Isparta is mostly a modern Turkish city and it is the capital city and market centre of Turkey's Lake District. The town was founded by Greeks from Sparta on the Peloponessus and it remained an important Greek settlement until the 1923 exchange of populations. There still are several derelict Greek churches in the town.
Isparta is most famous for its rose culture and it is one of the world's leading producer of rose oil (attar of roses, Gül Yağı), a valuable oil extracted by steam distillation from rose petals and used in perfumes and cosmetics. The by-product is aromatic rosewater (Gül Suyu) which can be bought in Isparta's main bus station.