Turkey / Cities and Towns /
City in western Turkey with 150,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), at 1,030 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Isparta province with 520,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Straight and busy city streets.
Ulu Camii, and perhaps what is the heart of Isparta.
The main economic activities of Isparta are rosewater production and carpet making.
Isparta is a rather standard modern Turkish town, but some of the historical buildings and houses still remain. Among them are the Great (Kutlubey) mosque from 1417, but later restorations have distorted its original appearance. The 16th century Firdevs Pas mosque is designed by the master court architect Sinan. There is also a ruined fortress from pre-Islamic times.
Isparta has good connections to other parts of Turkey with either railways or by road. Antalya lies 130 to the south and Eskisehir 350 km to the north.
1st millenium CE: Known as Baris and part of the Byzantine Empire.
1203: Occupied by the Seljuqs.
Late 13th century: Becomes part of the Hamidoglu emirate.
1381: Isparta is sold to the Ottoman sultan Murad 1 by the Hamidoglu emir.
Late 19th century: Muslim refugees from the Balkans settle around Isparta. The Bulgarian refugees brought the knowledge of rosewater production with them.