The statue of Attalus II, the King of Pergamon, or “Bergama” in Turkish, salutes the passers-by at Kalekapısı, one of Antalya’s most central spots.
Attalus II, who, reportedly ordered his soldiers to “find him the paradise in the world,” is regarded as the modern city’s founder and origin of its name. In other words, Antalya dates back to 2,000 years ago.
Attalia, the city of Attalus, eventually acquired the name Antalya and continues to host millions of visitors annually in modern times after the first arrival of Attalus’s soldiers.
Maybe you have heard, too; there is a term, “capital of tourism,” frequently used when referring to Antalya. However, I always think that the words we use to describe Antalya should exceed an industrial connotation.
It is because the word, Antalya, should not bring only one thing to minds. Especially nowadays, when the “tourism” industry is given a role in negative sentences! When somebody starts their words with “Tourism…”, I think “Huh! Now they are going to talk about some unfavorable stuff.”
For this reason, we should not still cite Antalya only as the capital of tourism. Antalya should be the first place to come to mind when people talk of “holiday,” which is regarded as a need today. The word Antalya should be interpreted as people’s escape for a break from metropolises where they are almost overwhelmed by the stress and bleaker lives. We should talk about not only the warm sun but also the warmth of people and the environment.
For instance, the word Antalya should describe love more often… It should remind that the city plays host to couples who go there many times to recall their love. Or if we really need an official description, Antalya should be called, for example, a “Holiday Empire,” thanks to its infrastructure, which is a byproduct of substantial investments!
Antalya is one of the cities with the longest coasts in Turkey. Moreover, almost all these coasts have superb resort areas built on many civilizations and settlements, some of which were once city- states.
Also, Antalya is a place where everybody has many reasons to come again after seeing it for the first time. Perhaps even this characteristic is enjoyed by a few cities in the world. It offers so many options even for travel and accommodation that one feels complete bewilderment. Antalya will allure you for a few more visits to Side and its surroundings when you are in Alanya or other spots as you spend time in Kemer. These areas are full of options even within themselves. For example, think of the place where we easily refer to as “Kemer.”
Here, Beldibi is a place in its own right whereas Çamyuva, Kiriş, and Tekirova are totally different places!
I have not mentioned about Adrasan, Olympos or Demre yet. And what about Finike, Kaş, and Kalkan?
As you see, Antalya is much more than a seven-letter word. How can I fit it into these pages!
by ERKUT OZEN