The Romans strengthened the city’s fortifications and improved the harbor’s facilities. Through Byzantine times, and the empires of the Seljuk Turks and Ottomans, daily life in Antalya centered on the harbor.
Today the harbor is still at the heart of Antalya, at water’s edge in the historic core of the city called Kaleiçi (Old Antalya). It’s now surrounded by restaurants and cafes, and is a favorite place to gather in the afternoon or evening to sip tea, coffee or a drink, or to share a meal and conversation with friends.
The boats in the harbor now are not cargo ships but private yachts and the broad-beamed gulets that take visitors out into the Gulf of Antalya on fishing trips or day-long excursions along the coast.
—by Tom Brosnahan