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CENTRAL TURKEY

CENTRAL TURKEY

12.01.2021

CentralTurkey

CentralAnatolia can be summed up in two simple worlds,?Turkey’sheartland.   

The large and cultural centre of Turkeyis strewn with the monuments and remains of thousandsof years of history. The land has been fought over by numeroustribes, races and empires leaving the area with an enviable mix of ancientcities, caravanserais, modern cities, moonscape terrains, Ottoman mansions andamazing cuisine.  
The region has a history dating as far back as 7500BCE in?Çatalhöyük, near Konya, where the oldest settlement in the regionhas been discovered. Central Anatolia was the first major state of the Kingdomof the Hittites who ruled the land for quite some time. The region wasconstantly under attack from all sides and was conquered by Alexanderthe Great and his army on the way to India. The Romans and Byzantinesalso occupied the land and are of special importance inthe?Cappadocia?region where they made use of the natural landscape tohouse their spectacular churches and underground refuges from oppressingpersecutors. Following this period, the Turkic tribes from the eastbegan to enter the region eventually uniting to form theSeljuk Empire (Sultanate of Rum). The Sultanate then began todissolve and was eventually overtaken by the 2nd largest Empire the world hasever seen, the Ottoman Empire.  
 
Ankara 

The nation’s capital, Ankara is a thriving city with amix of government workers, university students, bankers anddoctors populating the city.Most international embassies are situatedhere.    

The city is home to a few notable touristattractions. Situated on the hilltop overlooking the city is AnkaraCastle and the old town lies inside its walls. The Museumof Anatolian Civilizations is situated beneath the castle wallsand houses  the largest collection of Hittite artefacts inthe world as well as a staggering array of other pieces. It is wellworth a visit.    

Ankara became the capital after the Republic of Turkeywas founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923 and so it isfitting that his Mausoleum (Anıtkabir) is situated inthe city. It is a place of pilgrimage for many secular Turks. Histomb lies beneath an impressive monument which is reached via a longavenue. Anıtkabir is a worth visiting whilst in thecity and, if you have the opportunity, you should try to see thechanging of the guard ceremony which occurs every 2 hours. 
A notable day trip from Ankara is that to Hatussa, the ancientcapital of the Hittite Empire which existed here over 2300 yearsago. 
 
Aksaray

One of the 5 provinces that makeup Cappadocia, Aksaray city itself does not offer much to thetraveller. On its outskirts, however, lie some ofCappadocia’s most famous sites. Places of interest include:  Tüzgöl (SaltLake), Ihlara ValleyMount HasanAğzıkarahan (a caravanserai)and Selime Monastery.  

Beypazarı 

One hour from the Capital, Beypazari is abeautiful town with historical houses from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Alsolocated in?Beypazari?is?Inözü Vadısı?(valley), a bird-watchersparadise where one can see the majestic hawk and bald eagle. 
 
Eskişehir 

The name, which translates as “Old City” is ironic nowadays  because thecity is famous for its youth culture and student population. Home to twoof Turkey’s largest Universities, Eskişehir is often referred to as‘Student City’. The city offers a couple of significant places ofinterest. The city has been occupied since the Phrygian period and one rockcarving, sacred to the mother Goddess of the Phrygians remains intacttoday (Yazılıkaya). There still exists some original 19thcentury housing in the city and it is one of the best examplesof this fine Ottoman architecture that the country has tooffer. 
 
Kayseri 

Another province of Cappadocia, Kayseri is famous forits Mantı (Turkish Ravioli), Pastırma (dried,salted beef) and Iskender kebab. However, food is not theonly impressive product Kayseri has to offer, the city is also famous forits hand-woven carpets. The old city itself houses some impressiveSeljuk buildings including the Hanat Hatun MosqueUluMosque and the market buildings of the Bedesten and Vezir Hanı.Venturing out of the city to the south of the Kayseri Province you can findsome of the area’s best nature spots. 
 
Kapuzbaşı?Waterfalls are spectacular, the wild freezing cold waterspurts straight from the rock face, you can enjoy a day inone of the many picnic areas.?Erciyes?Mountain is alsoanother delight for adventure lovers in the Kayseriregion. You can enjoy hiking in thesummer here or winter sports in the early months ofthe year. 
 
Konya 

Well known for being one of Turkeys most conservativecities, Konya is also the 7th largest. The former capital of the Seljuks, thecity is therefore home to some impressiveSeljuk architecture. However, the city is most famous for itslink to Hz.Mevlana. Part of his legacy is what we now refer to asthe Whirling Dervishes. The?Mevlana Museum?isworth a visit while in Konya. Rumi’s tomb can be found here along with a museumfull of Islamic artefacts, along with examples of the orderof Mevlana. 
The city also has some notable?mosques?such as Iplikçi and Alaaddin, and thereis also an operating Catholic Church dedicated to St. Paul for those who arefollowing Christian history throughout Turkey. 
 
Kütahya 

A lesser known part of CentralAnatolia, Kütahya is most famous for its colourful porcelaintiles. However, the Temple of Zeus at Aizanoi isperhaps one of the best-preserved Roman temples in Turkey and iswell worth the visit. 
 
Nevşehir 

The capital of Cappadocia,the Nevşehir province is home to most of the major touristattractions of Cappadocia.