Alanya was conquered by the Seljukian Emperor Alaaddin I Kayqubad in 1221. The city was called Alaiye by then which meant the city of Alaaddin. It evolved to Alanya in the republican era. After Kayqubad I took control of Alanya, he started to use the city in winters. After finishing the first shipyard of Seljuks in Sinop on the Black Sea coast, Sultan Alaaddin started the construction of the shipyard of Alanya in 1228. The project was finished in 1 year and consisted of a guarding tower, a mosque, and an office for the engineering staff of the shipyard. The shipyard was not only building ships for the Turkish Navy but also was used for overwintering. The ships spent the winter in the shipyard required defense as well. The arsenal of the shipyard was not only producing arms to the battleships but also used for defending the most important shipyard of the Seljukian navy in the Mediterranean. The shipyard was so important to the Seljuks that the navy commander spent the winters in Alanya. The shipyard was used by the Turkish Karamanli Municipality during the 14th Century and by the Ottomans after 1471. After 740 years, the Alanya shipyard was converted into a museum. You can visit the shipyard by walking on the city walls stretching from the Red Tower to the Alanya shipyard.

The shipyard is 57 meters wide and 40 meters deep. It consists of five vaults which are stretching from 43 meters to 32 meters into the land. Each vault is used for the exhibition hall today. The first section is home to an old crane used for heavy-duty work inside the shipyard. A traditional Ottoman boat is exhibited in the second section. Cekevele wooden boats were used for logistics and supply thanks to their speed. A beautiful wooden keel of a cekevele boat was placed there in 2011 by the Municipality of Alanya. The third section of the museum houses a mainmast and different tools used in shipbuilding. Drinking water well is seen in the third section as well. Different ancient anchors are exhibited in the fourth section. I was impressed to see anchors made from stones in the size of a modern pillow with 3 holes in them. Last and the narrowest fifth section houses tools for navigation on the seas. The vaults are connected to each other from the inside with arches built by terra cotta bricks. Each vault has vents for daylight and release of smoke. The shipyard faces south which collects daylight throughout the day. The arsenal neighboring the shipyard is under restoration by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and The Municipality of Alanya. It will be converted into a maritime museum in the near future. Today, visitors can reach the shipyard by a nice walk from the Red Tower next to the museum. There is a wooden path inside the structure which makes the visit very easy. Besides, a visit to the Alanya Shipyard is free of charge.

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