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Central Anatolia

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Europe : Turkey : Central Anatolia
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"Fairy chimneys" in Göreme

Central Anatolia (Turkish: İç Anadolu) is a region of Turkey. It occupies country's central plateau, which is mostly a steppe.

Provinces

  • Aksaray Province
  • Ankara Province
  • Çankiri Province
  • Eskişehir Province
  • Karaman Province
  • Kayseri Province
  • Kirikkale Province
  • Kırşehir Province
  • Konya Province
  • Nevşehir Province
  • Niğde Province
  • Sivas Province
  • Yozgat Province

Cities

  • Ankara — the second largest city in Turkey, capital of both the region and the whole country
  • Aksaray
  • Divrigi — site of elegant, Seljuk-built Great Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Eskişehir — a fairly liberal riverside university town with pleasant bridges and sculptures
  • Kayseri — large city near Mt. Erciyes, a wintersports resort
  • Kemerhisar — town close to ancient city of Tyana and mineral water springs
  • Konya — the site of Rumi's mausoleum, and many beautiful Seljuk monuments
  • Kütahya — town famous for its tile/faience tradition since Ottoman times; hub for visiting Temple of Zeus in Aizonai
  • Nevsehir — capital of Cappadocia
  • Sivas

Other destinations

  • Beypazari — old town with Ottoman architecture on the silk road near Ankara.
  • Bogazkale — an ancient Hittite city
  • Cappadocia — a land of "fairy chimneys" and underground cities

Understand

Talk

Get in

  • While Ankara's Esenboğa is the main international airport in the region, it's not on par with most other airports of capital cities of the world with a little number of international connections and you usually have to transfer via one of Istanbul's airports when approaching from out of country. Konya, Kayseri, and Sivas also have airports with fairly frequent domestic services.
  • Ankara is well-served by passenger trains from almost anywhere in the country with a rail line. Most lines have at least one service every day. Eskişehir is served by trains from northwest and west to Ankara, while trains from east pass through Sivas and Kayseri first on their way to Ankara. Trains from south also pass through Kayseri.
  • Well-paved and wide highways, and usually those in motorway standards, connect the region to all directions.
  • This is a landlocked region and irregular flow of the rivers don't let boats to navigate along, though you may try your chance with a canoe, instead.

Get around

See

  • Most cities in the region, especially Konya, Kayseri, and Sivas, have a large number of Seljuq-built monuments, which are known for their majestic portals and exquisite stone masonry.
  • Tuz Gölü (literally Salt Lake) is located in the very centre of Central Anatolia, between Ankara, Konya, and Aksaray, and is Turkey's second largest lake after Lake Van, although only about 2 (yes, two) meters deep at most. During summer months, it literally evaporates and leaves behind a flat and completely white landscape, just like a salt desert. You can walk around or even harvest salt with your own hands. It's also a good spot for birdwatching as it's an important stop-over for migratory birds on their route from Europe to Africa and vice versa during spring and autumn. Don't forget to bring good shoes and sunglasses as the already-shiny sun reflects to eyes double stronger with the extra power it obtains from saltpan.
  • Karapınar Desert — while vast steppe landscapes that are yellow in summer as far as eye can see can satisfy most travellers, those yearning for a true patch of desert should check out Karapınar, an almost totally deserted town on the edge of a sand desert (with dunes and all) some 170 km southeast of Konya. Dunes at the desert form a dramatical backdrop for wooded zone, heavily afforested starting from 1970s to avoid further expansion of the desert.

Itineraries

Do

Eat

Most of the local cuisine depends on wheat and mutton, two major agricultural products of this arid steppe region. Cappadocia, however, features some vegetable-based local food thanks to its more fertile soil and the Macedonian immigrants who were settled in the area in 1920s.

Drink

Stay safe

Get out

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