The ancient city of Tripolis is located in the municipality of Yenicekent, in the town of Buldan in the Denizli Province. The city has been mentioned by many ancient writers, most importantly by Plinius and Ptolemaios, and it was also visited by travellers from the 17th century CE onwards.
In the Hellenistic period, the city of Tripolis was in the crossroads of the Phrygia, Caria and Lydia regions. It was first founded with the name of Apollonia within the Lydia region and it was known as Antoniopolis for a short while. In the 1st century BCE it was given the name Tripolis due to its location in the crossroads of these three regions and because people from these three regions settled in this city. The name Tripolis continued to be used until the city was abandoned in the 7th century CE.
Although the history of Tripolis goes back to the Hellenistic Period, the archaeological material found during the sight surveys conducted in its surroundings prove that the settlement here can be traced back to 4000 BCE.
In the Çürüksu Valley where Tripolis is located, there were indipendent states until the War of Magnesia in 190 BCE between the Seleucids and the Pergamon Kingdom. With the support of Rome, the Pergamon Kingdom was victorious and started governing the region after signing the Treaty of Apameia in 188 BCE. In keeping with Attalos III's will, following his death in 133 BCE the region was joined to the Roman Empire.
The city lived its time of splendour during the Roman Period. After the 2nd century CE a new period of construction work begun in the city and new public buildings such as city gates, streets, baths, stadiums, theaters and council halls were built. During the Roman Period, Tripolis was once included in the Sardeis (modern day Salihli) Conventus (union of justice) and another time it was a part of the Apameia (modern day Dinar) Conventus. Hermolaos of Tripolis, who was a senate in Roma in the 3rd century CE, must have played an important role in the development of the city.
Tripolis was represented by a bishop in the Council of Nicea in 325 CE. This city was effected by the 494 CE earthquake just like Agathe Kome (Alacain). As a result of the Sasanid raids in the late 6th century - early 7th century CE that strongly effected Anatolia, the people of Tripolis moved to Direbol (Dirbol), 5 km north of Tripolis and to the better protected hill sides.
Following this forced immigration in the 7th century CE, according to the present data no traces of a settlement predating the 13th century CE have been found in Tripolis.
Tripolis changed hands a few times between the Byzantines and the Turks in the first half of the 13th century CE. A treaty was signed between the King of Nicaea (Iznik) Ioannes Ducas Vatatzas and the Seljuk Sultan Giyaseddin Keyhusrev II in 1243 in the fortress complex that included the round tower still partially standing on the peak of the hill that the city rests on.
Whereas from 1304-1306 onwards, together with the İnançoğulları and Germiyanoğulları, the Turkish domination began in the region in question. In 1429 Denizli and its surroundings were added to the Ottoman hegemony.
Tripolis in map of west Anatolia
Direbolu/Narlıdere Village (1950)
Direbolu/Narlıdere Village (2012)