Alanya, which is host to many foreign citizens today, is situated on the eastern edge of the Gulf of Antalya and was actually established as a pirate town. When the audacious pirate Tryphon decided to build a castle that would serve him as refuge in times of duress, he saw that the rocky peninsula where today’s Alanya Castle is located was the most strategic place for such a building. He immediately embarked on the construction of the castle. The rampant piracy threatened the hegemony of Rome in the region and by the middle of the 1st century BC this could be stemmed by the forceful actions of Roman commanders. Following Alanya's conquest in the 13th century by the Seljuks, the city was used as a capital where Seljuk Sultans used to spend the winter months.
Alanya was a major centre of timber production in ancient times and was especially renowned for its cedars high up in the Taurus Mountains. It became a wealthy city, whose wealth was channelled into the beautification of the city. Today it has become a well-developed city with modern amenities. A quarter of the city’s population is composed of foreigners who have purchased summer residences, making it a truly cosmopolitan centre.