Alanya, a metaphor city of Anatolia

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Alanya is a small but ancient city in Southern Anatolia able, with its history, to show you the ancient heritage of these lands

The words of Ibn Battuta

“Alanya stands on the seashore dominated by a marvelous and inaccessible fortress built by the illustrious sultan ‘Ala al Din al Rumi.”

Ibn Battuta

Greco-Roman period

The origins of Alanya are to be found even in the Paleolithic, a period in which the surroundings of the cave of Karain were inhabited for the first time, near today’s city. The Hittites will be the first to inhabit the town fortress, which will then be strengthened by Alexander the Great; The first text that gives its original name dates back to this period, namely “Korakassa”, “The protruding city”. With the death of the great Greek leader, it passed for a short time to Ptolemy and then to the Seleucids with Diodote Trifone; in this period, the city became one of the absolute centers of Mediterranean piracy, so much so that it became an important refuge.


With the arrival of the Romans, pirate activities were reduced incredibly, especially after Pompeo’s intervention, which will prove decisive; however the brigandage will persist for a long time in the region, so much so that its greatest rebellions can be dated around 406 AD. . Following the battle of Manzikert in 1071, the city passed into the hands of the Seljuks for the first time, but returned to the Byzantines after just 50 years. With the infamous Fourth Crusade, however, Constantinople weakened deeply, allowing the Armenians of Cilicia to expand their dominions here. It will be in 1221 that Alaeddin Kayqubad I will definitively conquer the city, giving it an imprint so strong that it has long been called Alaieye in his honor.

Turkish period

Under this sovereign the city experienced an incredible development, this much from the urban point of view with the construction of new infrastructures, both commercial. Thanks to its strategic position, in fact, it became a decisive landing point for trade between Ayyubid Egypt and the Italian city-states, growing exponentially in importance. Unfortunately, with the battle of Köse Dağ, the Seljuks were defeated by the Mongols and this will make the area of Alanya particularly unstable and subject to continuous invasions by the various beylicates of the region. In 1427, in particular, the Karamanids sold the property to the Ayyubids, who will see it conquered by the Ottomans in 1471.


With the new arrivals, however, it will never be able to reach the greatness of the past, being continually moved under different regions and finding modern stability only in 1868. With the Ottoman defeat in the First World War, the town briefly passed into Italian hands, coming however quickly freed by the Turkish army following the Treaty of Lausanne. The current name, “Alanya”, dates back to 1935 and is due to a transcription error from the Arabic-Ottoman alphabet to the Latin one.

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