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Places to See in Central Anatolia

The region, like other places in Turkey offers a great number of places to visit and things to do. Below you will find the major sights in the Central Anatolia region:



Ihlara Valley


Gordion-The Phrigian Capital


Catalhoyuk, 10000 year old city, is one of the most important archeological sites on earth. But the site does not offer much in terms of sightseeing for the traveler. Furthermore, there are no nice accomodations to stay in the close vicinity.

Ala Mountains is one the most important trekking amd mountaineering sites in Turkey.


Ankara is a modern city with little historic ruins. Major sightseeing places:

Mausoleum of Ataturk, stands on the hill, this limestone structure is a tribute to the founder of the Modern Turkey.

Capital city of Turkey, Ankara offers Museum of Anatolian Civilisations as the most important archeological not only in the region but in Turkey. This small museum is the historic show of all the cultures and peoples who have lived in Anatolia (Turkey).

Temple of Augustus is a Roman site.

At night, you can visit Kale (the castle) area for entertainment and dining.


The ancient region of Cappadocia is located in central Anatolia between the cities of Nevsehir, Nigde and Kayseri. Millions of years ago violent eruptions of the volcanoes Mt. Erciyes and Mt. Hasan covered the surrounding plateau with tuff. Wind and weather have eroded the soft volcanic rock into hundreds of strangely shaped pillars, cones and "fairy chimneys", in colors ranging from pink to green and yellow.

From the ancient times, men have hallowed out these soft rocks, and they have made cuntless cave churches, chapels and monastries.

The churches are from the early Christianity. The art style of the churches can be classified into two categories: the 8th and 9th century are the iconoclastic years - the 10th to the 13th centuries whose decorations represent the lives of Christ and various Saints. The architectural plans of the churches are uncomplicated.

Goreme and Urgup are two lively tourist centers. There are cave dwellings, as well as the rock cones in and around these cities. Avanos, on the banks of Kizilirmak river and Ortahisar are less visited towns.

Superb views of the Cappadocia valley can be seen from the castle located in Uchisar.

Goreme Open Air Museum is a complex of churches and chapels, dating back to 10th century. There are great frescoes in many, Yilanli Church, Tokali Church are among the most important.

Zelve is one the most impressing valleys in the region offering a more disorganised and rough hike.

Also there are a number of underground cities used by Christians hiding from enemies. There were rooms for grain storage, sleeping chambers, kitchens and ventilation shafts.

Underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are the two most important. There are also two others named Mazi and Ozkaynak.

Cappadocia is an important area for shopping, with wonderful carpets and kilims and very local wines. It is also a great region for trekking and the scenery is wonderful in all seasons for photograph taking.


Only one hour drive from the major towns of the Cappadocia lies this gorge along the Melendiz river. Spectacular views of the gorge can be seen before descent. The gorge is about 16 kilometers long. It is possible to walk a small part of it without getting your feet wet. There are many churches carved in the rocks along the gorge. Beautiful frescoes can be seen in the churches.

At the end of the valley stands the village of Ihlara. Shades of the trees adds to the splendor of the valley especially in the summer heat.


Hittites were among the early settlers in the Anatolian peninsula (Turkey). They worshipped thousand gods. They built palaces and temples. They drank wine and blood of bull. The fledgling Hittite empire, became one of the super powers of the Ancient World along with Egypt and Babylone.

The wars they wage to Egypt in 1200 B.C. end with the first written peace agreement between states in history. The treaty is signed with King Ramses of Egypt and King Moursil of Hittite.

The empire came to an end with a torrential invasion of European origin that destroy their towns as well as Troy and other cities in Anatolia.

All the major Hittite sites are in Bogazkale National Park, about 3 hours drive from Ankara. Hattusas (Bogazkale) was the capital city of the Hittites. There are impressive writing and carvings on the rocks as well as ruins thousands of years old. Yazilikaya is a sanctuary very close to Bogazkale.

Gordion-The Phrigian Capital

Gordion, their capital where the Great Alexandre cut the legendary Gordion knot to gain the key to Asia, was an affluent center on the King Road. According to the legend, Midas, their famous king, turned to gold everything he touched.

The site is located about 100 kilometers west of Ankara.


Konya was the capital of Selcuk empire. There are many monuments left from the Selcuk period (around 1200). The major site to visit is the Mevlana Museum. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi founded the Sufi order known as Whirling Dervishes.Whirling Dervish Ceremonies take place in mid-December, every year. There are also other Sema (Whirling Dervishes) events taking place in Istanbul and some other places in Turkey year around.

Alaattin Mosque and Karatay Medresesi (theological school) are important pieces of the Selcuki architecture.

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