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TURKEY


Location - South east Europe/Middle East; Capital - Ankara; Population - 50 million; Currency - Turkish Lire MORE TURKEY

I said goodbye to the Kurdish south east and headed for the Cappadocia region in central Turkey - November 2013.

 

turkeynote3After suffering rampant inflation and a couple of currency changes the country has now settled on the Turkish Lire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey212Goreme is the tourist centre for visiting the remarkable rock sculptures in Cappadocia - Goreme

 

turkey216The 'fairy chimney' rocks have been carved through a mix of natural and man-made forces - Goreme

 

turkey231aAn artistic sign marks a shop entrance on the way to Goreme Open Air Museum - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey282Goreme Open Air Museum protects several 9th to 11th century rock-cut churches, formerly inhabited by Byzantine monks - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey238On entering Goreme Open Air Museum the first building you'll come across is the Nunnery and Monastery - Goreme

 

turkey235The Nunnery and Monastery occupies six floors, but it's interior was closed to visitors when I was there - Goreme

 

turkey249The 13th century Carikli (Sandals) Church - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey252The entrance to St Catherine's Chapel - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey271Karanlik, or the Dark Church, is one of the most impressive - Goreme

 

turkey266It's frescoed interior has been restored to display vivid colours - Goreme

 

turkey278The Chapel of St Barbara is named after Saint Barbara - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey281The view opposite the Chapel of St Barbara - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey295There's carvings everywhere you turn in Goreme

 

turkey227The way to go. An early morning balloon flight over Cappadocia is a very popular tourist activity - Goreme

 

turkey287The Open Air Museum is a series of stairs, alleyways, caves, churches, monasteries, chapels and frescoes - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey296There's plenty of other rock-cut caves scattered around Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey299These fairy chimneys are next to the Open Air Museum car park - Goreme

 

turkey303A 15 minute walk from the museum is El Nazar (Evil Eye) Church - Goreme

 

turkey306Wander around Goreme and surrounding valleys and see what you can find - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey224Restaurants serve slow-cooked kebabs by tapping the base of these baking pots - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey202The fairy chimney on the right was my room for the night - Goreme

 

turkey200The fairy chimney entrance - Goreme

 

turkey208I loved the inside of these rooms. Most converted fairy chimneys have a history and mine was used as a winery. Others were stables and Byzantine family rooms - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey198I also stayed at the cheaper Dorm Cave, but it too had a great ambience - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey318Walk up a steep road to Sunset View Hill for brilliant views of Goreme

 

turkey324The warm glow of a fading sun falls on Gulludere (Rose) Valley - Goreme

 

turkey328People gather at Sunset View Hill, with the distinctive Uchisar Castle in the distance - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey340The hotel and fairy chimney lights come on for an atmospheric snap - Goreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey346Sari Han was a caravanserai and is now a popular place to watch the Whirling Dervish ceremony - Avanos

 

turkey350The ceremony, or sema, is performed by the Mevlevi religious sect - Avanos

 

turkey354The 'whirling' part of the sema enables the dervishes to communicate with God - Avanos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey360It's pretty hard to make out in this photo but in the middle/right is Uchisar Castle - Uchisar

 

turkey367More caves and tunnels in weird and wonderful rock formations at Uchisar

 

turkey369Hanging out the washing - Uchisar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey375These rocks in Urgup, a few km from Goreme, are known as the Three Beauties

 

turkey378Devrent Valley is home to volcanic rock formations which resemble various animal forms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey380Can you guess the creature? A camel at Devrent Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey387The tops look kinda fungal to me - Devrent Valley

 

turkey394Pasabag is famous for its huge fairy chimneys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey397For some reason this reminds me of Donnie Darko - Pasabag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey399Mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys - Pasabag

 

turkey401Making use of the natural surroundings - Pasabag

 

turkey407A former church at Pasabag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey413Pasabag is a great place to wander around

 

turkey422For me a drawback of tours is being dragged along to souvenir shops, but it was interesting to see how clay was transformed into these colourful vases and plates at Avanos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey425The village ruins at Cavusin

 

 

turkey428Looking towards the Gulludere (Rose) Valley at Cavusin

 

turkey427Dug into the rock face are old pigeon caves - Cavusin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey435A couple more unusual rock formations at Cavusin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey432The Rose Valley really takes after its name; you can make out a horizontal band of deeper reddish pink - Cavusin

 

turkey434Dwarfed at the base of the Rose Valley - Cavusin

 

turkey445There's a plateau at the top of Cavusin where you can look down at the village below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey456My last tourist site in Cappadocia was the underground city at Kaymakli

 

turkey463The underground city is spread over eight floors, four of which are open to the public; this was the wine cellar - Kaymakli

 

turkey455The city dates back centuries and was home to stables, granaries and living quarters, supported by ventilation shafts - Kaymakli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey471I'm not sure what lake this is, on the way from Cappadocia to Ankara, but it looked beautiful in the fading light. Maybe it's Lake Tuz? (Salt Lake)

 

turkey472Genclik Park is in Ankara's old quarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey481There were many events commemorating the 75th year since the death of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey487Anit Kabir, meaning memorial tomb, is the mausoleum of Ataturk - Ankara

 

turkey490Statues at the head of Lion Road, the walkway leading to Ataturk's tomb - Ankara

 

turkey521The Turkish flag is draped from the Hall of Honour at Anit Kabir - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey497Waiting until 09:00 when the mausoleum is opened to the public - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey502In the meantime crowds began chanting what I presume were support for the Republic of Turkey and of Ataturk himself - Ankara

 

turkey503Soldiers begin the march to the Hall of Honour and the opening of Anit Kabir - Ankara

 

turkey512A quote from an Ataturk speech outside the hall entrance - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey509The tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first leader of the republic of Turkey, who died in 1938 - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey518Anit Kabir also has a museum honouring the life of Ataturk along with a history of the founding of Turkey - Ankara

 

turkey476The side-streets around Kizilay metro station are buzzing with life at the weekend and definitely worth a stroll in the evening - Ankara

 

turkey523Finger Gate (Parmak Kapisi) marks the entrance to the citadel in the old quarter of Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey527Shops on the walk up to the citadel's Eastern Tower - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey529Alaettin Mosque's minaret rises above the market - Ankara

 

turkey536Walking the walls of the Eastern Tower - Ankara

 

turkey549Take in the whole of Ankara from Sark Kulesi (the Eastern Tower)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey548The Tower gives superb 360 degree views of the capital - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey545In need of some 'renovation' - Ankara

 

turkey543The old city walls, Anit Kabir, Genclik Park and the surrounding mountains can all be seen from the tower - Ankara

 

turkey551Shopkeepers get themselves comfortable - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey552A statue of Ataturk on horseback in the old quarter - Ankara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey555A restaurant-filled street in the tourist-heavy quarter of Sultanahmet - Istanbul

 

turkey556Sultanahmet is a lively area at night, with several bars to add to the restaurants and souvenir shops - Istanbul

 

turkey561The stunning Sultanahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque - Istanbul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey563The Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century and contains the tomb of its creator, Sultan Ahmed I - Istanbul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey568The Blue Mosque gets its name from the colour of the tiles - Istanbul

 

turkey573I only had about 12 hours in Istanbul before my flight, but I made sure I saw this gorgeous mosque. Next time I'll venture inside

 

turkey577Separating the Blue Mosque from the Aya Sofya are the fountains of Sultanahmet Park - Istanbul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey581The Aya Sofya was originally a church, then a mosque, before it became a museum in 1935 on the orders of Ataturk - Istanbul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turkey582The current Aya Sofya structure was built as a church in the 6th century; in 1453 the Ottomans converted it to a mosque - Istanbul

 

turkey583The Aya Sofya, or Hagia Sophia, stands behind a Sultanahment Park fountain - Istanbul

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2014 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.goturkey.com - Turkish tourist board

www.evisa.gov.tr - online Turkish eVisa application

www.tcdd.gov.tr - Turkish railways

www.turkeytravelplanner.com - bus travel advice

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
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