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TURKEY INFO => Cappadocia
Ihlara Valley is located at a distance of 40 km from Aksaray. The valley can be reached by turning at the 11th km point of Aksaray-Nevşehir highway.The lava containing dense basalt and andesite vomited by Hasandağ got cold thus leading to formation of crevices and settlements which then constituted the canyon. The Melendiz brook which found its way through these crevices and gave the canyon its present shape was called “Potamus Kapadukus” in the early ages meaning the “Cappadocia River”. The 14 km long valley starts from Ihlara and ends in Selime. The height of the valley reaches 100-150 m at certain places. Along the valley there are numerous shelters, tombs and churches carved into stones. Some shelters and churches are interconnected through tunnels as is the case in underground cities. Ihlara valley which after Göreme and Soğanlı valleys attracts attention with its natural beauty and numerous vastly decorated monasteries and churches is situated 25 km southeast of Aksaray and on the northeast of Hasandağ. It is known that Ihlara Valley was used as a place of defence and a place used by the priests depending on the requirement. The frescoes inside the churches situated here date back to 6th and 13th centuries. However the drawings inside the churches closer to Ihlara valley are rather different from those in Cappadocia while others contain motives specific to Cappadocian Style . Another important center in the region is Güzelyurt (Gelveri) , 15 km from Ihlara valley with its interesting dwelling houses besides the churches carved into stone. Ahmatlı, Çömlekçi, Hacı Saadet Koç/Cafarlar, Kalburlu/St. Epthemios and Yamaç churches are from the Byzantine period while Kömürlü and Yalnız churches stem from the Ottoman period. In addition to opuses from the Byzantine period numerous opuses from the Seljuk period are also found in the region.