The university town of Muğla is the provincial capital of the region which bears its name. The ğ in Muğla by the way is a Turkish "soft g" (yumuşak ge) ... it's mute, but has some lengthening effect on the preceding "u", so the name is pronounced more like Moohla.
Muğla is a delightful city that stretches from the foothills of Mount Asar onto the plain that bears its name. Muğla itself is situated inland at an altitude of 660m is about 30 km (19 mi) from the nearest seacoast at Akyaka on the Gulf of Gökova to the south-west. A relatively small city of around 70,000 people, and often overlooked by visitors to near-by coastal resorts, Muğla received a boost with the foundation of Muğla University in the 1990s. The University has grown significantly since its foundation to reach approximately 20,000 students. The main campus is located in Kötekli Village, a five-minute drive from the city centre, which you will pass through as you approach the city on your journey from Turunç.
In ancient times, Muğla was apparently a rather insignificant settlement halfway between the Carian cities of Idrias (later Stratonicea) to the north and Idyma (modern Akyaka) to the south-west on the coast. Turkish-era Muğla also remained a minor site in the beginning despite having been captured relatively early for western Anatolia during the 13th century. The local ruling dynasty of Menteşe had their capital in Milas. Muğla acquired regional importance after it replaced Milas as the seat of the sub province (sanjak) under the Ottoman Empire in 1420. The sanjak kept the name Menteşe until the Republican Era, when it was renamed Muğla after its seat of government. Muğla's Great Mosque (Ulu Cami) dates from the Menteşe era (1344), its Kurşunlu Mosque from Ottoman times (1494). The Vakıflar Hamamı (Turkish bath), dating from 1258, will still give you a steam, wash, dry - and nap!!
The city is famous for its unique architecture: Muğla houses with whitewashed walls, red tiled roofs, characteristic chimneys and distinctive Ottoman-style architecture have been placed on the protected historical buildings list and there are many examples to be found around the city.
Muğla is a very busy and very Turkish city. There is a large daily fruit and veg market and the weekly Thursday market which spreads around the town is becoming increasingly popular for tourists. Here you can buy everything you could possibly want - fresh fruit, veg, nuts, spices, cheese - have your own flour milled while you wait, more clothing and hardware than anyone could imagine: the choice is mind-blowing and the freshness of the produce and keen prices are remarkable.
Beyond the market you can explore the narrow streets with their old houses. There is a council park near the museum. The narrow lanes of the old bazaar area have interesting shops with all kinds of specialist trades. Opposite the mosque is a restored Ottoman house which you can look round. There is a 13th century Hamam (Turkish baths), where you can go for the steam room and massage.
Many of the images used on this page are reproduced with the generous permission of Dick Osseman.
Dick modestly describes himself as a keen amateur photographer - some amateur! This guy has over 40,000 images published online! Do please check out his amazing photo-gallery website where you can find many more superb images of Muğla and from all over Turkey.