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The antique attractions of Aksaray
1.       Trudy
7887 posts
 29 Mar 2010 Mon 03:08 pm

Mention Aksaray to an İstanbullu and they will immediately think of the chaotic traffic intersection where the Metro meets the tram. Mention it to an Anatolian, however, and they will think of the small town on the western edge of Cappadocia that sits in the shadow of Mount Hasan and makes a perfect jumping-off point for a trip to the Ihlara Gorge.

 

Actually, the two Aksarays turn out to be linked by more than the freak chance of a common name. In the years following the Ottoman conquest of İstanbul in 1453 the capital city was pathetically under-populated, with perhaps no more than 60,000 people living there. So one of Mehmed II’s first acts as conqueror was to bring settlers in from the Anatolian Aksaray to help build up the population.

 

Most visitors are in such a rush to explore Cappadocia that they only hop off the bus in Aksaray in order to hop into another one for Ihlara. That’s a great shame because this is one of those small Turkish towns that has made great strides over the last few years and is now very much more pleasant to visit than it used to be.

 

More

 

Nearby karvanserais Agzıkarahan and Sultanhanı and also the underground city of Saratlı are definitely worth a visit!

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