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Roads in Antalya (Pamphylia) Region: The Kesikbeli Road and its Condition in the Last Century
Muhammet GÜÇLÜ*

Kesikbeli road is an important road that connected the eastern part of Antalya with Central Anatolia during the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Through the use of this road the ports of Antalya and Alanya became very active, especially during the Seljuk period. This was because the imported merchandise arriving at Antalya and Alanya was transported to Konya, first via the Kesikbeli road and then on to the international marketplace at Yabanlu, near to Kayseri. In addition, goods produced in the interior of Anatolia were also transported along the Kesikbeli road to the ports of Antalya and Alanya for export. This road was also used as an immigration and transportation route between the two regions, the southern coast and the interior, and as the postal route. The eight hundred year old hans which are still standing today bear witness to the importance of the route in question.

According to the "Regulations for the Administration of the Provinces" or Idare-i Vilayet Nizamnamesi, which was issued in the second half of the 19th century, roads and passes had to be built and maintained within the Sultanate. The road works carried out by Mithat Pasha, the Governor of Tuna Province, provided the example for these new road works to be effected according to the issued regulations. Ferit Pasha of Avlonya, the Governor of Konya, decided in 1894 to open for the state and raise the road status of the Kesikbeli route connecting Konya to the ports of Alanya and Antalya and construction started as required in 1899. With a few interruptions the road was completed up to the pass of Kesikbeli from both directions by 1913; however, a section of 5 km between Kesikbeli and Çaltılıkuyu, the part crossing the Taurus mountains, was not built. As the Teke (Antalya) Sanjak was made into an independent Mutasarrıflık (an administrative and juridical part of a Province) in 1914 and with the ongoing rivalry between Akseki and Ibradi in order to obtain the status of a kaza, the construction work was affected in a negative way.

During the time when Teke was an independent Mutasarrıflık, especially with the intervention of Rasih Hodja of Maria, the completion of the Kesikbeli road was abandoned clue to the fact that it was said to be not "feasible".

Only at the end of the 20th century, was this historical mistake rectified and the Kesikbeli road was only then completed and this route integrated into the road network of Turkey.

*Yard. Doç. Dr. Muhammet Güçlü, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, 07058 Kampüs - Antalya.

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