Anatolia had been one of the most important junction points of the Silk Road. In the Middle Ages, beginning from China, then by following through many routes in Central Asia and passing over Anatolia as a natural bridge Silk Road was linked to Europe over Thrace. It had also provided transportation by sea to the ports in Europe from some important ports such as Ephesus and Miletus on the Aegean shores, Trabzon and Sinop on Black Sea, Alanya and Antalya on the Mediterranean.
It continues to Europe passing over Trabzon, Gumushane, Erzurum, Sivas, Tokat, Amasya, Kastamonu, Adapazari, Izmit, Istanbul and Edirne on the North.
It follows after Mardin, Diyarbakır, Adıyaman, Malatya, Kahramanmaras, Kayseri, Nevsehir, Aksaray, Konya, Isparta, Antalya, Denizli on the South. The extension of Antalya-Erzurum route, made up of Sivas-Kayseri link on the North-South route, connects Anatolia to Iran and Turkmenistan.
On this trade axle sea way was used in addition to road transportation. On the Black Sea it came from the North and arrived to Trabzon, Samsun, Sinop, Istanbul, Gelibolu ports and then to the Venice port passing over Batum. And on Mediterranean it arrived to Antakya, Antalya, Izmir ports and then to the maritime cities in Europe by passing over Syria.
The Silk Road had also maintained its importance in Ottoman period after 14th century but after the production of silk had begun in Europe in 16th and 17th centuries, it began to lose its importance, and with the development of maritime business caravans began to disappear and Far Eastern products were not demanded anymore. Since 19th century the Silk Road has been out of use.