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Aksaray At a Glance

Aksaray is one of the spectacular cities of the Cappadocia Region. Meaning “Land of Beautiful Horses” in Persian language, Cappadocia is defined as the combination of the provincial areas of Aksaray, Nevşehir, Niğde, Kayseri and Kırşehir. The first settlements in Aşıklı, located in a land of volcanic tuff in Aksaray Cappadocia, started in 8000s B.C.. Aşıklıhöyük is the oldest first village settlement of the Aceramic Neolithic Period in Anatolia and Near East.

In rich history, Aksaray has been cradle of various civilizations. The people of Hatti lived in Anatolia between 3000-2000 B.C., and Assyrian merchants traded in the region during this period. It was the old Hittite State which came from the Caucasus, established small city-states and became a military state in Anatolia towards the end of the colonial period in 1700s B.C..

Since Christianity, which began to spread in Anatolia by St. Paul and his disciples in the 1st century A.C., caused great reaction of the polytheistic Roman proponents, the first Christians began to settle safer places for protection. Moreover, many clergymen who wanted to cloister preferred this region.

In Aksaray, which came under the domination of the Seljukians in 1142, many palaces, madrasas, zawiyas and caravansaries there were built during the times of Kılıçarslan II. Kılıçarslan II built a palace here and changed the name Arkhelais to Aksaray, which served as the second capital. The bad people were not taken into the city, thus, it was named “Şehr-i Süleha”, which means the place where good people live. Captured by İshak Pasha in 1470, Aksaray came under Ottoman domination; after the conquest of Istanbul, the city emptied and a large part of the people of Aksaray was transferred to Istanbul for settlement. Therefore, the name Aksaray was given to a district in Istanbul.

Aksaray became a province in 1920, but it was repealed in 1933 and connected to Niğde as a district. It became a province again on June 15, 1989. Throughout history, the region has hosted many civilizations and various religions, and there are many religious monuments belonging to the periods of Islam and Christianity.      

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