Heraclea Cybistra under the name Cybistra (Ηράκλεια Κυβίστρα in Ancient greek), had some importance in Hellenistic times owing to its position near the point where the road to the Gülek Pass (Cilician Gates) enters the hills. It lay in the way of armies and was more than once sacked by the Arab invaders of Asia Minor (AD 805 and 832). During the First Crusade, it was the scene of a failed battle of 15,000 men led by William II, Count of Nevers, which left the Crusaders weak en route to Antioch. It became Turkish (Seljuk) in the 11th century. Ereğli is also known for being the first capital of the Karaman Beylik founded by Nure Sufi Bey. The Karaman state was renowned for being a consistent nuisance to Ottoman dominance in Anatolia, being one of the few Anatolian beyliks to retain sovereignty well past Fatih Sultan Mehmet's conquest of Istanbul. It was also the first political entity in Anatolia to proclaim Turkish as an official language. In 1553, upon return from a campaign in Persia, Suleiman the Magnificent had his son, Şehzade Mustafa, killed in the Ereğli valley where the Ottoman army was stationed. Modern Ereğli had grown from a large village to a town since the railway reached it from Konya and Karaman in 1904; and it has now hotels and thriving businesses. Three hours’ ride south is the famous "Hittite" rock-relief of a lynx, representing a king (probably of neighbouring Tyana) adoring a god. This was the first "Hittite" monument discovered in modern times (early 18th century, by the Swede Otter, an emissary of Louis XIV).