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 Journal.

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.

First Conquests

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 Alparslan's command.

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 treaty.

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 Gıyasettin Keyhüsrev.

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 this period.

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 borders.

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 Turkmen.

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.