Mugla, the twenty-fourth most populous province and city of Turkey. As of 2019, it has a population of 983,142. It is a famous settlement in the Aegean Region, with a small part of its land within the Mediterranean Region, with holiday resorts such as Ortaca, Dalaman, Köyceğiz, Fethiye, Marmaris, Milas, Datça and Bodrum. There are 13 districts in the province.


Part of the Carian road in Menteşe

Muğla, one of the oldest settlements in the ancient Caria region, has been under the domination of the Carians, the indigenous people of Anatolia, followed by the occupations of Egypt, Assyria, and Scythians partially and for short periods, and the Hellenistic colonization movement especially on the coasts. First the Medes, then the Persians took Muğla under their rule and ruled the region through a satrap. When Alexander the Great came with his armies, the Muğla region was ruled by a Carian satrap.

It is claimed that the name ‘Caria’ originated from a commander named ‘Kar’ who led the tribes who came to the region in 3400 BC. The region has been referred to as Karia for ages, and starting from Söke, Aydın, and Nazilli in the north and ending where the Dalaman Stream flows into the sea in the south, the Karia region has been neighboring regions where Lydians in the north, Lycians in the south and Phrygians in Anatolia.

Their tribes have penetrated into the Caria region in a very long period starting from the coasts. With the Hellenistic colonization that started with Knidos (the tip of Datça peninsula) and Halicarnas (Bodrum), over time Daldala (Dalaman), Stratonikea (Yatağan Eskihisar), Nakrasa (Karakuyu), Akassos (Bozüyük) and around Fethiye, Telmessos, Xantos (Kınık), Patara ( Minaret) and Tlos (Eşen) cities were established.

Alexander the Great, who came to Caria in 334 BC, faced a sultanate struggle between brothers that emerged after the Persians withdrew. Ada and Mausolus with her brother and husband Hidrieus, and her sister and wife Artemisia were faced with the rebellion of the other brother, Piksodaros, and therefore retreated north to Alinda (Watermelon). Ada sent Alinda’s keys to Alexander the Great and asked her to accept her as her mother. Alexander accepted this request and made Ada the Carian satrap. However, the following year, when Alexander passed to Lycia, Piksodaros took his place by killing his older sister satrap Ada. Alexander’s appointment of his treasurer Filotas as a satrap did not provide order, and with the departure of Alexander, the region fell into a period of anarchy that would last until Bergama and Roman rule (about two centuries). With the division of the Roman Empire into two in 395, Caria remained within the Byzantine Empire.

The province of Muğla is extremely rich in historical remains and has 103 ruins within its borders.

Ottoman period

The appearance of Muğla, probably in the first years of the Republic

Muğla is a region that has hosted ancient civilizations and has preserved its importance in all ages. It is not clear where the region, which was named Caria by the civilizations before the rule of Islam and Menteşe after the Islamic rule, got its name. Evliya Çelebi stated the following about the name Muğla in his travel book.

There was a great war in the history of the year (…) and Menteşe Son Darahikey Vizier Muğlı Bey conquered it from the hand of the Greek kefer. Muğlı Bey Mahan saw Muhammad in his dream in his hometown and later accepted Islam in the presence of the ulema. After conquering Muğla Castle, the name of this city was started to be called Muğla. In Persian, “Muğ” means infidel. After Muğlı Bey became a Muslim, he performed many services and participated in many Gaza.

Although Evliya Çelebi wrote the source of the name Muğla in this way, this information could not be confirmed. Most likely, the name Muğla emerged with the deterioration of its ancient name, Mobolla. Although the name Mobolla was ‘Mogola’ during the later Turkish domination,  1307 (m. 1889) Aydın Province was mentioned as ‘Mobella’ in the yearbook. [7]

There is no important information about when the first settlements started in Muğla. However, it is known that the city is located in the region formerly called Inner Caria. Considering that Caria was a civilization known by the Hittites in 2000 BC, it can be said that the settlement in Muğla goes back to these dates. It is written in some sources that the first settlers in this region were the Hittites. The city, which was dominated by Phrygian, Lydian, Persian, Macedonian, Pergamon Kingdom, and Roman, respectively, came under Turkish rule for the first time after Menteşe Bey took it in 1284.

This first Ottoman rule in Muğla, which came under Ottoman rule by Yıldırım Beyazıd in 1391, became temporary, the city was taken by Timur in 1402 and finally, it was fully annexed to the Ottoman state in 1425 during the reign of Murat II. The political importance of the city increased in the Ottoman period, because during the Menteşe Principality period, the administrative center of this region was Milas, while the Ottoman state chose Muğla as the administrative center of this new sanjak.

Muğla remained a small city close to the outside during the Ottoman period. When the lands of the Ottoman Empire, which was defeated by the First World War, were shared by the Entente States, Muğla was occupied by]] Italy]] on 11 May 1919. During the occupation of Anatolia, the Kocahan Meeting was held in Muğla and it was declared that Muğla, like all Anatolian cities, would resist these invasions. Upon this, resistance committees such as the Homeland Defense Association, Serdengeçti Detachment, Muğla National Forces were established in the city. The city, which sent 6 members of parliament to the 1st Term Assembly, which was opened in Ankara in 1920, took advantage of the fact that the Italians were not very active in the city and participated in the resistance activities against the Greek occupation that started throughout Menderes. The volunteers united with the remaining 57th Division in the Aegean, inflicted heavy losses on the enemy in the Aydın battles. Among the Aegean provinces, Muğla was the province that gave the most martyrs during the occupation. The people of Muğla cleverly evaluated the Italian policy, based on the idea of ​​establishing economic sovereignty in the territories occupied by the Greeks and the confusion of the internal situation, during the occupation, and escaped from being caught between two fires. Realizing that the situation in Anatolia was getting worse, Italy left Muğla on July 5, 1921, citing the internal political fluctuations in his country after the 2nd İnönü Victory was won.

Republic period

The city, which was the administrative center of the province of Muğla in the administrative structure after the establishment of the Republic, could not develop due to its mountainous structure and the lack of convenient connection roads to the outside. Muğla, which has been trying to develop with the dynamism of being a city center for years, has started to open up and develop especially with the opening of the university, the establishment of a new industrial zone, and the increase in tourism activities.

In 2012, in Las Vegas issued by Law No. 6360 limits were established territorial boundaries of metropolitan municipalities and provinces with Turkey after the 2014 local elections began to metropolitan municipalities to work.