Nothing Like a Little Drama…
Afyon is not at a loss for drama….
Even the city’s official name: Afyonkarahisar, “The Black Castle of Opium,” is about as dramatic as city names get.
The statue, which might be nicknamed “That’ll show ya!” commemorates the victory of the Turkish republican forces commanded by Kemal Atatürk over invading Greek forces at Dumlupınar during the War of Independence. Dumlupınar was by some accounts the longest pitched battle in history. The old town of Afyon was badly damaged during the bitter fighting.
The dramatic volcanic peak right in the city center has probably been fortified since Phrygian times at least. It’s obviously a perfect place for a fortress.
Today, Afyon is known for its clotted cream (and Turkish Delight—lokum—made from it) rather than for opium. (All of the local poppy crop is sold to government factories where it’s made into medicines.)
Still, if a drug baron were to dream of the perfect place to live, wouldn’t it be in such a citadel?
Good airplane & bedtime reading…