Afyonkarahisar, also simply known as Afyon, is a city in the western part of Central Anatolia.
The city's name consists of afyon, "opium", coming from the once large fields of poppies around the city, and karahisar, "black citadel", referring to the ancient castle on the massive hilltop in the centre of the city. For a number of decades in 20th century, the city was officially known as Afyon, but in 2004, its older (and decidedly longer) name was restored, although you can still hear it called Afyon colloqually.
Afyon lies on a very central point in inner western Turkey, on the main routes between Ankara, the national capital, and Izmir, the largest city on the Aegean coast, as well as between Istanbul, the largest city in the country, and Antalya, the major city of the Mediterranean coast.
While the city lies on one of the major junctions of the Turkish railway network, track renovations all over the country and the phase-outs of many passenger services mean that the number of places with a direct train link to Afyon is a bit limited.
Of the major cities, only Eskişehir, and Kütahya to the north, and Konya to the southeast of Afyon have direct and daily passenger train service (late 2012). However, as Afyon is not the terminus of none of the major intercity services, many of the trains make their stop in the city in the very inconvenient hours of the dead of the night. Check with the Turkish State Railways for the schedule.
And a bit of a trivial note for the railway fans: Afyon does not have one station but two—the smaller and older British-built Afyon Şehir (a stone neo-classical building) and the larger, art-deco Afyon Ali Çetinkaya, built in 1939 (and named after the minister of transportation of that era), closely resembling the central station building of Ankara. (And next to Ali Çetinkaya is the beautiful wooden, chalet-type station building, constructed by the Germans in late 19th century as a stop on their ambitious Berlin–Baghdad railway project.) These two stations are separated by 250 m from each other (and there was no railway connection between two for a long time), and used to be run by two rival companies. In the early days of the Turkish Republic, both companies were absorbed by the Turkish State Railways, and a connecting railway between the stations was laid. Until the 1990s trains to the west departed from Afyon Şehir which is now all but practically abandoned, as all passenger trains stop at Ali Çetinkaya since then.
Afyon's area code is (+90) 272.
- Konya — the capital city of medieval Seljuks, and the home of Sufi thinker Rumi lies a few hours to southeast. While you are on your way there, you may want to take a break at Akşehir, the hometown, and the site of the tomb of, Nasrettin Hoca, who is likely the most prominent individual in Turkish folklore, with an innumerous quantity of jokes attributed to him.