The History of Antalya City
In 150 BC Attalos II, the king of Pergamon, founded the Attalia city for providing a base for his powerful naval fleet. Later Antalya city became a part of the Roman Empire in 133 BC when King Attalos III of Pergamum willed his kingdom to Rome after his death and the city grew rapidly and prospered under the ruling of Ancient Rome. Christianity started to widen in the area after second century. Antalya was visited by Paul of Tarsus, as described in the Acts of the Apostles, (Antalya is referred as Attalia). St. Paul and St. Barnabas both went to Antalya and sailed from there to Antioch after preaching in Pisidia and Pamphylia. The city later became an important naval base for the Christian Crusades against the Muslims in the Levant and in Cyprus regions.
Antalya was a major city in the Byzantine Empire. At the time of the ascension of John II Comnenus (1118) it was an isolated outpost against the Turk invasions, because it was only accessible only by sea. The following year, with the help of his commander-in-chief John Axuch, John II drove the Turks from the land routes to Antalya and reunited the city of Antalya with the rest of the Byzantine Empire.
Seljuk Turks conquered Antalya, along with the whole region in the early 13th century. In 17th century, the famous turkish traveller Evliya Celebi described the city as containing narrow streets includes 3000 houses in 20 Turkish neighbourhoods and 4 Greek. Later, Antalya had grown beyond the old city walls and the seaport could hold a maximum of 200 boats.
In the 18th century, its actual lord was a Dere Bey which in common with most of the Anatolia. The family of Tekkeoglu, settled near Perge, though reduced to submission in 1812 by Mahmud II, continued to be a rival power to the Ottoman empire till within the present generation, surviving by many years the fall of the other great lords of Anatolia. The records of the Levant (Turkey) Company, which operated an agency there until 1825, contain information as to the local Dere Beys.
In the 19th century the population of Antalya increased by the migration of Turks from the Caucasus and the Balkans into Anatolia. By 1911 it was a city with a population of 25,000 people, including mostly Christians and Jews, still living in separate quarters, round the walled mina or port. The port was served local companies only by coasting steamers. Antalya (then Adalia) was an fascinating picturesque, but ill-built and backward town. The most important thing to see was the old city wall, outside which runs a good and clean promenade and which survived to our age. The administrative offices and the houses of the rich families were all outside the city walls.