top of page
  • hbanziger

B + 7 : Side - Slave Trading Market

It was time to change the sailing team - but we had agreed to do the handover in Side where the port was too shallow for Carpe Diem V - or maybe Captain Mustafa just did not like the place. According to the Turkish Water Pilot the harbour was ok. Be it as it may, had to travel the 60 km by taxi back to welcome the next batch of sailors - at least got to see the town.

Side viewed by a drone from the air

Side's story was not much different than the other towns on the Anatolian coast. Established in the 7th century by Greek settlers, the town fell to the Persians, then Alexander the Great and eventually were a part of Ptolemy I's Egyptian Empire. Being on the lawless borderline between the Ptolemy and Seleucid Empires, it became the Mediterranean's main slave market. Apparently, 10'000 slaves were sold here every day - mostly to Roman customers. As said before, the number is greatly exaggerated.

Side's theatre is as big as the one in Aspendos (12 - 15'000 seats) but less well preserved

Once the Roman General Pompey had defeated the Cilician pirates in Alanya, the business activities of the town returned to normal. It became an important centre for olive oil trading which made it even richer. Side flourished until the 7th century when the collapse of long-distance trade and the rise of the Arabs destroyed its economic foundation. It was several times sacked. The citizen fled to neighboring Attalia which was easier to defend against sea based raiders. The town had a short revival in the 12th century during the crusades with a largely Jewish population but we know little about it. After that, the town decayed and was overgrown.

Side's "too shallow" harbour - the boats in it were as large as our Carpe Diem V - oh my ...

There is not much left of the Temple of Apollo just next to Side's harbour - it must have been an impressive site!

Side is a small Turkish town today - flooded with tourists during the summer

Could not resist buying a thick slice of the Pomegranate - Pistachio Delight - the pink one on the top shelve in the corner - cut into small bites, it is terrific with afternoon drinks - the piece lasted to Jaffa!

Having found the new team of sailors in the town centre, it was time to return to Alanya. We should have stopped here yesterday. Side is worth a visit

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page