Discover Cappadocia

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anthony M. Sanchelli
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
With remains of human settlements dating back 10,000 years, Cappadocia, Turkey is one of the country's most important historical areas in the country.

Located in central Anatolia, Turkey, Cappadocia is home to a multitude of historic areas, artifacts and ruins over an area of about 1,500 square miles.

Cappadocia contains several tourist hotspots, to include the Goreme Open Air Museum, vast underground cities, the Fairy Chimneys and many other sites.

The Goreme Open Air Museum, containing structures built in medieval times, was added to the Unesco Heritage List in 1984 in order to preserves the buildings. The museum is home to nine different churches, most of which were built in the 11th century.

Master Sgt. Jerrell Butler, 39th Communications Squadron programs section chief, accompanied by his wife, Natalie, took a tour through Cappadocia and the museum organized by Incirlik's Information, Tickets and Tours office.

"Cappadocia is a very historical area. The temperature is a little cooler, and the scenery is nice," said Butler. "The underground chapels and the paintings on the walls, the one that had the life experiences of Christ, told in story panels along the ceiling was especially interesting."

The museum was not the only location in Cappadocia with rock churches. One of the underground cities visited on the tour was Derinkuyu, the largest and deepest of the known cities.

Derinkuyu, as well as other underground cities, contained wine and oil presses, cellars, stables, storage rooms and churches. One room unique to Derinkuyu is a large and spacious room reported to have been used as a religious school.

"Crawling through the underground city was very interesting and informational," said Butler.

Other places visited during the trip were the large rock formations known as the "Fairy Chimneys." These rock formations are the product of rapid erosion by flood water and wind.

Cappadocia has many other historic, cultural and interesting locations. Incirlik's ITT and outdoor recreation offices offer trips to Cappadocia and several other locations throughout the region.

"It is important to experience a country off of the base, even if it is a tourist trip ... the memorable stuff is usually the people you get to know on the trip away from the confines of work," Butler added.

One day is not enough to experience all the historical sites Cappadocia, Turkey has to offer, so instead make it a weekend trip and witness some of the country's cultural history.