- Aksaray Province
Infobox Province TR
licence = 68
total population = 425,612
Aksaray is a province in central
Turkey. Its adjacent provinces are Konya along the west and south, Niğde to the southeast, Nevşehir to the east, and Kırşehir to the north. It covers an area of 7,626 km². The provincial capital is the city of Aksaray.
This is a region of great natural beauty: Aksaray is one of the four provinces in the much-visited area of
Cappadocia, along with Nevşehir, Niğde and Kayseri. Also the 3,000m volcano Hasan Dağı stands between Aksaray and Niğde. Summers are hot and dry on the plain, but the area is green and covered in flowers in springtime, when water streams off the mountainside. The 2400km² salt lake, Tuz Gölü, lies within the boundaries of Aksaray, a large area of swamp with a maximum depth of 1 metre.
In antiquity the area was named "Archelais Garsaura", which was mutated to "Taksara" during the
Seljuk Turkish era, and then to "Aksaray".
The plains of central
Anatoliahave been settled for 8,000 years. and the area around Aksaray bears monuments to a string of civilisations that have settled on the plain in that time. The mound of Aşıklı höyük in the town of Kızılkaya indicates a settlement dating back to 5,000BC (and also a skull of a woman who had apparently been trepanned, the earliest known record of brain surgery).
Silk Roadcame through here so caravanserai and then larger and larger settlements were built to supply and shelter travellers and traders. The city and surroundings of Aksaray thrived in the Roman, Byzantineand the Turkish periods.
Today Aksaray is a rural, agricultural province, its people religious and conservative. Since the 1950s many have moved to Europe as migrant workers. The population of Aksaray has long included a higher proportion of
Kurdish people than most central Anatolian provinces. Many of them were resettled here from Tunceliand other eastern cities following the Sheikh Saituprising in the 1920s. [ [http://nihalatsiz.net/forum/viewthread.php?tid=16145 TÜRK OTAĞI || Türkçüler ve Türkçülük ] ]
Places of interest
*Aşıklı Höyük - a burial mound 25km east of the city of Aksaray.
*Acemhöyük - an early Bronze Age settlement, 18km north-west of the city of Aksaray.
*The ancient city of Nora, in the village of Helvadere near the city of Aksaray.
and a great number of historical mosques
and churches, including those in...
*Ihlara valley - a canyon, 40km from the city of Aksaray, in the district of Güzelyurt
* [http://www.aksaray.gov.tr Aksaray's official web site]
* [http://www.tulpart.com/pic.asp?cmd=1&cid=13 High Resolution Pictures of the City]
* [http://www.turkeyforecast.com/weather/aksaray/ Aksaray Weather Forecast Information]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.