2,000-year-old pirate city waiting to be discovered
The “pirate city” Iotape, located in the Alanya district of the southern province of Antalya, which is home to Roman- and Byzantine-era ruins, is waiting to be discovered.
The ancient city is located in the middle of Gazipaşa and Alanya and was named after Iotape, the wife of the Commagane King 4th Antiochus, who ruled between 38 and 72 A.D.
While a high cape extending towards the sea is the acropolis of the city, the walls make this section look like a castle.
Iotape, which looks like a magnificent natural wonder with the bay it has, has been ruined because of random pitfalls dug by treasure hunters.
The old Gazipaşa road passes right in the middle of Iotape ancient city, which is also called “Aytap.” The upper part of the road, some parts of which have been destroyed during its construction, has also disappeared over time.
The city center on the beach side has been ruined especially due to the pits of treasure hunters. Those who come to the ancient city, which attracts people with its nature, leave their waste in the environment. Tents are pitched by people in some parts of the city and inside the historical church.
Former guide and tourism operator Suat Çavuşoğlu said that not only Alanya Castle, but also all historical monuments in the district should be preserved equally.
“Therefore, I believe that the museum directorate should be more active in this regard. We only have Alanya Castle in Alanya, which we protect. Iotape is a very old culture; our culture from the past. It is our duty to take care of it,” he said.
Stressing that Iotape is known as a “pirate city” and the pirates, who are believed to have lived here, attacked the ships in the Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu said that such a pirate city would have big advantages when it gets included in cultural tourism.
“We often mentioned it as people who bring tourists to Alanya. We tried to express that we should highlight the cultural values of Alanya and market them abroad. But nothing has been done so far. Only the Alanya Castle is promoted in Alanya. We also have Alanya Castle that was built after it. Alara Castle is a Seljuk Castle. There are Iotape and Syedra. These are very important cultural values,” he said.
On the other hand, it is reported that the Alanya Museum Directorate does not have a restoration plan for the Iotape ancient city and that only cleaning works are currently carried out.