Miletus, founded 4000 years ago nearby Lake Bafa, was a major port in antiquity. It became prosperous with 90 colonies in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions after 650 B.C. After the successive domination of the Persians, Hellens and the Romans, it was captured by the Menteşoğulları dynasty. In this period, it was named Balat and a mosque, a madrasah, hans and baths were built by the chieftain Isa Bey.
Miletus was a center of science, art and culture in ancient time. The second foundation of the city is the earliest example of city-planning. The great philosophers Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes and the historian Hekataios lived in Miletus.