Cappadocia the name, traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history, continues in use as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular, characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. For me to write this, in particular, is for my passion. Which is for traveling, travel and explore the world. My homage to travel depicts my efforts to motivate people for traveling. My book In love with Japan is the example of my gratitude for traveling.
History of Turkish Cappadocia
By the end of the early 12th century, Anatolian Seljuks had established their sole dominance over the region. With the decline and the fall of the Konya-based Seljuks in the second half of the 13th century, they were gradually replaced by the Karaman-based Beylik of Karaman, who themselves were gradually succeeded by the Ottoman Empire over the course of the 15th century. Cappadocia remained part of the Ottoman Empire for the centuries to come and remains now part of the modern state of Turkey.
A fundamental change occurred in between when a new urban center. Nevşehir was founded in the early 18th century by a grand vizier who was a native of the locality (Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha). To serve as a regional capital, a role the city continues to assume to this day. In the meantime, many former Cappadocians had shifted to a Turkish dialect (written in the Greek alphabet, Karamanlıca). And where the Greek language was maintained (Sille, villages near Kayseri, Pharasa town and other nearby villages). It became heavily influenced by the surrounding Turkish. This dialect of Greek is known as Cappadocian Greek. Following the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the language is now only spoken by a handful of the former population’s descendants in modern Greece.
Tourism in Modern Cappadocia
The area is a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features. Touristic Cappadocia includes 4 cities:
Nevsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray, and Nigde
Among the most visited underground cities are Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Gaziemir, and Ozkonak. The best historic mansions and cave houses for tourist stays are in Ürgüp, Göreme, Guzelyurt, and Uçhisar.
The Great Göreme
I lived mostly in Göreme and witnessed its inexplicable beauty. To travel, explore and to learn. A small town surrounded by mountains said to be made by volcanic ash. Amazing views from one corner to the other. I had witnessed surprising swing of change in weather over the period of five days where I was able to witness sunny days, rain and indeed the sweet snow.
Once you have landed in the town of Göreme it would be more fun if you like to explore it yourself as I did. There is plenty of information a lot of people around to sell you their services it is pretty easy but I decided to explore it myself. There is a local bus stop right in the middle of the town surrounded by various shops for souvenirs. You can find items like clothes to artificial jewelry and from restaurants to small grocery stores. The local minibus goes to Nevsehir crossing Uçhisar.
The local bus is somewhat helpful if you have decided to roam around on your own. It will only take 3 Turkish Lira to drop you to Nevsehir. And as Uchisar is on the way you can drop by for many attractions on the way. Including pigeon valley and Uchisar Castle. It is that easy. For Urgup though there is another bus that goes and that leaves the Open air museum on its way. So you can explore much more on your own rather than paying for taxis and stuff.
The Fabulous Encounters
I met a few fabulous personalities in the town of Goreme and Nevsehir. Among those to mention is a beautiful girl (I cannot mention the name. Because she is afraid of her boyfriend might get upset if her name or picture is mentioned in a travel blog). She has a nice soul and a charming personality that you’d fall in love in the first fifteen seconds. If you happen to have a chance of meeting her in person. Her humble generosity attracts your heart towards her. But an ultimate denial blocks your path as soon as you try to communicate. Even with these barriers, she is amazingly wonderful.
This is one of the most exciting and the most memorable encounter in the history of my traveling life. Because I was trying to exchange money which was a currency other than Euros and US Dollars. Hereafter, In Goreme, I didn’t find any luck to exchange that money so I had to board a minibus to Nevsehir in an effort to exchange that money from a bank.
Unluckily people barely understand or speak English in these towns. I entered a bank while trying to ask the teller about exchanging money out of my curiosity. I was referred to him as he was the only person who could speak English.
And the next thing was amazing. He not only helped me in the process of knowing. Why such particular currencies were not being exchanged in those small towns. But also escorted me to the nearest bus station. Yes, folks, you heard me right, he gave me a ride in his car and dropped me to a nearby bus station for my convenience and not only that he stayed there until the bus arrived. More to the greatest generosity and hospitality he offered me dinner and also offered me any help whatsoever I could please to request and he was right there to help. Just one brother to another we mixed up in a chit chat and it was like we knew each other since ages. He told me he also can find me vacation packages.
I would describe him as a humble, generous, hospitable, kind and helpful human being. Indeed equipped with a wealth of knowledge. Most of all he is one of those who love their culture and promotes it. Offering their expertise and tell people what really need to know. I could never have imagined that I could find a person like him in Turkey. A real Ottoman, a friend, and a brother.
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