When you turn South at the 75 th km. of Antalya - Alanya main road a nice avenue winding through hotels and hauses for about 3 km will lead you to Side, the furthest city in the east of historical Pamphylia. Situated on a peninsula about 1000 m long and 400 m. wide, it fulfilled its duty as a commercial port. Naturally, Side used to be one of the most important trade centers in the antiquity and now it is one of the most popular holiday resort in Turkey. According to Strabon the ancient geographer, side was first established in the 7 th cen. B.C. as a trade colony of the Aegean city Kyme near İzmir But the merchants took up the local language.
Side tan the name "Side" meant pomegranate, the fruit symbolizing abundance and fertility. Like the other Pamphylian cities in general, Side was ruled by Lydia in the sixth cent. B.C. and Persia after 547 B.C. The coins minted in here prove that Side had at least an internal independence. Alexander the Great conquered Side in the first year of the great campaign on Asia in 334 B.C. and was introduced to Hellenistic culture. After his death the empire was shared by generals. The Southern Turkey, including Side changed hands quite often , especially between the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt ( 3rd cent B.C ) and the Seleucid dynasty of Syria ( 2 nd cent B.C ) after the apameia peace agreement between the Romans and thedefeated Syrian kingdom, but Pergama could not gain a complete control over Side. King Attalos of Pergama founded a new city, Attaleia ( Antalya ) as a commercial rival to Side and others on the South coast. At the turn of century Side was a slave-trade center in the hends of Pirates. It was only the Romans who stopped piracy on the eastern Mediterranean and let the southern Anatolian cities in ( Cilicia, Pamphylia and Lycia ) prosper again in peace and safety 78 B.C. Pamphylia was attached to the provice of Galatia by emperor Augustus in 25 B.C. when all the provinces in the Roman empire were re-organised. Side lived its second birth and wealthy period until 3 rt cend. A.D as a Pamphylian city that was placed sometimes in Galatia, sometimes in Lycia. Especially its active role in the slave trade enabled this semiindependent city to gain wealth and most of the structures in ruins at present were built during this period of time. Side felt the necessity of repairing the defensive walls in the second half of 3 rd cend. A.D because of the successive attacks by the highlanders from the north. Furthermore, they built an inner wall right through the city in 4 th cent A.D. Unfortunately these precautions were not enough to secure those great days again and Side started declining.
One day, Accordinkes to the Anatolion Mythology, The God Taurus takes her youngest daughter Side, who had been The Goddes of nature and abundance, to the valley of the Rıver Manauwa (Manavgat) for picking up flowers and making wreaths with the Nymphes (water-fairies) While picking up flowers and dancing with the Nymphes, Side, suddenly sees a tree with thin branches having shiny leaves and colourful flowers and breaks off a branch, to take it to her little daugther. As she breaks the branch off it starts bleeding. Accually, Side realizes that the tree is not a real one it is a Nymphe who has escaped from some wicked human beings and taken the shape of a tree. She is so sorry and so scared that she wants to go away, but she can't. She is stuck and she feels that her feet are bried in ground. Then her body changes into a from of a tree. The Nymphes are sad and they start crying. The Nymphes are sad and they start crying. The fresh roots of Side are watered with the of Nymphes. Side says that it was her fault and ask the Nymphes to take a message to her little daugher The message is as follows; From now on I'll be the symbol of nature, life and abundance with my blood-red rich fruit, I ask you to take my daughter here from time to time, to play in my shade. And warn her not to pick flowers and never damage trees on earth; because any of those trees could be a Goddes. This is why the peninsula of Side full of pomegranate trees.
On returning to the E24 continue in the direction of Alanya. After c 13 km a left-hand turn leads to the market town of Serik. This as supermarkets banks a-post office, chemist shop and a number of small restaurants, where simple meals may be obtained. A signpost to the left, 4 km of Serik marks the road to the site (5km) of the ancient city of ASPENDUS, which is near the modern village of Belkis.
Not far from the road junction there is a fine 13C Selçuk bridge over the Köprüçay the ancient Eurymedon. This structure which is still used, replaced a 2C Roman bridge, whose ruins may be seen in the river-bed a few meters to the N. In ancient times the Eurymedon was navigable as far as Aspendus. At the approach to the site, on the right, are the substantial remains of a roman baths complex, which dates from the 3C AD. This rectangular structure had die usual arrangement of apodyterium, tepidarium, caldarium and frigidarium The foundations and upper walls were made of shaped blocks of the local pudding stone, while the vaults were of brick. Note the terracotta pipes running through the dividing walls. Approximately 50 m SE of the baths are the ruins of the gymnasium, which was also constructed in the 3 C AD. The main entrance on the S led to the palaestra.
Behind this was a long, narrow rectangular hall used for ceremonial purposes. On the E wall there were statues of the emperor and loc able dignitaries. The other rooms were probably used for bathing and for instruction purposes, but, as the building has not been excavated, it is not possible to state this with certainty.
Alarahan, known as the Pamphilia region is within the frontier of Antalya province of Alanya district, Okurcalar city, Çakkallar village.30 km from Alanya (towards Antalya ) there is a turnoff to Alarahan.You will travel for 9 km after this turnoff from the sea towards the forest passing little settlement areas, and arrive to the region which has given it's name “Historic Alarahan.”
Alarahan, one of Turkey's limited “historic places to gain function” with it's naturel surrounding Alara Castle and Alara Creek, forms a unique “museum of nature and history.”
Alarahan of Silk Way was built in A.D 1231 by Seljuk Sultan I. Alaaddin Keykubat. With living places suitable for the stay of Sultan, it's architecture and functional places, Khan is accepted as the most functional among the Anatolia Khans.
Khan is the only touristic place in the region in which you can see the life styles of the Seljuk Turks, in Anatolia many centuries ago and an opportunity for the visitors to get acquainted with our cultural elements and to keep them alive.
770 years old Khan which wasn't in a ruined condition until two years ago, has become a “living and serving place “ as it was in the past, due to a restoration work conducted with total devotion to keep it original, between 1998-2000.
Return to the E24 and continue for c 5km in the direction of Alanya. To reach SELGE take the road on the left signposted Köprülükanyon Millipark and 23 km Beşkonak.
Selge is one of the most difficult sites in S Turkey to visit. As far as Beşkonak the road is reasonably good. From there to the settlement of Zerk / Altınkaya, which occupies the site of the ancient city, there is a very rough track, suitable only for a jeep. Allov a day for the visit, and take provisions, including water, for picnic meals also take some warm clothes, as Selge is c 900m above sea level the difference between the day-time temperature there and on the coast can e substantial.
At first the road to Beşkonak runs through a pleasant wooded landscape, sometimes approaching, sometimesdrawing away from the Eurymedon river. About 5km N of Beşkonak it reaches a restaurant and coffee house, where a pause for refreshment may be made before starting the strenuous climb to Zerk. Where the road forks just beyond the restaurant take the left hand track, signposted Altınkaya. This leads to a Roman bridge, which spans a deep gorge between two cliffs. Across the bridge, turn right on to a minor road that climbs steadily to the village of Zerk. This road's many sha rp bends and very rough surface demand careful driving.
The mountain landscape isspectacularly beautiful. Deep gorges clothed in cypress and cedar recedes into the distance in ever higher. Occasionally thebright green of styrax officinal is may be glimpsed through the darker foliage. The Selgians valued this shrub so highly that it appeared on their coins. According to strabo an aromatic gum which it produced was much in demand in ancient times It was, and still is used in the manufacture of incense and perfurme.
Seleuceie is near the Şıhlar Village, 12 km. North, East of Manavgat. It is one of nine cities named after seleukos Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great in the 3 rd cent B.C. The strong city walls and good stratgical position suggest that it ws founded here to protect the coastal cities against the attacks from the north. Side was the nearest and the closest commercial pertner of Seleuceia.
The Archaeological findings reflect the Roman art greatly. The city was still important during the Byzantine period but it was completely destroyed by the arabs in the 7 th cent A.D. ıt was only a nomadic settlement afterwards. Together with the water dams near by the ancient city seleuceia can be great jeep safari sign for the holiday makers in Side. The 5 m high city gate in the 9 m. high city walls welcome the visitors into the well, preserved forum. This shopping center was surrounded by shops behind the Doric porticos on four Sides.
The two great Hellenistic mosaics discovered during the surface research and excavations in1970's are displayed in Antalya Museum. In the Southern corner of the forum, the small building with six rows of seats was either an Odeon (music hall) or a bouleuerion (the town hall). The are the ruins of a small Byzantine church in the much older temple lie about 25 m. North of the Forum. Kapollo is thought to be the chief deity of the city in antiquity. A bronz Apollo statuette found in this area is now exhibited in Antalya Museum.
Northeast of Antalya, taking the turn off for Tasagil and Beskonak, is scenic route that leads to the 14 km Köprülü Canyon National Park. The road crisscrosses over the clear, flowing water of the mountain river and passes through virgin forests, by rippling waterfalls. Reaching the park , 92 km from Antalya, you will encounter a valley of wild beauty rich in flora and fauna. The canyon streches for 14 km along the Köprü River and is 400 meters deeps in some places. At the rest area there are fish restaurants offering delicious selections. The Roman Oluk Bridge, which spans the canyon, and the Büğrüm Bridge over the Kocadere stream, were engineering feast in their time.From this park you can take two possible excurtions to the ancient city of Selge or to the Dedegöl Mountainst, highest peak at 2,992 meters. Mountainers will be unable to resist climbing, exploring and camping in this rugged, scenic spot.
Return to the junction on the E24 for Beşkonak. From here it is c 23 km to manavgat, a pleasant market town on the Manavgat Çayı, the ancient river Melas, which has the usual complement of shops and banks. On the outskirts of Manavgat a road to the left goes first to (4 km) Manavgat Şelale (Manavgat waterfalls) a beauty-spot much favoured by Turkish as well as foreign visitors. Here under the pine trees, it is possible to enjoy an excellent lunch of freshly grilled trout washed down by a dry white wine. Approximately 3 km further is Şıhlar. From there is is an easy hour's walk to the site of Seleuceia in Pamphylia.
When it was built in 1984, it was the 3rd biggest dam in Turkey. It has four turbines which are located underground and each of them has a capacity of 135 megawatts per hour. Total capacity is 540 megawatts. 45% of the electricity produced there is used in the Seydişehir Aliminium Complex.
Titreyengöl, which is a natural shelter for all kinds of birds such as cormorants and Pekin ducks, has an area of 3.000 m2. The region has got 22 touristic foundations with more than a capacity of 18.000 beds.
The lake has an interesting story. It is rumoured that an old fisherman was living by the lake and was feeding the birds arround.
When ever the birds see the the fisherman they fly towards him. One day a group of hunters hunting by the lake shot all the ducks swimming. The old man runs towards the hunters and tries to persuade them not to go on hunting. Meanwhile the other ducks fly towards the hunters rn away. After this event the lake shivers all the time as if the birds are crying for the loss of the old fisherman.