Its position as a geographical cross roads has meant that over the past 10,000 years many peoples have migrated into or occupied Anatolia, as a result of which the Anatolian peoples havealways had to protect themselves from possible outside attack. Cities were usually fortified, and surviving city walls can be seen in Istanbul and Diyarbakır, for instance. Castles were also constructed for defence purposes, and even outsiders who established trading colonies along the coasts of Anatolia, like the Venetians, Genoese and Knights of Rhodes, took similar precautions to defend them.In the earliest Anatolian settlements bouses were built backing onto city walls. Settlements of this type have been discovered by archaeologists in the southern region around the lakes of Egirdir,Bey§ehir and Burdur, and are characteristic of Hittite cities. The earliest castles as opposed to fortified towns in Anatoliawere built by the Urartians, who dominated eastern Anatolia between about 850 and 650 BC
The Urartians constructed dozens of castles in this mountainous region of eastern Turkey, such as Toprakkale, Kalecik, Cavustepe, Edremit, Asagi Anfaz, Yukan Anfaz, Zengibar, Muradiye, Kecikiran, Hosap, Agarti, Delicay and Zernakitepe. The most important of all is undoubtedly Van Castle, which was built in the year 834 BC by King Sardur I of Urartu. The northern side rests against steep slopes and to the south are rocky cliffs. The castle measures 1800 m long by 1200 m wide, and within its walls are many royal tombs and inscriptions. Four walls surround the castle, two of Urartian construction, and two built nearly two thousand years later by the Akkoyunlu and Ottomans. In front of the north walls is an open air temple carved into the rock, and within the walls are a mosque, medrese, barracks and cisterns.
originally built in tbe second century BC
Roman pirates. It stands on the sun: of Kandeleri bead-land. When Alanya was taken by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat 1 in 1221. he had the castle rebuilt, a task which took five years Towards the end of the century the castle was taken over by the Karaman principality, and passed into Ottoman hands in 1471. Traves remain of the different peoples who possessed the castle, which contains a church dedicated to St. George, a mosque, bedesten, dervish lodge and tomb. Buildings which have now disappeared include a Turkish bath, medrese and cisterns. The tower which stands in the harbour was connected to the castle by a passageway. Made of red stone and brick, the 33 m high tower served to protect the naval shipyards established here by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat.
This castle on a small island close to the Mediterranean coast between Mersin and Silifke was built to protect the ancient Cilician city of Cory cos from attack by sea. This port city struck its own coins in the first century BC, and retained its importance through Byzantine times. The castle passed into Turkish hands when it was conquered by Ibrahim Bey of the Karamanoglu in 1448 and extensively repaired. The castle has a circumference of 900 m and eight towers. The name Maidens Castle (Kiz Kalesi) derives from a legend about a princess who was shut away here when her death was prophesied, but was bitten by a snake.
Anadoluhisan on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus is the oldest Turkish building in Istanbul. It was constructed by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I Yildinm in 1395, and later enlarged by Mehmet II (1451-1481) who built the outer walls. At the centre is a 25 m high square tower of four storeys, surrounded by a 20 m high wall 1.5 m thick in the form of an irregular pentagon. The 2 m thick outer wall measures 80 m from north to south and 65 m from east to west. As well as accommodation for the garrison the fortress contained its own mosque
Facing Anadoluhisan across the Bosphorus is Rumelihisan built in 1452, the year before the Turkish conquest, by Mehmet II. It was constructed in just four months by 2000 building labourers and 100 stonemasons working night and day. The two fortresses enabled the Turks to control vessels passing through the Bosphorus Strait. The fortress walls are 5 m in height and twice as thick as Istanbul's city walls. It has five gates and three large towers 28 m high and approximately 20 m. in diameter. They are named after Mehmet lis principal generals. There is a cistern and two fountains inside the fortress, which formerly also bad a small mosque. There is an inscription on the largest tower listing the different appellations of God; the Merciful, the Just and so on. Following the conquest of Istanbul the fortress lost its military importance and was used as a prison for important political prisoners. The fortress was restored a few years ago on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the conquest and is now used for concerts in summertime.
Hosap Castle was built 60 km from Van on the road to B as kale in eastern Turkey by a local Turkish lord Sari Süleyman in 1643- It is situated on a steep hill north of the Hosap River after which it is named. The walls form an irregular hexagon and have four cylindrical towers. The keep consists of three sections, and over the door into the keep is an inscription and two lions carved in relief. In the outer ramparts is a mosque, hamam (Turkish bath), cistern and storerooms.
The history of Divrigi in central Turkey begins with the Hittites, and continues with the Persians, Alexander the Great, Kingdom of Cappadocia, Romans, Pontic Kingdom, and Sassani-ans. Turkish rule began with the Mengucekogullan in 1080, and the castle was built in the 13th century by Siileyman Sah I of the Mengucekogullan. Only the outer walls and a square tower remain today.
Bodrum Castle was constructed on a small headland in the southwestern town of Bodrum, the ancient Halicar-nassus, by the Knights of Rhodes who were allowed to settle here by the Ottoman sultan Celebi Mehmet in 1415. Known as the castle of St. Peter, it has three concentric walls and a keep. Stones and reliefs from the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the world, which had been demolished by an earthquake, were used in the construction of the castle. In the outer walls are the carved coats of arms of the Knights, inscriptions and reliefs of saints. The castle was taken by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in 1522 prior to his campaign against Rhodes. Under Abdulhamid II (1876-1909) political dissidents were exiled here. The church built by the Knights of Rhodes was converted to a mosque in 1522, and in 1965 used to house the museum, now the Museum Of Nautical Archaeology. This 14th century castle is situated near Camlibemsin southwest of Rize on the eastern Black Sea coast. Its walls are 15-20 m in height and encircle an area of 480 m2.