Afyon, the Black Fortress of Opium—what a name for a nice town! It comes from the sheer rock promontory topped by anage-old fortress at the town’s center (map).
Usually called just Afyon, it’s famous for its Turkish delight(lokum), some of it made with the rich local clotted cream(kaymak) that also appears in baklava, Turkish Delight(lokum) and other treats. Because Afyon is halfway between İzmir and Ankara, travelers often take a break here to eat some.
Legend has it that the clotted cream is produced by cattle fed on the leftover opium poppy plants grown in abundance here.
Old Ottoman Houses
Graceful old Ottoman houses line some of Afyon’s back streets, and Seljuk and early Ottoman mosques such as the Great Mosque (Ulu Cami, 1273), Dervish Hall Mosque (Mevlevihane Camii, 1300s) and Soup Kitchen Mosque (Imaret Camii, 1472) are worth a visit.
Afyon can be a base for visits to Midas Şehri, the “City of Midas, king of Phrygia, 72 km (45 miles) north of Afyon, 32 km (20 miles) south of Seyitgazi, and 107 km (66 miles) south of Eskişehir in the village of Yazılıkaya (“Inscribed Rock”)(map). More…
Battle of Dumlupınar
The Battle of Dumlupınar near Afyon was the decisive victory (August 30, 1922) which swept the invaders out at the end of Turkey’s War of Independence.
Although opium poppies are still grown around Afyon, there’s hardly any black market for the drug anymore. Most of the opium ends up as mophine for use in hospitals.
—by Tom Brosnahan
Distances & Travel Times
Ankara: 260 km (162 miles) NE, 4 hours
Antalya: 300 km (186 miles) S, 5 hours
Beyşehir: 148 km (92 miles) SE, 3 hours
Eğirdir: 211 km (131 miles) S, 3-1/2 hours
Eskişehir: 190 km (118 miles) N, 3 hours
Istanbul: 455 km (283 miles) N, 6-1/2 hours
İzmir: 340 km (211 miles) W, 5-1/2 hours
Konya: 235 km (146 miles) SE, 4 hours
Kütahya: 100 km (62 miles) N, 1-1/2 hours
Pamukkale: 260 km (162 miles) SW, 4 hours
Uşak: 115 km (72 miles) W, 2 hours