The history of Beyşehir and environs probably dates back to 7000s B.C. There are findings dating back to Ancient and Mesolithic Ages in the region. However, the findings dating back to Neolithic Age are found more intensely in the region. As a result of the studies, it has been found out that Beyşehir used to be a very important settlement already in those ages. The findings from Erbaba Tumulus that is dated back to the period between 5700 – 5300 B.C. is one of the latest proofs of this conclusion. The excavations in the tumulus that is near Kıstıfan Village were conducted by the Canadian scientist couple Jacques and Louisse Alpes Bordaz (1968 – 1975).
During the years 2000 B.C., Hittites left immortal artifacts in Eflatun Fountain and Fasıllar. During those years, the region was invaded by Egypt and Assyrian states in certain periods. The region was taken over by Phrygians in 1200s B.C. and an independent state was founded by the name “Psinya”. The region was taken over by Lydians in 7th century, Alexander the Great in 333 and finally Romans in 120 B.C. while it remained under the dominance of Eastern Rome (Byzantine Empire) thereafter.
The region that also included Beyşehir Lake used to be known as Psidya in the Ancient Ages. Psidya, on the other hand, was the name of a city that was known as Karallia. Ramsay elaborates on this issue as follows: “There used to be two cities, one of which was located on the southeastern part of the lake at the outfall of the river flowing into Trogitis Lake while the other one was located on the southwestern part. Since it is quite probably that the later was Parlais city, the former should be accepted as Karallia.” Again according to the explanations of Ramsay, Karallia was renamed as “Skleros” during the reign of Byzantine Empire.
Having been devastated later on, Karallia came to be referred as “Viranşehir” (Devastated City). In the first half of the thirteenth century, during the reign of Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat, the city was re-founded by Turkmen tribes that dominantly consisted Üçoklar tribe just before 1204. Starting from the period when Eşrefoğulları ruled in the region, Viranşehir came to be referred as Süleymanşehir.
Since it was the capital of this small state, the city started to be referred as the city of the “Bey” (Ruler) in time. For that reason, the city was renamed as Beyşehir (City of the Ruler). The name “Beyşehir” also has a legend. The legend reads as follows:
Seydi Harun Veli, who was living in Trogitis, was building the mosque which is now named after him. Eşrefoğlu Mehmet Bey, on the other hand, was supporting him with materials. Then certain developments caused them to be friends. While Eşrefoğlu named Trogitis Seydişehir, Seyyid Harun Veli in turn named Süleymanşehir as Beyşehir.
As it can be seen from the abovementioned explanations, while we are examining the names taken by Beyşehir in time we can also get informed about the milestones of the history of the city.
Having remained under the sovereignty of Seljuk Turks after Manzikert Campaign in 1071, Beyşehir gained great importance during the reign of Anatolian Seljuks and Alaeddin Keykubat set this city as the second capital after having founded the City Kubad-abad in “Eyrinaz Gezisi” Location (recently known as Gölyaka Town). After the invasion of Mongols in 1243, Eşrefoğlu Seyfettin Süleyman Bey founded Süleymaniye (Beyşehir) city and declared independence and thus founded Eşrefoğlu Beylik. This small state used to have 65 towns, 70.000 cavaliers and many villages. Çobanoğlu Demirbaş, who was one of the commanders of İlhanlı State, brought end to Eşrefoğlu Beylik in 1326.
Then, Beyşehir was taken over by Hamitoğulları state and then it exchanged hands between Ottomans and Karamanoğulları states for 20 times between 1374 and 1467.
In 1467, Mehmet the Conqueror brought Beyşehir under the control of Ottoman Empire for once and all and made it a border town of Karaman State. Finally in 1872, the town was turned into a municipality and gained its latest status.
Beyşehir and its environs are quite rich in respect of historical artifacts. Thanks to the activities in political, cultural and economic spheres, many historical artifacts have been produced in the region. Especially after the flourishing of Turkish-Islamic culture, tremendously beautiful artifacts have been produced.
The presence of the said artifacts is also quite important in respect of reflecting the national values. Since, these artifacts also shoulder the reality of Turkish culture in the region so much so that these artifacts, which have gradually took shape, sealed Turkish-Islamic culture in Anatolia.
For this reason, this subject should be handled under two main headings.