The city of Antalya has passed through numerous empires. Once part of the Byzantine Empire, Antalya was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the 13th century. By the 14th century the Ottomans were starting to take control of current day Turkey, seizing Antalya and the surrounding areas. It was not until the 15th century that all of Turkey, which contained Constantinople, was conquered by the Ottomans. Antalya was incorporated into current day Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.


According to Ibn Battuta, Antalya was the best organized city he had visited. He also noted that the city was different than others because of the different sects from numerous religions (i.e. Armenian Christians, Jews, Greek Orthodox, etc.) were separated in the city. They each lived in their own quarter of the city, and a wall was built around their section of the city. Since Ibn Battuta visited when the city was Islamic, Muslims were allowed  to freely travel about the city. He also recounts those he called “Akhis,” meaning ‘generous’ in Turkish. These people were very generous to Ibn Battuta, for it was their tradition to provide lodging to travelers who enter their city. They were very modest in their clothing and, when one invited Ibn Battuta and his group to have dinner, Ibn Battuta mistakenly took him for a poor, homeless man. Later, after Ibn Battuta left Antalya for Constantinople, but was still in the Turkish region, he met another Akhi. Although they could not speak the same language, both Ibn Battuta and this Akhi shared a meal and spent the night together.


Antalya is now a tourist hub of Turkey. Located near the  Mediterranean coast, it enjoys warm weather throughout the year with the hottest temperatures in July and August [1]. Though the city is very modern, it still maintains a mystical feel in its carefully preserved ancient and medieval ruins. This unique combination makes it a fascinating vacation destination.

Ancient map of Antalya.



[1] Holiday Check, “Weather for Antalya.” Last modified 2012. Accessed June 29, 2012.