Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 17 May 2013

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Cappadocia, Turkey

Today (5/18/13) we were escorted  around Cappadocia by Zafer Yazici. He is the owner of Lirita Tours . Zafer did a great job for us. Zafer arranges tour packages all over Turkey.

Zafer at work in his Urgup office.

Zafer set us up in a lovely cave hotel in Urgup, scheduled our balloon ride, outlined an itinerary of two self-directed exploration days and acted as our personal tour guide for one very interesting day in the Cappadocia area.

Zafer took us to the Urgup market, which meets once a week in Urgup and moves to other places on other days. The faces were very  interesting. I bought a nice switchblade knife.

These are our old friends of 40 years, Alice and Carnot.  He teaches at the Bilkent University in Ankara and they are, of course, our reason for finding our way to Turkey in the first place.

Alice says that the different head scarves have meanings and may tell you that the wearer is Kurdish or that she belongs to another ethnic group.. What is perhaps more interesting is that headscarves for women were banned for public servants and in Universities since Ataturk established a constitutionally secular Turkish state in 1923. One woman, for example, was recently jailed for six months for refusing to remove a headscarf during her final exams. The charge was interfering with the education of others.

The legislature tried to remove the headscarf ban in 2008, but Turkey's Constitutional Court annulled the parliament's proposed amendment which intended to lift the headscarf ban, ruling that removing the ban was against the founding principles of the constitution. The highest court's decision to uphold the headscarf ban cannot be appealed

I take a picture of a rooster and amuse myself in the wee hours by trying different photographic effects with my free Picassa digital photo editor.

Zafer takes us to what was a Greek village until 1923. This old Greek church was built hundreds of years ago on a steep slope. It was built to last. If the foundation slips even a few millimetres something very interesting will happen. The column that Mrs. Phred is holding rotates easily by hand, but if the foundation ever shifts, the column will no longer turn.....

More headscarves....

Here you see some fooling around with a picture of clouds and sunbeams....In 1923, after Ataturk repelled the Greek invasion forces, an "ethnic cleansing" agreement was signed. Greeks in Turkey had to leave Turkey and Turks in Greece also had to leave Greece.


Greek gargoyle...Both ornamented and plain water spouts projecting from roofs at parapet level were a common device used to shed rainwater from buildings until the early eighteenth century. From that time, more and more buildings bought drainpipes to carry the water from the roof to the ground and only a few buildings using gargoyles were constructed. This was because some people found them frightening, and sometimes heavy ones fell off..

Turkish woman working in the garden wearing a headscarf.

Village in Cappadocia. The people of this area lived in caves until as late as 1952. Our hotel room is a very nicely carved cave.


We see many Christian churches in caves in our three days in Cappadocia. Here Mrs. Phred climbs into part of an old church.

...and up on the roof of the same church.

Turkish villagers on the roadside...

We stop for lunch in a village in Cappadocia.

Zafer tells us that the farmers in this area grow mostly potatoes. They dig huge caves to store the potatoes. This is a typical farmers house. The bottom floor is used to store potatoes. Notice the satellite dishes and solar hot water system. " It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes"....Douglas Adams....

Zafer shows us a map representing the ancient caves of one of Cappadocia's underground cities.

The caves are dug from solid rock and go down five levels, nearly 300 feet. Over 2,000 could live here for months when invaders came though the area. They rolled these big carved rocks in at strategic point to make it impossible for the invaders to gain entrance. Zafer says these caves were carved out with obsidian tools. He says obsidian was more valuable than gold or silver...

At points the cave entrances become very small. A single man with a spear could effectively block hundreds of invaders at these choke points.

A strange and beautiful area of the world....

1 comment:

  1. Now this really looks like a place I need to put on my list....hope you are keeping copious notes here...SIL