Alanya is located on a peninsula which is bordered by the Taurus Mountains in the north and the Mediterranean Sea on the south. This ancient city was named either Pamphylia or Cilicia because of it lies between the two region. There is no definite information about the first founding of Alanya. Prof. Dr. Kılınç Kökten’s researches in1957 in Kadıini Cave which is located 12 km from the centre of the city, shows us the history of the region that goes to late Paleolitic period.
When or who was founded Alanya is unknown. Known in Latin as Coracesium, or in Greek as Korakesion from the Luwian Korakassa meaning “point-protruding city.”Left to Ptolemy I Soter after 323 BC, his dynasty maintained loose control, and it became a popular spot for Mediterranean pirates who were at times loyal Diodotus Tryphon of the Seleucid Kingdom. This period ended with the city’s incorporation into the Roman Empire by Pompey in 65 BC. After the empires collapse and split the city remained under Byzantine influence, becoming known as “Kolonoros,” or beautiful mountain. The area fell from their sphere of influence after the Battle of Manzikert to tribes of Seljuk Turks, only to be returned in 1097 by Alexios I Komnenos and forces of the First Crusade. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia periodically held the port, and it was from an Armenian, Kir Fard, that Muslims took lasting control in 1221 when the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat exchanged governance of the city of Akşehir for it. The the city was renamed Alaiye, a derivative of Alaaddin. Seljuk rule saw the golden age of the city, and it can be considered the winter capital of their empire. Building projects, including the twin citadel, city walls, arsenal, and Red Tower made it an important port for western Mediterranean trade, particularly with Ayyubid Egypt and the Italian city-states. Keykubat also constructed numerous gardens and pavilions outside the walls, and many of his works can still be found in the city.
The Mongol invasion broke down Seljuk control, and the city fell to a series of beyliks, and even to Lusignans from Cyprus. The city was sold by the Karamanoğlu dynasty in 1427 to the Mamluk dynasty for a period before Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1471 incorporated it into the growing Ottoman Empire. In 1571 the city was organized into the province of Cyprus, then later under Konya, and in 1868 under Antalya, as it is today. In his 1935 visit, Atatürk finalized the name in the new alphabet as Alanya.