Afyon (Afyonkarahisar) is a provincial city lying under an ancient castle – a particularly dramatic one atop a vertiginous rock, which had myriad occupants between Hittite and Ottoman times. Afyon is home to a university but remains a workaday, conservative place, where the only noise at night comes from minarets and teahouses tuned into televised football matches.
Despite its prosaic qualities, Afyon has an attractive Ottoman quarter and some magnificent mosques befitting its long history. But it is Afyon's role in the War of Independence, when Atatürk briefly made it his headquarters before routing the Greeks in the 1922 Battle of Dumlupınar, that makes locals most proud. Lest there be any doubt, note the giant statue in the main square (Hükümet Meydanı) of a muscular man beating another into the ground.