Alanya, originally Alaiye, is a beach resort city and component district of Antalya Province on Turkey’s southern coast, in the country’s Mediterranean Region, 138 kilometers (86 miles) east of Antalya. According to Turkey’s 2010 Census, the city had a population of 98,627 people, while the district that included the city and its built-up region had a land area of 1,598.51 km2 and a population of 248,286 people.
Alanya has been a local stronghold for numerous Mediterranean-based empires, including the Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires, due to its natural strategic location on a short peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains. Alanya’s greatest political importance came during the Middle Ages, when it was part of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm, ruled by Alaeddin Kayqubad I, from whom the city takes its name. Many of the city’s icons, including as the Kzl Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle, were built during his construction drive.
Alanya’s Mediterranean environment, natural features, and ancient history make it a famous tourist destination, accounting for 9% of Turkey’s tourism industry and 30% of foreign purchases of real estate in Turkey. Since 1958, tourism has grown to become the city’s primary industry, resulting in a similar growth in population. Alanya hosts a number of warm-weather athletic events and cultural festivals each year. Mayor Adem Murat Yücel of the Nationalist Movement Party deposed Hasan Sipahiolu of the Justice and Development Party, who had commanded the city since 1999, in 2014.
Tourism in Alanya
Since the first modern motel was erected in 1958, considered the beginning of the tourism sector in Alanya, hotels have rushed to meet the inflow of travelers, and the city now has 157,000 hotel beds as of 2007. Damlataş Cave, which initially drew foreigners because of its microclimate, with an average temperature of 72 °F (22 °C) and 95 percent humidity, is accessible on the peninsula’s west side through paths from Damlataş Beach. During the summer months, Alanya attracts a large number of visitors, particularly Scandinavians, Germans, Russians, and Dutch. They are lured to the region due of the low property costs, the mild weather, the sandy beaches, the proximity to Antalya’s ancient monuments, and the superb food.
Wind surfing, parasailing, and banana boating are among more outdoor tourist activities. Sealanya, Europe’s biggest waterpark, and Turkey’s largest go-kart track are among the attractions. The hunting season also draws some tourists to the area’s natural reserves for wild goat, pig, and partridge hunting.
Tourist seasons following 2005 have been poor for Alanya’s tourism business for a variety of reasons. Increased PKK violence, H5N1 bird flu discovered in Van, and the Mohammad cartoon issue were all implicated. Alanya authorities reacted with a number of public relations activities, including producing the world’s largest cake on April 26, 2006, setting a Guinness World Record. The economy has also suffered as a result of over 20,000 excess homes being invested in. Israeli visitors, who typically arrive by cruise ship, dropped by roughly 85 percent between 2009 and 2011, owing in part to deteriorating ties between Turkey and Israel.
Alanya Castle, a Seljuk medieval castle dated from 1226, located on the peninsula. The majority of the city’s prominent landmarks may be located within and around the castle. The present castle was erected on top of previous fortifications and functioned as both a palace of local governance and a defensive construction in the event of an invasion. The city started restoring several areas of the castle area in 2007, including converting a Byzantine church into a Christian community center. Suleiman the Magnificent erected the Süleymaniye mosque and caravanserai within the citadel. The historic city walls, which encircle part of the eastern peninsula, can be traversed. Within the fortifications are several ancient homes, most of which were erected in the early nineteenth century and are beautifully maintained specimens of classical Ottoman architecture.
The Kzl Kule (Red Tower) is a 108-foot (33-meter) high brick structure that stands at the port below the castle and houses the local ethnographic museum. Sultan Kayqubad I invited architect Ebu Ali from Aleppo, Syria, to create the building in Alanya. The octagonal building, the last of Alanya Castle’s 83 towers, was built to guard the Tersane (dockyard) and is considered one of the greatest examples of medieval military architecture. The Tersane, an 187 by 131 foot (57 by 40 m) medieval drydock erected by the Seljuk Turks in 1221, is split into five vaulted bays with equilateral pointed arches. The Alara Castle and caravanserai near Manavgat, which was also constructed by Kayqubad, has been transformed into a museum and history center.
Atatürk’s House and Museum, which he visited on February 18, 1935, has been conserved in its original condition and is an example of the interior of a conventional Ottoman mansion, complete with 1930s items. The home was constructed in the “karniyarik” (stuffed eggplant) style between 1880 and 1885. Neighborhood councils often require bright colors and red roofs, which give the contemporary town a pastel light. The Alanya Museum is located inland from Damlataşh Beach and is housed in a 1967 Republican period structure.
Alanya is a member of the European Association of Historic Towns and Regions, which is located in Norwich. Alanya Castle and Tersane were nominated to the 2009 Tentative List after local authorities applied to designate them as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Geography of Alanya
The town is located on the Gulf of Antalya in the Anatolian coastal plain of Pamphylia, between the Taurus Mountains to the north and the Mediterranean Sea, and is part of the Turkish Riviera, occupying around 70 kilometers (43 miles) of coastline. From west to east, the Alanya district is bounded by the Manavgat district on the coast, the hilly Gündoğmuş district inland, Hadim and Taşkent in Konya Province, Sarveliler in Karaman Province, and the coastal Gazipaşa district. The ancient towns of Side and Selge may be found in Manavgat. The Dim River runs east of the city from the highlands of Konya on a south-west course into the Mediterranean.
Between the sea and the mountains, the Pamphylia plain is an isolated example of an Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forest, including Lebanon Cedar, evergreen scrub, fig trees, and black pine. The Alanya Massif is a region of metamorphic rocks located east of Antalya. From lowest to tallest, this structure is separated into three nappes: the Mahmutlar, the Sugözü, and the Yumrudağ. A tectonic window with comparable lithology stretches underneath the city. Bauxite, an aluminum mineral, is found in the city’s northern outskirts and may be mined.
The town is separated east–west by a rocky peninsula, which is the city’s defining characteristic. The port, city center, and Keykubat Beach, named after Sultan Kayqubad I, are located on the peninsula’s east side. To the west are Damlataş Beach, called for the famed “dripping caverns,” and Kleopatra Beach. The name “Cleopatra” may have come from either the Ptolemaic princess’ visit here or the territory being included in her dowry to Mark Antony. The major boulevard, Atatürk Bulvar, runs along to the sea and separates Alanya’s southern, considerably more touristy side from the northern, more indigenous part that reaches north into the mountains. Another significant route, evre Yolu Caddesi, surrounds the main town to the north.
Economy of Alanya
Alanya’s tourism business is valued slightly around 1.1 billion euros per year and is therefore the most important industry. The region is also noted for its many fruit farms, notably those producing lemons and oranges, as well as big harvests of tomatoes, bananas, and cucumbers. In 2006, over 80,000 tonnes of citrus fruits were produced across 16,840 hectares (41,600 acres). Where citrus crops are becoming unprofitable, greengage plums and avocados are becoming more attractive early season fruits.
Despite its beachside position, few individuals rely on the water for a job, and fishing is not a prominent business. When fish populations were depleted in the early 1970s, a rotational access system was devised to conserve this section. This revolutionary approach was developed as part of Elinor Ostrom’s study on economic governance, which earned her the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009. Locals criticized the building of many major chain supermarkets and apparel outlets in Alanya in 2007.
Beginning in 2003, with the temporary removal of limits on non-national property acquisitions, the city’s housing business has become immensely lucrative, with many new private residences and condos being developed for European and Asian part-time inhabitants. Alanya accounts for 69% of residences acquired by foreign nationals in Antalya Province and 29.9% of homes purchased in Turkey overall. Individuals, rather than investors, comprise the majority of buyers. As property prices rise and sales to locals diminish, the city’s numerous gecekondu residences and companies under increased pressure. Most structures in the city are limited to 21 feet in height due to a local ordinance (6.5 m). This confines high-rise hotels to the city’s east and west, protecting the center skyline at the price of increased tourism potential. The city’s outskirts, on the other hand, have grown uncontrollably.