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For other uses, see Kara Hisar.
Location of Afyonkarahisar

Coordinates: 38°45.48′N 30°32.32′E / 38.75800°N 30.53867°E / 38.75800; 30.53867Coordinates: 38°45.48′N 30°32.32′E / 38.75800°N 30.53867°E / 38.75800; 30.53867

Country Turkey
Region Aegean
Province Afyonkarahisar
 • Mayor Burhanettin Çoban (AKP)
 • Governor İrfan Balkanlıoğlu
AreaTemplate:Turkey district areas
 • District Template:Turkey district areas km2 (Formatting error: invalid input when rounding sq mi)
Elevation 1,021 m (3,350 ft)
Population (Template:Turkey district populations)Template:Turkey district populations
 • Urban Template:Turkey district populations
 • District Template:Turkey district populations
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 03xxx
Licence plate 03

Afyonkarahisar (Turkish pronunciation: [afjonkaɾahiˈsaɾ], Turkish: afyon "poppy, opium", 'kara' "black", 'hisar' "fortress"[1]) is a city in western Turkey, the capital of Afyon Province. Afyon is in mountainous countryside inland from the Aegean coast, 250 km (155 mi) south-west of Ankara along the Akarçay River. Elevation 1,021 m (3,350 ft). Population (2010 census) 173,100 [2]


The name Afyon Kara Hisar (literally opium black castle in Turkish), since opium was widely grown here and there is a castle on a black rock. Also known simply as Afyon. Older spellings include Karahisar-i Sahip, Afium-Kara-hissar and Afyon Karahisar. The city was known as Afyon (opium), until the name was changed to Afyonkarahisar by the Turkish Parliament in 2004.


The top of the rock in Afyon has been fortified for a long time. It was known to the Hittites as Hapanuwa, and was later occupied by Phrygians, Lydians and Achaemenid Persians until it was conquered by Alexander the Great. After the death of Alexander the city (now known as Akroinοn (Ακροϊνόν) or Nikopolis (Νικόπολις) in Ancient Greek), was ruled by the Seleucids and the kings of Pergamon, then Rome and Byzantium. The Byzantine emperor Leo III after his victory over Arab besiegers in 740 renamed the city Nicopolis (Greek for "city of victory"). The Seljuq Turks then arrived in 1071 and changed its name to Kara Hissar ("black castle") after the ancient fortress situated upon a volcanic rock 201 meters above the town. Following the dispersal of the Seljuqs the town was occupied by the Sâhib Ata and then the Germiyanids.

The castle was much fought over during the Crusades and was finally conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid I in 1392 but was lost after the invasion of Timur Lenk in 1402. It was recaptured in 1428 or 1429.

The area thrived during the Ottoman Empire, as the centre of opium production and Afyon became a wealthy city with the typical Ottoman urban mixture of Turks and Armenians. During the 1st World War British prisoners of war who had been captured at Gallipoli were housed here in an empty Armenian church at the foot of the rock. During the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) campaign (part of the Turkish War of Independence) Afyon and the surrounding hills were occupied by French, Italian and then Greek forces. However, it was recovered on 27 August 1922, a key moment in the Turkish counter-attack in the Aegean region. After 1923 Afyon became a part of the Republic of Turkey.

The region was a major producer of raw opium (hence the name Afyon) until the late 1960s when under international pressure, from the USA in particular, the fields were burnt and production ceased. Now poppies are grown under a strict licensing regime. They do not produce raw opium any more but derive Morphine and other opiates using the poppy straw method of extraction.[3]

Afyon was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 50 lira banknote of 1927-1938.[4]


Afyonkarahisar has a continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dsa) and semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with cold and snowy winters and hot and dry summers. Rainfall occurs mostly during the spring and autumn.

Climate data for Afyonkarahisar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.0
Average high °C (°F) 4.5
Average low °C (°F) −3.2
Record low °C (°F) −22.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 39.2
Avg. rainy days 7 7 7 8 8 5 3 2 3 5 5 7 67
Mean monthly sunshine hours 89.9 112 161.2 186 254.2 297 347.2 328.6 261 195.3 141 83.7 2,457.1
Source #1: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü [5]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory [6]

Afyon today

Afyon is the centre of an agricultural area and the city has a country town feel to it. There is little in the way of bars, cafes, live music or other cultural amenities, and the standards of education are low for a city in the west of Turkey. However Afyon Kocatepe University opened in the 1990s and this must surely lead to improvements eventually. Nowadays Afyon is known for its marble (in 2005 there were 355 marble quarries in the province of Afyon producing high quality white stone), its sucuk (spiced sausages), its kaymak (meaning either cream or a white Turkish Delight) and various handmade weavings. There is also a large cement factory.

This is a natural crossroads, the routes from Ankara to İzmir and from Istanbul to Antalya intersect here and Afyon is a popular stopping-place on these journeys. There are a number of well-established roadside restaurants for travellers to breakfast on the local cuisine. Some of these places are modern well-equipped hotels and spas; the mineral waters of Afyon are renowned for their healing qualities. There is also a long string of roadside kiosks selling the local Turkish delight. Afyon is also an important railroad junction between İzmir, Konya, Ankara and Istanbul.



    • sucuk - the famed local speciality, a spicy beef sausage, eaten fried or grilled. The best known brands include Cumhuriyet, Ahmet ipek, ikbal, itimat.
    • etli pide - a kind of minced beef pizza.
    • ağzaçık or bükme - filo-style pastry stuffed with cheese or lentils.
    • keşkek - boiled wheat and chick peas stewed with meat.
  • Sweets
    • local cream kaymak eaten with honey, with a bread pudding ekmek kadayıf, or with pumpkin simmered in syrup. Best eaten at the famous Ikbal restaurants (either the old one in the town centre or the big place on the main road).
    • Turkish delight.
    • helva - sweetened ground sesame

Main sights

  • Zafer müzesi (Victory museum) In the very city center, across the fortress, featuring maps, uniforms, photos, guns from the Greco-Turkish War.
  • The partly ruined fortress which has given the city its name. To reach at the top, eight hundred stairs need to be climbed.
  • The Afyonkarahisar archeological museum which houses thousands of Hellenic, Frigian, Hittite, Roman, Ottoman finds.
  • Ulu Camii (the Great Mosque)
  • Altıgöz Bridge, like the Ulu Camii built by the Seljuqs in the 13th century.
  • Afyon mansion (Afyon konagi) situated on a hill overlooking the panoramic plain.
  • the White Elephant - Afyon is twinned with the town of Hamm in Germany, and now has a large statue of Hamm's symbolic white elephant.

With its rich architectural heritage, the city is a member of the [1].

Table of population increase
Year 1911 1990 1995 2000
Population 18,000 95,643 103,000 128,516

Twin towns

Notable natives

Following list is alphabetically sorted after family name.

  • İlker Başbuğ (1943), former Chief of the General Staff of Turkey
  • Ali Çetinkaya (1879-1949), Ottoman Army officer and Turkish politician
  • Fikret Emek (1963), retired military personnel of the Special Forces Command
  • Veysel Eroğlu (1948), Minister of Environment and Forestry
  • Bülent İplikçioğlu (1952), historian
  • Fazıl Şenel (1972), High Commissioner / Board Member of EMRA (EPDK), Ex-President of BOTAŞ
  • Ahmed Karahisari (1468- 1566), Ottoman calligrapher
  • Gülcan Mıngır (1989), European Champion Middle distance runner
  • Ahmet Necdet Sezer (1941), former President of Turkey
  • Sibel Özkan Öz (1988), Olympic medalist female weightlifter
  • Nurgül Yeşilçay (1976), actress

See also

  • 2012 Afyonkarahisar arsenal explosion


External links

  • Afyon Karahisar (Turkish)
  • City council website (Turkish)
  • Governor's office
  • Afyonkarahisar community and information
  • Afyon Blog (English) and (Turkish)
  • Afyonkarahisar City Daily Photo (English) and (Turkish)
  • Afyon Guide and Photo Album (English)
  • Afyon and the Phrygians (English)
  • Afyon Kocatepe University (English)
  • Department of forestry and the environment (Turkish)
  • Afyon Zafer College (Turkish)
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