Denizli

Denizli is a growing industrial city in the eastern end of the alluvial valley formed by the river Buyuk Menderes, where the plain reaches an elevation of about a hundred meters, in southwestern Turkey, in the country’s Aegean Region. The city has a population of about 483,000 (2008 census) and is the capital city of Denizli Province.

Denizli has achieved a remarkable economic development in the last decades based notably on textile production and exports. Having become a vibrant center of manufacturing focused on exportation, Denizli is frequently cited, along with a number of other Turkish cities, as one of the foremost examples of "Anatolian Tigers" in reference to its rapid pace of development.

History

The area has been occupied since prehistoric times, there were important ancient Greek and Roman towns nearby, (Hierapolis and Laodicea on the Lycus), which persisted through the Byzantine period. The city was founded in its current location after the area has been settled by the Turks.

In the 17th century, the Turkish traveler Evliya celebi visited Denizli and recorded the town as follows: "The city is called (Denizli) (which means seaside in Turkish) as there are several rivers and lakes around it. In fact it is a four day trip from the sea. Its fortress is of square shape built on flat ground. It has no ditches. Its periphery is 470 steps long. It has four gates. These are: painters gate in North, saddle-makers gate in the East, new Mosque gate in the South, and vineyard gate in the West. There are some fifty armed watchmen in the fortress, and they attend the shop. The main city is outside the fortress with 44 districts and 3600 houses. There are 57 small and large mosques and district masjids, 7 madrasahs, 7 children’s schools, 6 baths and 17 dervish lodges. As everybody live in vineyards the upper classes and ordinary people do not flee from each other."

The city lived in peace for centuries without being involved in wars in a direct manner. Following the World War I during the Independence War the Greek forces managed to come as close as SaraykOy, a small town 20 km (12 mi) northwest of Denizli, but did not venture into Denizli where resistance was being prepared.

Dating back to the Calcholithic age, this was the site of a settlement of the earliest communities, and changed hands continuously, becoming the center of various civilizations in different time periods.

The ancient city of Laodikeia is here, with its ruins awaiting for the sightseers in addition to Triopolis which was known as the center of bishops, while Christianity spread. Laodikeia was one of the Seven Churches mentioned in the book of Revelations. The city is still the subject of excavations.

Hierapolis is another ancient city, being a historical treasure, while it also offers a real wonder of nature. Named as "Pamukkale" (meaning Cotton Castle in Turkish) this place is astonishingly beautiful, and unique in the world with its white travertine offering marvelous scenery.

The wide forests and numerous picnicking and camping areas here contribute to this natural and archaeological richness, while its position as a stopover between the major provinces like Izmir, Ankara and Antalya, increases the tourist attraction of Denizli. The thermal resorts also attract visitors to the provinces with their spring waters of therapeutic effects; Gemezli, Cezmeli, Tekke and Kizildere are the main spa resorts, besides the thermal centers of Pamukkale and Karahayit.

The weather is very hot in Denizli in summers, whereas in winters, it may occasionally be very cold with snow on the mountains that surround the city. Springs and autumns are generally rainy.



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