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Photographer's Note

Kizil Kule and old town in Alanya, Antalya.

Alanya was originally a settlement on a small peninsula with the Taurus Mountains to the North and the Mediterranean sea to the South. The time of foundation of the city and its founder is unknown. The oldest known name of the city is "Coracesium." During the Byzanthine period the city was named "Kalonoros." After the Seljuq invasion of the castle led by Alaaddin Keykubat I in the 13th century (between the years 1200-1237), the name of the city was changed to "Alaiyye.
During the Arabic invasions in the 7th Century A.D., the city's defence gained more importance. And in order to defend the city against raids that the castle construction was given a priority. This is why the castles and churches in Alanya and its surrounding area mainly date from the 6th and 7th Centuries A.D. In 1221, the Seljuq Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat I defeated the Kyr Vart dynasty who reigned the Alanya Castle and conquered the castle. The sultan constructed an imperial residence at the castle and declared Alanya the second capital of the Seljuq Empire after Konya. Keykubat used the residence mainly during winter.
Alanya castle has always been subject to settlement because of its impregnability by sea and land, and is one of the few castles built Anatolia that survived until the present. The castle, surrounded by walls of 6.5 km length, has 140 towers, almost 400 cisterns, several doors with inscriptions and overlooks the open air museum. The open air museum building is one of the best examples of Seljuq architecture. Ramparts to the castle start from Kizkule and extend down to Ehmedek, Ickale, Adam Atacagi, Cape Cilvarda, Arap Evliyasi Rampart and Esat Rampart, and finally pass through the Tophane and Tersane buildings ending at at the starting point of Kizilkule. The first constructed building in the castle dates from the Hellenistic period, but was turned into its stately and monumental state during the Seljuq Empire. The part called inner castle, located at the highest place of the Western corner of the peninsula, has a height of about 250 m. from the sea. The inner castle has been surrounded by walls on all four sides as it was used as the centre of administrative and military organisations. Two cisterns, made of bricks and dating from the Seljuq period, are located at the centre of the inner castle are still in good condition. Except the building on the Western wall, all main buildings in the inner castle were constructed in such a way that they all lean on castle walls.

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