high brick building which is about 33 meters and locating at the port below the castle is the Red Tower and it is containing ethnographic museum. This building was designed by the Syrian architect Ebru Ali. The octagonal structure of 83 towers of Alanya Castle, especially protected the Tersane or boatyard and this structure is the best sample and examples of medieval military architecture, it was built by the Seljuk Turks in 1221. The other sights that were built under the rule of Kayqubad were the Alara Castle and Caravanserai next to Manavgat which has been altered to a museum.
From the time that Ataturk visited Alanya and had a short stay there in February 1935, his house was preserved as perfect as possible and it converted to the museum with its historic condition and it is a symbol of the old – style of Ottoman villa from 1930s. From 1880 until 1885 this house was built in the specific and particular style which is called Karniyarik (stuffed eggplant). Because of its bright colors and red roofs, it often gives a pale light to the modern town.
In spite of the presence of many ancient churches in the region, 99% of this city is Muslim and normally there aren’t any Christian program weekly. The Protestant got permission to open their church with seasonal program in 2006 which was a trace of European and their increasing in the city.
Moreover, the Greek Orthodox Church that was located in the village of Haci Mehmetli was refurbished in 2015 and it has been used by Russian Orthodox program each month. For greater and more important religious ceremonies, Ataturk Cultural Center to Christian is provided in Alanya.
On the basis of the recent study in 2007, the population of the district is about 384,949, while it was approximately 87,080 in 1985. The whole population of Alanya itself is about 134,396 and the majority of this population - about 9,789 – are from Europe including Germany and Denmark and some of them possess property in Alanya. Of course, the range of population during the summer increase because of the great numbers of tourists which is about 5 million each year.
Alayna's culture is a branch of the greater culture of Turkey. Following the old customs and traditions is inevitable especially for locals in Alanya. It can be also so interesting for tourists to hear about the fascinating traditions. For example, before starting a trip, there is a ritual that pouring water in front of the passenger to have a nice and prosperous journey.
Due to the natural beauty of the Alanya's seashore, it is a suitable position to hold many festivals there frequently. Mostly the Arts festivals are held by the opening of the tourism season that are usually from the end of May or the first of June. A prominent Turkish festival which is held in the last week of May, is the Alanya International Culture and Art Festival. The other famous festivals that is happened in Red Tower since 2002 and usually happened in September or October is the Jazz Festival and Turkish and international musicians would participate. Since 2007 the Alanya Chamber Orchestra has begun its performance.
Furthermore, on February 18, Ataturk's visit to Alanya are celebrated and it is usually taken place on the Ataturk's House and Museum. The foreigners who are the residents of Alanya like the Europeans are annually celebrated their own national holidays including Christmas in December or the Persians celebrated their Persian new year, Nowruz in Alanya.
Tourists industry is the principal industry in Alanya due to its profitable income that is about 1.2 billion euros per year. Additionally, Alanya is famous for its fruit gardens especially lemons and oranges and in some cases tomatoes, bananas, cucumbers, and avocado.
Although it is a coastal city, few residents are interested in fishing and work on the sea and it is not an important industry there.
The housing industry has had a high profit since 2003, by assigning the limitations on land purchases by non-nationals. Because many new private houses and apartment blocks were built to settle the Europeans and Asians who are not the permanent residents or for the part time residents. In general, among all of the houses in Antalya province, 69% of houses were bought by foreign nationals.
Alanya is not only well – known for its many historical places, but also for its extraordinary natural beauty and attractions. As far as the eyes can see, the crystal clear turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea, and the golden sand of the sea sides, fondle the eyes. In addition to these fabulous features, there are so many activities that are provided to make the best time and unforgettable memories for the visitors. Therefore, the reputation of this city spreads all over the world, particularly among the Europeans to choose it as their outstanding destination for their travels. To fulfill the tourists' needs especially in the case of accommodation, the city has built many hotels and motels.
Tourist attraction and outdoor activities
Alanya history dates back to beyond Romans, but in the period of Seljuk Turks this city found particular importance which can be seen in their buildings like the Red Tower which is located inside the Alanya Castle, the Damlatas Caves and etc. Moreover, there are various activities including paragliding, wind surfing, Jeep or Quad Safari, diving, snorkeling and swimming in pretty beaches like Cleopatra beach, visiting Dolphin park or Aqua park and etc.