Author Archives: karagozcu

Demre

Demre is on the coast of the Teke peninsula, west of the bay of Antalya, with the Taurus Mountains behind. The mountains are forested and the coastal strip is made of good soil brought down by the mountain rivers. The climate is the typical Mediterranean pattern of hot dry summers and warm wet winters.

Before the tourism boom began in the 1980s the local economy depended on agriculture, which is still important today. The villages of Demre grow pomegranates and citrus fruits and now a large quantity of fruits and vegetables all year round in glass houses. Also with its rich history, attractions like the island of Kekova, the sea and warm weather this coast is very popular with holidaymakers from Turkey and all over Europe, although Demre still does not have the high volume of tourists enjoyed by districts nearer Antalya airport. Some local handicrafts like rug making, and events such as the annual camel-wrestling festival bring in extra income.

Demre

Demre

The local cuisine predictably includes fish and seafood from the Mediterranean.

Myra was one of the most important cities in antique Lycia. Coins have been found dating back to 300 BC but logically the city must have been founded centuries earlier. The city thrived as part of the Roman Empire and many public buildings were constructed.

The earliest church of St. Nicholas at Myra was built in the 6th century. The present-day church was constructed mainly from the 8th century onward a monastery was added in the second half of the 11th century.

In 1863, Tsar Alexander II of Russia purchased the building and began restoration, but the work was never finished. In 1963 the eastern and southern sides of the church were excavated. In 1968 the former confessio (tomb) of St. Nicholas was roofed over.

Alanya

Alanya is a seaside resort city and district of Antalya Province in the Mediterranean Region of Turkey, 120 km from the city of Antalya. The municipal district, which includes the city center, has close to 400,000 inhabitants. The population is almost entirely of Anatolian origin, but is home to around 10,000 European residents, with a growing presence in the city and its economy.

Because of its natural strategic position on a small peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean-based empires, including the Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Alanya’s greatest political importance came in the Middle Ages with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm under the rule of Alaeddin Keykubad I, from whom the city derives its name. His building campaign resulted in many of the city’s landmarks, such as the Kizil Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle.

Alanya

Alanya

The relatively moderate Mediterranean climate, natural attractions, and historic heritage makes Alanya a popular destination for tourism, and responsible for nine percent of Turkey’s tourism sector and thirty percent of foreign purchases of real estate in Turkey. Tourism has risen since 1958 to become the dominant industry in the city, resulting in a corresponding increase in city population. Warm-weather sporting events and cultural festivals take place annually in Alanya.

The city has changed hands many times over the centuries, and its name has reflected this. Alanya was known in Latin as Coracesium or in Greek as Korakesion from the Luwian Korakassa meaning “point/protruding city” Under the Byzantine Empire it become known as Kalonoros or Kalon Oros, meaning “beautiful” or “fine mountain” in Greek The Seljuks renamed the city Alaiye, a derivative of the Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I’s name. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Italian traders called the city Candelore or Cardelloro In his 1935 visit, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk finalized the name in the new alphabet as Alanya, changing the ‘i’ and ‘e’ in Alaiye, reportedly because of a misspelled telegram in 1933.

Kleopatra Beach Alanya

Kleopatra Beach Alanya

Since the first modern motel was built in 1958, considered the first year of the tourism industry in Alanya, hotels have raced to accommodate the influx of tourists, and the city as of 2007 claims 157,000 hotel beds. Damlatas Cave, which originally sparked the arrival of outsiders because of the cave’s microclimate, with an average temperature of 22 °C and 95% humidity, is accessible on the west side of the peninsula with trails from Damlatas Beach. Many tourists, especially Scandinavians, Germans, Russians, and Dutch, regularly vacation in Alanya during the summer months. They are drawn to the area because of property prices, warm weather, sandy beaches, access to Antalya’s historic sites, and fine cuisine. Other outdoor tourist activities include wind surfing, parasailing, banana boating and Turkey’s largest go-kart track. Hunting season also attracts some tourist for wild goat, pig and partridge hunting in area nature reserves.