Theme Week Turkish Riviera – Alanya

Friday, 26 January 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  6 minutes

© kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0

© kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0

Alanya, formerly Alaiye, is a beach resort city and a component district of Antalya Province on the southern coast of Turkey, on the Turkish Riviera, 138 kilometres (86 mi) east of the city of Antalya. 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, Seleucid, 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 Kayqubad I, from whom the city derives its name. His building campaign resulted in many of the city’s landmarks, such as the Kızıl Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle.

The Mediterranean climate, natural attractions, and historic heritage make 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.

© Nize/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Ozgurmulazimoglu/cc-by-sa-3.0 © kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0 © kallerna/cc-by-sa-3.0 Selcuk Shipyard © Pan Camel/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Selcuk Shipyard © Pan Camel/cc-by-sa-3.0
Alanya’s culture is a subculture of the larger Culture of Turkey. The city’s seaside position is central to many annual festivals. These include the Tourism and Arts Festival, which marks the opening of the tourism season from at the end of May or beginning of June. At the opposite end of the season, the Alanya International Culture and Art Festival is held in the last week of May, and is a notable Turkish festival. Other regular festivals include the Alanya Jazz Days, which has been held since 2002 in September or October at the Kızıl Kule, which is otherwise home to the municipal ethnographic museum. The Jazz Festival hosts Turkish and international jazz musicians in a series of five free concerts. The Alanya Chamber Orchestra, formed of members of the Antalya State Opera and Ballet, gave its inaugural performance on December 7, 2007. The International Alanya Stone Sculpture Symposium, begun is 2004, is held over the month of November. The Alanya Documentary Festival was launched in 2001 by the Alanya Cinémathèque Society and the Association of Documentary Filmmakers in Turkey. Onat Kutlar, Turkish poet and writer, and founder of the Istanbul International Film Festival was born in Alanya, as was actress Sema Önür. Atatürk’s visit to Alanya is also celebrated on its anniversary each February 18, centered on Atatürk’s House and Museum. The Alanya Museum is home to archaeology found in and around the city, including a large bronze Hercules statue, ceramics, and Roman limestone ossuaries, as well as historic copies of the Qur’an. European residents of Alanya also often celebrate their national holidays, such as Norwegian Constitution Day, and the city set up a Christmas market in December 2010. Iranians also celebrate the Persian New Year, Nevruz, in Alanya.

The city is nearly 99% Muslim, and although many ancient churches can be found in the district, there are no weekly Christian services. In 2006, a German language Protestant church with seasonal service opened with much fanfare, after receiving permission to do so in 2003, a sign of the growing European population in the city. In 2015, the town began renovations of the Greek Orthodox Agios Georgios Church in the village of Hacı Mehmetli, and the church has been used for a monthly Russian Orthodox service. Alanya also provides the Atatürk Cultural Center to Christian groups on a regular basis for larger religious ceremonies.

Since the first modern motel was built in 1958, considered the first year of the tourist industry in Alanya, hotels have raced to accommodate the influx of tourists, and the city as of 2007 claims 157,000 hotel beds. Damlataş Cave, which originally sparked the arrival of outsiders because of the cave’s microclimate, with an average temperature of 72 °F (22 °C) and 95% humidity, is accessible on the west side of the peninsula with trails from Damlataş Beach. Many tourists, especially Scandinavians, Germans, Russians, and Dutch, regularly vacation in Alanya during the warmer 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, and banana boating. Attractions include Europe’s largest waterpark, Sealanya, and Turkey’s largest go-kart track. Hunting season also attracts some tourist for wild goat, pig and partridge hunting in area nature reserves.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on City of Alanya, Wikivoyage Alanya and Wikipedia Alanya (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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