Aksaray Information

Aksaray, Turkey

Aksaray (pronounced [ˈaksaɾaj]) is a city in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey and the capital district of Aksaray Province. According to 2009 census figures, population of the province is 376 907 of which 171,423 live in the city of Aksaray.[1][2] The district covers an area of 4,589 km2 (1,772 sq mi),[3] and the average elevation is 980 m (3,215 ft), with the highest point being Mt. Hasan at 3,253 m (10,673 ft).


Aksaray region was an important stopover along the Silk Road that crossed through Anatolia for centuries and the city of Aksaray has a long history.

The town of Garsaura was named Archelaïs (Greek: Ἀρχελαΐς) by Archelaus of Cappadocia, the last Cappadocian king. In Byzantine times, the town was known as Koloneia (Κολώνεια) and was a bishopric and an important military centre, holding an imperial aplekton.

The region came under the control of the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate they founded left important landmarks in and around Aksaray. The Arab traveller Ibn Battuta who was in the region in the 14th century was impressed by the class of Muslim traders that had emerged in Aksaray and noted the urban centre as a beautiful city, surrounded by waterways and gardens, with a water supply coming right to the houses of the city.

Aksaray was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1470 by the İshak Pasha, and many inhabitants of the city were relocated to Constantinople, recently captured by the Ottomans, where they were settled in a quarter of the city that came to be named Aksaray.


This is a rich agricultural region producing grains, meat and dairy and many kinds of fruit and vegetables. Therefore the cuisine of the town is of high standard. Well-known dishes include many pastries and other kinds of wheat-based dishes such as:

    yufka a thick filo-pastry, eaten like bread or filled with cheese (or meats and other fillings) and toasted on a hot griddle (sıkma, katmer or sac böreği depending on the filling)
    many kinds of local pasta or cous-cous including one stuffed with meat and steamed like ravioli, (called mantı)
    tarhana a soup made from a dried mixture of wheat-flour, spices and yoghurt
    pelte and sweet of flour, syrup and butter
    höşmerim, kaygana and many other rich sweets, mostly involving butter and flour

Other dishes include soups made with okra or yoghurt and a thick floury chicken stew called Arabaşı.

Aksaray today

Today Aksaray is a quiet mid-size city. In recent past, many inhabitants migrated to Britain, Germany and other European countries for job opportunities.

Ihlara Valley and the other tourist attractions of Cappadocia are close, but as yet, Aksaray has not been very successful in attracting visitors to the city self. A new attraction in Aksaray city is Hünkarland, a large theme park with artificial waterfalls and which has immediately become a popular venue for Aksaray wedding parties.

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