Ancient site of Derbe is located 20 km (12 miles) north-east of Karaman, at 1010 meters (3310 feet) above the sea level. Today the site is known as Kerti Höyük (mound), 3 km north of Ekinözü (former Asiran) village. Even though explorers started to look for Derbe in 19th century, its location wasn't discovered until 1957 when researchers found a big statue base with an inscription mentioning Derbe. It's still not 100% confirmed that ancient city was built here, but so far it's believed that Kerti Höyük should be its location. The mound has a dimension of 450 x 250 meters (1476 x 820 feet) and today there aren't any modern settlements nearby. Pottery pieces and other small objects found at the site are displayed in the museums in Karaman and Konya.

Famous geographer Strabo gives us clues about the location of Derbe in his Geographica book; volume XIII, page 569. The history of the site dates back to local kingdoms in Anatolia. Then in 1st century BC Romans came and it became a part of Galatia region. After the spread of Christianity, it was ruled by the Byzantines. Arabs attacked and destroyed the city in 7th century AD, and it lost its importance until people abandoned Derbe around 10th century. After Seljuk Turks settled in the region from 11th century on, a small village was founded in the area.

Derbe is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Paul visited Derbe 3 times, thus make it an important site of Christianity. It was also connected to Lystra with a direct road. Saint Paul visited Pisidian Antioch (today's Yalvaç) and then preached in Iconium (modern Konya), but he and Barnabas were stoned in Iconium so he came to Lystra, where he was stoned again hence they had to leave the town and came to Derbe. Saint Paul's first visit to Derbe was with Barnabas, second visit with Timotheo. At Derbe the Apostle Paul was welcomed so he started to spread the word to its inhabitants in peace.

Derbe was an important center of Christianity during early Byzantine rule. They sent bishops to represent Derbe at the Ecumenic councils of Ephesus in 413, Chalcedon (today's Kadiköy district in Istanbul) in 451, and and Constantinople in 692.