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x0x Cappadocia's little secret Sinasos

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  • Turkish Culture List
    [See more on this subject by visiting the pages selected for you by Anita Donohoe: http://turkradio.us/k/sinasos/ ] x0x Cappadocia s little secret Sinasos By
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 23, 2009
      [See more on this subject by visiting the pages
      selected for you by Anita Donohoe:

      http://turkradio.us/k/sinasos/ ]

      x0x Cappadocia's little secret Sinasos

      By GuL AZER ERYuKSEL

      The 'sleeping beauty' of the 'Land of Beautiful
      Horses', Sinasos quietly awaits visitors who will
      touch its soul, which hovers among the fairy
      chimneys.

      Adults believe in fairytales too. Especially if
      they involve the love of their dreams and passions
      undying despite the years. Recently the Turkish
      people were enamored of just such a tale called
      'Asmali Konak.' A long-running television series,
      the story began in a small town by the name of
      Sinasos. Hundreds of thousands of local tourists
      hot on the trail of the story made the
      acquaintance of this quiet corner, which had until
      then escaped the notice of most people, making
      Sinasos host to a breed of tourist previously
      unseen in Turkey.

      BEYOND THE FIVE SENSES

      Whether under its new name, Mustafapasa, or its
      old name, 'Sinasos', still used occasionally
      today, it is a tranquil and thoroughly quiet town
      of two thousand located 5 kilometers south of
      Nevsehir's Urgup township.

      Fairy chimneys, rock churches, Ottoman period
      medreses, old Greek houses and mansions, and that
      strange mystical scent that permeates the historic
      texture here penetrate right down to the heart of
      the town. But it is not only the natural beauty
      and fantastic views that are so moving; there is
      something provocative here, beyond the five
      senses, that captivates your very soul. Especially
      if, like me, you can shed time and body and are
      prone to communing tete a tete with your soul
      in another dimension, then you have much to
      experience here in Sinasos. Be prepared to be
      spellbound as you wander its streets. The
      intricately carved wooden doors of buildings that
      have borne witness to the centuries, the
      doorknockers touched with countless joys and
      sorrows by who knows how many hands, and the
      delicate stone decorations will all capture your
      imagination.

      MANSIONS LIKE MUSEUMS

      Until the population exchange of 1924 mostly
      Greeks lived in Sinasos, where traces of both
      Greek and Ottoman culture exist side by side
      today. Close to a hundred buildings have been
      taken under protection by the Ministry of Culture.
      These buildings, some of which were restored for
      use as boutique hotels, are the jewels of Sinasos
      tourism. A few of them even offer tours led by the
      hotel personnel. Although they owe their
      popularity to the recent Asmali Konak series, the
      Gul (Rose) Mansions, whose spacious courtyards
      are adorned with brilliantly colorful roses,
      exemplify the architecture of the 1800s. The
      Sinasos Hotel, an old Greek house built in 1892,
      and the Natura, Pacha and other hotels are among
      the places designated as being of interest to
      foreign tourists, not just to see but for
      accommodation as well.


      Some of the historic orthodox churches at Sinasos
      have been meticulously preserved. The Aios
      Konstantinos Eleni Church, for example, in the
      center of town is kept ready for services at
      certain times of the year. And the Aios Vasilios
      Church, located again in the town center and
      carved out of the rock, has also been restored by
      the Culture Ministry. To tour both of them, you
      need only knock on the door of the Mustafapasa
      Municipality. And Sinasos is such a tiny place
      that this is neither difficult nor tiring.

      LET'S DISCOVER THE SURROUNDING AREA

      In ancient texts the area was laden with meanings
      such as 'Central City', 'City of Columns' and 'Sun
      City'. In other words, the origin of the name
      'Sinasos' is highly controversial. Tours of the
      environs are useful for getting to know this
      historic city, and you would be doing Sinasos a
      disservice to leave without seeing the Gomede,
      Golgoli and Manastir areas. Gomede valley, just two
      kilometers from the center,

      can be reached by a path that runs alongside a
      stream whose banks are lined with excellent
      blackberries. Ancient rock tombs and the rock
      churches of Krikalos and St. Basil await you here.
      Golgoli Hill, or the ancient city of Golgoli, lies
      5 kilometers from the center. Surrounded by fairy
      chimneys that resemble ghosts with their enormous
      eyes and grinning mouths, and by fields of
      tomatoes and squash, Gomede valley makes an
      impressive sight. Meanwhile, you can go on foot
      from the city center to the Manastir area as well,
      where you will again encounter magnificent rock
      churches.

      TURKS FROM SALONICA

      Sinasos acquired the name Mustafapasa in the
      period of the Turkish Republic when a certain
      Mustafa brought water to the city and had a
      fountain built, which came to be known by the
      locals as 'Mustafa Pasa' in his honor. Later this
      name was given to the town itself. The majority of
      the population of Sinasos today consists of the
      children and grandchildren of the Turks who came
      from Salonica in the population exchange.

      No doubt because they live together here as a
      community, they have not forgotten their
      traditions either, in particular their cuisine,
      and Salonica-style dishes continue to grace the
      table especially on holidays. While we're on the
      subject of food, it's a good idea to remind
      readers that if they make a day trip to Sinasos
      they may find lunch a problem since the hotels
      only prepare food upon prior orders. If you would
      like to sample a true feast of the Turkish dishes
      that are so time-consuming to prepare, with
      everything from stuffed vine leaves and 'manti'
      (Turkish-style ravioli) to 'well kebab' and 'jug
      kebab', then you need to make a reservation in
      advance. Another alternative is to dine at the
      town's only working man's restaurant, the 'Serif',
      open 24/7 and famed especially for its 'yaprak
      sarmasi' or stuffed vine leaves. Cappadocia is not
      limited only to places like.

      Urgup, Goreme, Avanos, and Cavus. Sinasos too
      is one of those 'sleeping beauties' of the 'Land
      of Beautiful Horses' just waiting to share its
      secrets with you...

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