Referred to both as a Pamphylian and as a Cilician city, Alanya has changed its name many a time over the centuries. Founded as the city of Coracesion most probably around the 2nd century B.C., it was for a long time the headquarters of the Cilician pirates who dominated this part of the Mediterranean. It is here that the Roman campaign against these pirates ended with success, with Pompey's victory in 65 B.C.. After the Roman period, the city became part of the Byzantine Empire, and from this time on it was called Kalanoros, which means the "Fine Mountain" in Greek. Finally, conquered by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I in 1221, it took the name of Alaiye, which has survived to our day with slight changes. In the Seljuk period, which was one of great affluence, the city became an important naval base and also a cultural centre, being the summer residence of Seljuk sultans.
With the decline of the Seljuks, Alanya fell into the hands of the Karamanoğulları dynasty and then, in 1472, it became part of the Ottoman Empire. The city lost some of its im¬portance in this period and grew smaller, and it is only in the 20th century that it regained some of its old prosperity. In these last years Alanya has become a very important touristic centre of the region, with its attractive locality and rich historical heritage.