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History

Antalya which means “the home of Attalos” was founded by Attalos II. Following the fall of Kingdom of Pergamon (133 BC), the city was independent for a while but then fell into the hands of pirates. It was later incorporated into the Roman Empire by Commander Servilius Isauricus in 77 BC. In 67 BC, the city then became a naval base for Pompeius. In 130 AD, the visit of Hadrianus provided progress for Attalia city. Attalia which was accepted as the centre of episcopacy during the Byzantine period made great advancements after possessed by Turks. Since modern city is located on the ancient settlement, the ruins of antiquity can barely be traced. The first one of the ruins that can be seen is the part of harbour pier that indicates the old harbour and the walls surrounding the harbour. Hadrian’s Gate with ongoing restoration works on the other side of the walls is one of the unique ancient monuments of Antalya.

In antiquity, Antalya and its surroundings were known as “Pamphilia” meaning “very productive” and the west side of the city was known as “Lycia”. The people who migrate from the west coasts of Aegean Sea founded the cities like Aspendos, Side in VIII century BC. The King of Pergamon who reigns in II century besieged Side. The King who could not capture Side came to a place where now Antalya city centre is located and founded the city. The city was named after him as Attaleia. In time, people called the city Atalia, Adalya. The name Antalya originated this way. 

In the archaeological excavations, people were proved to have lived in Antalya and its environs 40.000 years ago. From the date 2000 BC, this region was ruled under the control of city states such as Hittite, Pamphylia, Lycia, Cilicia and Persia, Great Alexander and its successors Antigonos, Ptolemais, Selevkos and the king of Pergamon. Roman Period later started to reign. The ancient name of Antalya was Pamphylia and the cities built in this area lived their golden age especially in II and III century. Towards V century, they began to lose their glory.  

While the area was under Eastern Roman Empire or, widely known name in Turkey, Byzantines, in 1207 the Seljuks took over the lands. In the period of Anatolian principalities, the city entered into sovereignty of Hamitoğulları which was a family from Teke tribe. Teke Turkmen are also one of the largest populated tribe in today’s Turkmenistan, old Turkish homeland. In XI century, a part of this tribe came to Antalya. Today Teke Area is another name of the region of Lake (Göller Yöresi) which covers the north of Antalya and some parts of Isparta and Burdur. In the Ottoman period, today’s Antalya city centre is the centre of the Teke District of Anatolia Province. In those years, this place is called Teke District. The current name of the city is a changed form of her ancient name and has been given in the Republican period. Evliya Çelebi, the Ottoman traveller, who came to Antalya in the second half of the XVII century, stated that there were 4 quarters and 3.000 houses inside the ancient walls and 24 quarters outside the walls. The market of the city was outside the walls. According to Evliya Çelebi, the Harbour had the capacity of 200 ships. Antalya which was the centre of Teke district connected to Konya administratively was made an independent district in the last period of Ottoman Empire.

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