October 12, 2016
Antalya is an interesting town. The city has a population of almost 2 million people, which almost doubles in the summer time, spread out over an area of 8000 square miles. It is hard to fathom its size, but the heart of Antalya is the walled ancient city of Kaleiçi.
Kaleiçi, has narrow cobbled streets lined with historic Ottoman era houses. It is also filled with higher end hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, and shopping. It is surrounded by two walls, one of which is along the seafront, built in a continuous process from Hellenistic to Ottoman times. The historical harbor is located in this part of the city.
There are sites with traces of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Seljuk architecture and cultures throughout Kaleiçi . The historic walls have 80 bastions and inside of the walls, there are approximately 3000 houses with red tile roof.
Farther out are all-inclusive resorts that line the sandy beaches of this part of the Turkish Riviera.
Turkey is one of the world’s most popular destinations, but terrorism, political turmoil and the war in neighboring Syria are having a devastating impact on tourism. This has been evident all over Turkey, but it is most dramatic in Antalya as the city has doubled its size since 1988 all due to the tourism trade.
The main decline in tourism for Antalya is the Russian market, the four-and-a-half million Russian tourists that normally come to the beach area has fallen by 95%. The trigger was Turkey shooting down a Russian military jet that violated Turkish airspace sparking a diplomatic crisis between the two countries. The Kremlin barred Russian tour companies from selling package deals to Turkey.
The city has a long and interesting history. King Attalus II of Pergamon is looked on as founder of the city in about 150 BC, during the Hellenistic period. It was named Attalea or Attalia in his honor.
Attalea became part of the Roman Republic in 133 BC when Attalus III, a nephew of Attalus II bequeathed his kingdom to Rome at his death in 133 BC.
The Seljuk Turks conquered the city and the surrounding region in the early 13th century. Antalya was the capital of the Turkish beylik of Teke (1321–1423) until its conquest by the Ottomans.
The city was occupied by the Italians from the end of the First World War until the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
Here are a few random shots of Kaleiçi;