Situated to the northwest of the gulf of the same name Antalya is, both historically and archaeologlcally, one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean area. The province has further importance in being one of the richest provinces of Anatolia from the point of view of archaeology. This region is covered with a greot number of mounds dating back to Neolithic and prehistoric times. Findings in the Gurma cave east of Antalya, specimens af red and black pottery recovered from various sites, and the characteristics of some of the mounds of the region ail indicate that this province was an important area of settlement in the Neolithic, Chaicoiithic and the Copper Ages.

According to Strabo and Homer, the province of Antalya was inhabited as early as the 5th or 6th millenium B.C., and the earliest inhabitants are believed to be the Solims, wha forgetting their original tongue after a time, began to speak Phoenician, Carian and Greek. Following the long wars between the Hittites and Egyptians, the Greeks from the Greek mainland and the Aegean islands came and settled in the province of Antalya during the Vllth century B.C. With thB gradual increase of its population the region soon reached a high level of prosperity. It was invaded by the Persians in 547 B.C., and finally by Alexander the Great in 334 B.C. After a period of confusion under the successors of Alexander, Attalus II, King of Pergamum (159-138) realized the strategic importance of this region and decided to establish a naval base there.

The existance of excellent natural conditions for a harbor suggests the probability that there was a port there already. A modest naval base at first, it gradually grew into a prosperous city, and was called first Attaleia, Attalia, then Adalia, Adalya, and finally Antalya, after its founder Attalus II. It soon overshadowed its neighbouring cities which were not so richly endowed.

The rule of Pergamum was short in Antalya, and the city was soon captured by Mediterranean pirates. With the defeat of the pirates by Consul P. Servilius, the city passed under Roman ruie and entered a greater period of civilization. As people of Antalya remained loyal to Rome, they enjoyed all the privileges of Roman citizens.

While highly prosperous cities such as Aspendos, Side, Perge, Sylleum, and Termessos began to decline during the Byzantine period, Antalya continued to flourish as an importât center of trade


The Wails: During the Hellenistic period the city, which rose from the port in the form of an amphitheater, was surrounded by walls. They were reinforced during the Byzantine period by another chain of walls and a moat. Repaired and modified later by the Seljufi Turks, the walls have a great number of inscriptions and reliefs.

Evliya Celebi : The well-known Turkish traveller who visited Antalya in 1671-72 mentions in his «Travels» that Antalya had fine walls 4400 paces long and had 80 towers…>>

The Gate of Hadrian: The city walls have various gate3 which are named according to their position e.g.: the Tophane Gate, the Castle Gate, the Imaret Gate, the Orta Gate, etc…>>

The Korkud Mosque (The Truncated Minaret): Among the religious buildings of the city there are some which are of great historical and architectural importance. One of them is the Cumanun {pronounced Djumanun) Mosque which is popularly known as the Korkud Mosque or the Kesik Minare…>>

The Grooved Mincret (The Alâeddin Mosque): Another important building in the city fs the Alâeddin Mosque which is sometimes called the Grooved Minaret (Yivli Minare)…>>

The Karatay Mosque: The Karatay Mosque which is in a state of ruin today. Is one of the most remarkable buildings in Antalya, It was built In 1250 by Karatay, a Seljuk statesman. The main entrance built of marble is ornamented with geometrical designs, and stala-elites hanging from the top. The interior of the mosque is plain, but the altar is richly decorated.

The Mosque of Tekeli Mehmet Pasha: Among Ottoman works in the city we must mention the Mosque of Tekeli Mehmet Pasha near the Kale Kapısı (Castle Gate). The exact date of the construction is not known, In design it resembles the Ahmet Pasha, and the Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosques, but its tile work has XVIth century characteristics. The central dome rests on a frame with windows which Is supported by four walls. There are three domes at the back of the building. The minaret which is on the right has stalactite designs hanging from the gallery. The entrances are on the eastern and western sides.

Inscriptions: There are about 76 inscriptions mostly of Seljuk sultans, on the gates of fortresses, schools, poor-kitchens and mosques. Among these one belongs to Keyhüsrev, son of Kılıç Aslan, the first Turkish conqueror of Antalya, and another one to izzettin Keykâvus, and there are ten others belonging to Mahmut, son of Keyhüsrev. The dates and names on some Inscriptions cannot be read. Among these inscriptions, some of which are kept in the Antalya Museum, there is one which records the city’s capture by the knights of Cyprus


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