Name and Location
Denizli was established for the first time around Eskihisar Village, 6
km north of today's city. After the Turks had captured Denizli
vicinity, they transferred the city center to today's Kaleiçi site
because of the abundance of water.
The name Denizli is known by different names in historical sources.
Records of the Seljuks and records of the sheriff of the Denizli court
give the name "Ladik." It is called "Tonguzlu" in İbni Battuta's
Şerafettin Zeydi, who wrote Timurlenk's victory, speaks of two names: "Tenguzluğ" and "Tonguzluğ."
The word "tengiz" means "sea" in ancient Turkish.
As a result, we can not give a definite name, as mentioned in the
above explanations. In our opinion, the words "Tonguzlu" and "Tenguzlu"
changed over time and became "Denizli."
Our city is located on an important route for tourism; It is adjacent
to the ancient city of "Aphrodisias" and is an important civilization
in its borders with ancient cities like Colossae, Tripolis, Hierapolis,
Laodicea, white and red travertines, thermal facilities. Found at the
end of the Izmir-Ephesus road known as the "Holy Pilgrimage Route"; The
fact that Denizli is located on the roads of conquest and caravan which
connects İzmir to Mesopotamia, which separates Anatolia from north and
south, gives Denizli a particular importance.
It forms a gateway between the Aegean, the Central Anatolia, and the
Mediterranean Regions on the southwest of the Anatolian Peninsula, on
the southeast of the Aegean Region. Our city is located on an important
route for tourism; Hittite, Phrygia, Lid, Ion, Roman, and Byzantine.
Nearly 30 ancient cities such as Hierapolis, Laodicea, Tripolis,
Herakleia, Attuda, and Colossae are an important civilization with more
than 20 mounds and tumuli. Apart from these Seljuk and Ottoman periods,
many historical values serve cultural tourism.
Turks in and around Denizli were first seen in 1070. Afşin Bey
plundered all of Anatolia then looted Laodicea and captured Honaz.
After 1071 Denizli and its environs were conquered by the men of Kutalmışoğlu Süleyman Bey.
In 1097 the Byzantine emperor Alexis Komnenos commissioned Juannis
Dukas to conquer Western Anatolia. Then Denizli passed by the
Byzantines. Meanwhile, the Turkish forces were in Central Anatolia.
In 1102 Denizli was captured again by Kılınç Arslan. After this
date, the Turkish troops frequently raided the Byzantine lands under
In 1119 Byzantines attacked Denizli and its surroundings with a large
army. Alp KARA which has a few guns had to leave this area. The
Byzantines who came back the following year took possession of the land
up to their relatives Uluborlu.
In 1147 the Crusader III
occupied Denizli and its vicinity by moving southwards from the Aegean
Region under the command of the French King VII Louis. The pioneer units
of the crusader army moving from Antalya direction followed the same
path after passing the Acıpayam Plain and proceeded to go through the
Kazıkbeli. However, the Crusader army has made tremendous losses in the
bloody guerilla warfare there.
In 1176 the Byzantine
emperor Manuel Komnenos plundered Laodicea and its surroundings by
organizing a new expedition to the Seljuk lands and returned to
Istanbul. The following year Turks came back to Laodicea and captured
the city again.
Manuel Komnenos took back
Laodicea and Honaz in 1177 with a large army but was defeated in the war
with the Seljuks. II Kılınç Arslan then expanded his borders and
coordinated raids on the Byzantine lands. The Seljuks were getting
great spoils from these influxes made at the command of Atabey. The
Byzantines defeated this army under the leadership of Atabey near
Sarayköy. Commander Atabey was also a martyr in this battle.
After these dates gradually Turks started to settle in the eastern
parts of Denizli province. Thus the Turkish riders had the opportunity
to advance to the valley of Küçük Menderes.
In 1190 III. The Crusader Army came to Laodicea. The Byzantines
welcomed the Crusader commander Frederik Barbaros. The Turkish tribes
who settled here left their tents and retreated to the mountains and
often attacked the Crusader army.
Denizli and its surroundings were conquered for the fourth time by
Gıyasettin Keyhüsrev in the first years of the XIII century. According
to another account when the Laodiceans seized a Turkish caravan a Seljuk
army under the command of Mehmet and Server Bey of the Seljuk Lords
defeated the Laodicean army and received this territory as a tribute by
The formation of Denizli and its environs in the form of a tributary
bound to the Seljuks took place in 1207 during the reign of Seljuk
Theodor Laskaris who made Iznik the capital city in 1209 and the
Seljuks were not friendly. The Iznik State and the Seljuks fought the
battle between Alaşehir and Antiokhia to the west of Denizli. The Turks
who had won the war in the first encounter plunged. The attacking
Greek Cypriot soldiers killed Giyasettin Keyhüsrev. Thus the Byzantines
who were victorious at the end of the war had a long time in Western
Anatolia. Between the Seljuks and Byzantines Denizli and the region
remained as the border. Today's Denizli city started to be established
in this order. Firstly, Denizli Castle was built by Kara Sungur, son of
Abdullah. Besides; many mosques, inns, and fountains were built in
At the beginning of the 13th century, an intense Turkish community
was formed with new immigrants in and around Denizli. Here are the
Turkmen who conquered the Greek land. They had traditionally plundered
the inhabitants of the Menderes River up to the seaside and sold their
children among Muslims. Meanwhile, it is said that there were 200
thousand Muslim tents in the foothills of Togurlu-Toğuzdağı. These
Turkmen live by migrating in the tip zone. And they kept the western
The Byzantine garrison from
Denizli in 1257 did not stay for a long time against the majority of the
Turks in the city. Thus, in 1259, Denizli was again in the hands of the
Denizli was destroyed by an earthquake in 1366 when Germiyan dominated the city.
In 1391 Yıldırım Beyazıt added Denizli lands to the Ottoman State.
In 1402 Timur came to Denizli after winning the Battle of Ankara.
After staying here for a while, he conquered İzmir region. In the first
months of 1403, he returned to Denizli and built a tent. Timur left
this area with Germiyans.
In the first half of XIV century, the Turkmen who were related to each other was in a fragmented state.
The land in the south of Babadağ covers the areas of the present Tavas and Kale districts.
After entering the Ottoman domination, Denizli city continued to live
calmly. During the earthquakes of 1702-1880 12.000 people died and the
town around the castle at that time became uninhabitable. After that,
this city was pulled up to the current center.
Denizli in the War of Independence
When the Greeks invaded İzmir on 15 May 1919 Denizli Reddi Annexation
Society was established under the leadership of Mufti Ahmet Hulusi
Efendi in Denizli. This partly formed part of Denizli National Forces.
On June 24, 1920, the Front of Aydın broke down, and the Greeks invaded Buldan.
September 4, 1922, the enemy went to Buldan and the Alaşehir direction.
Denizli's heroism in the National Struggle has a great share in the establishment of our Republic.