Isparta | Turkey

Isparta (Greek: Σπάρτη, Baris/Βάρις in Byzantine Greek) is a city in western Turkey and the capital of Isparta Province. The city's population was 222,556 in 2010 and its elevation is 1035 m. It is known as the "City of Roses".

Isparta is well-connected to other parts of Turkey via roads. Antalya lies 130 km to the south and Eskişehir is 350 km to the north.

Süleyman Demirel University has introduced thousands of youths from varied backgrounds to the city's mostly conservative fabric in recent years. The city's football team, Ispartaspor, plays in Group 7 of the Turkish Regional Amateur League.

Isparta corresponds to the ancient city of Baris, which is a namesake and was part of the Roman province of Pisidia. At an early stage it became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the Metropolitan see of Antioch of Pisidia, the capital of the province. The names of two of its bishops are known with certainty: Heraclius participated in the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and Leo in the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. In addition, Paulus was at the Council of Constantinople (869) and Stephanus was at the Council of Constantinople (879), but one or both of these may have been of the Baris in the Roman province of Hellespontus. Like most sees in Asia Minor, it faded.

1203: Conquered by the Seljuq Turks.
Late 13th century: Becomes part of the Hamidids.
1381: Isparta is sold to the Ottoman sultan Murad I by the Hamidid Emir.
Late 19th century: Muslim refugees from the Balkans settle around Isparta. The Bulgarian refugees brought the knowledge of kazanlik rosewater production with them, leading to Isparta's nickname: city of roses.

On November 30, 2007, Atlasjet Flight 4203 crashed on approach to Isparta Süleyman Demirel Airport, killing all 57 passengers and crew.

The main economic activities of Isparta are the production of rosewater and handmade carpets. Tourism, both local and increasingly international due to "biblical tourism", is becoming an important source of revenue.

In the early 20th century, carpetmaking was a major industry in Isparta.

Isparta Province (Turkish: Isparta ili) is a province in southwestern Turkey. Its adjacent provinces are Afyon to the northwest, Burdur to the southwest, Antalya to the south, and Konya to the east. It has an area of 8,993 km² and a population of 448,298 up from 434,771 (1990). The provincial capital is Isparta.

The province is well known for its apples, sour cherries, grapes, roses and rose products, and carpets. The best fertile lands are in the area named Uluborlu. The province is situated in the Göller Bölgesi (Lakes Area) of Turkey's Mediterranean Region and has many freshwater lakes.

Throughout history, Uluborlu has been on the military and commercial roads crossroads of Asia minor which has shaped its character.

Settlement is known from prehistoric times and in early historic times was part of Phrygia which fell to Alexander the Great in the 330s B.C. Following Alexanders death it passed to the Asian arm of the Seleucid Empire and then the Kingdom of Pergamon(l88-133 BC) for 130 years, when it was ceaded to the Romans and formed part of the province of Cilicia until the division of the Byzantine Empire in 395 AD, when it was known as Apollonia In 1074 Uluborlu passed into the hands of the Seljuk Turks but in the years 1119-1120 returned to Byzantine control. In 1403 Timur seized the city and the men in the town were killed as retribution for their defence of the city, the women and children were taken captive.

During the Ottoman period of the 15th and 16th centuries Uluborlu prospered and supported the new dynasty. Hamid Sanjak held the first census of Uluborlu in 1831 and in 1911 Uluborlu suffered a great fire, In 1963 the municipality of Uluborlu was established.

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