Aksaray Province

Aksaray Province (Turkish: Aksaray ili) 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 square kilometres (2,944 sq mi). The provincial capital is the city of Aksaray.

Aksaray is one of the four provinces in the area of Cappadocia, along with Nevşehir, Niğde and Kayseri. Also the 3,000-metre (9,843 ft) volcano Mount Hasan 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 2,400 m2 salt lake (0.59 acres), Tuz Gölü, lies within the boundaries of Aksaray, a large area of swamp with a maximum depth of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in).

Aksaray Province

Aksaray ili
Location of Aksaray Province in Turkey
Location of Aksaray Province in Turkey
RegionCentral Anatolia
 • Electoral districtAksaray
 • Total7,626 km2 (2,944 sq mi)
 • Total412,172
 • Density54/km2 (140/sq mi)
Area code(s)0382
Vehicle registration68
Aksaray Kilim
Aksaray Kilim, 18th century. The kilim was probably made by a group of settled Hotamis Turkmen in the Aksaray region. It may have been used for a funeral, and was later donated to the local mosque.


Aksaray province is divided into 7 districts (capital district in bold):


In antiquity the area was named Archelais Garsaura, which was mutated to Taksara during the Seljuk Turkish era, and then to Aksaray.


Inner courtyard of the Sultanhanı caravanserai

The plains of central Anatolia have 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).

Later the Silk Road came 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, Byzantine and 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 Tunceli and other eastern cities following the Sheikh Said rebellion in the 1920s.[2]

Places of interest

IhlaraTal 1 11 2004
A view from Ihlara valley, Aksaray
  • Aşıklı Höyük - a Neolithic settlement 25 km east of the city of Aksaray.
  • Acemhöyük - an early Bronze Age settlement, 18 km north-west of the city of Aksaray.
  • The ancient city of Nora, in the village of Helvadere near the city of Aksaray.
  • Ihlara valley - a canyon, 40 km from the city of Aksaray, in the district of Güzelyurt
  • Taşpınar - known for rugs, 27 kilometres (17 mi) south of Aksaray

See also


  1. ^ "Population of provinces by years - 2000-2018". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ "TÜRK OTAĞI || Türkçüler ve Türkçülük". Archived from the original on 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2006-12-13.

External links

Coordinates: 38°25′51″N 33°51′44″E / 38.43083°N 33.86222°E


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, the population of the province is 376 907 of which 171,423 live in the city of Aksaray. The district covers an area of 4,589 km2 (1,772 sq mi), 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 Museum

Aksaray Museum is a museum in Aksaray, Turkey

The museum is on the state highway D.750 connecting Aksaray to South Turkey at 38°21′40″N 33°59′37″E. The first museum collection was established in Zinciriye Medrese in 1969. In 2014 the new museum was opened in its new building. The museum has 10,200 square metres (110,000 sq ft) open and 2,400 square metres (26,000 sq ft) closed area. The general appearance of the 3 storey building resembles that of Seljukid cupolas in the city and the fairy chimneys lying to the east of Aksaray. There are 15639 items in the museum. One of the most important items exhibited in the open area of the museum is the lower half of a stele with a relief of Hittite Storm God. Its dimensions are 88x99x39 cm3. The inscription is in Luwian language. Another group of interesting items is the group of 12 mummies from the Byzantine era. Two of these mummies are cat mummies.


Ağaçören, formerly Panlı, is a town and district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 15,869 of which 4,983 live in the town of Ağaçören. The district covers an area of 395 km2 (153 sq mi), and the average elevation is 1,100 m (3,609 ft).

Aşıklı Höyük

Aşıklı Höyük is a settlement mound located nearly 1 km south of Kızılkaya village on the bank of the Melendiz brook, and 25 kilometers southeast of Aksaray, Turkey.

Aşıklı Höyük is located in an area covered by the volcanic tuff of central Cappadocia, in Aksaray Province. The archaeological site of Aşıklı Höyük was first settled in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period, around 8,200 BC.It is situated 1119.5 metres above sea level, a little higher than the region's average of c. 1000 metres. The site itself is about 4 ha, considerably smaller than the closely situated site of Çatalhöyük (13 ha). The surrounding landscape is formed by erosion of river valleys into tuff deposits. The Melendiz Valley, where the Aşıklı Höyük is located, constitutes a favourable, fertile, and diverse habitat. The proximity to an obsidian source did become the base of a trade with the material supplying areas as far away as today's Cyprus and Iraq.

Bozkır Dam

Bozkır Dam is a dam in Aksaray Province, Turkey. It was built between 1976 and 1980.


Eskil is a town and district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, situated on the southern shore of Lake Tuz. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 28,952 of which 22,125 live in the town of Eskil. The district covers an area of 1,369 km2 (529 sq mi), and the average elevation in the center is 932 m (3,058 ft).

Eşmekaya Dam

Eşmekaya Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Governor of Aksaray

The Governor of Aksaray (Turkish: Aksaray Valiliği) is the bureaucratic state official responsible for both national government and state affairs in the Province of Aksaray. Similar to the Governors of the 80 other Provinces of Turkey, the Governor of Aksaray is appointed by the Government of Turkey and is responsible for the implementation of government legislation within Aksaray. The Governor is also the most senior commander of both the Aksaray provincial police force and the Aksaray Gendarmerie.


Gülağaç, formerly Ağaçlı, is a town and district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 26,874 of which 4,672 live in the town of Gülağaç. The district covers an area of 286 km2 (110 sq mi), and the average elevation is 1,170 m (3,839 ft).


Güzelyurt, formerly Gelveri (Cappadocian Greek: Karvali), is a town and district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, at a distance of 45 km (28 mi) from the city of Aksaray. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 16,836 of which 3,775 live in the town of Güzelyurt. The district covers an area of 322 km2 (124 sq mi), and the average elevation is 1,485 m (4,872 ft).

This area is part of the ancient region of Cappadocia, near the Ihlara Valley.

Lake Tuz

Lake Tuz (Turkish: Tuz Gölü meaning Salt Lake) is the second largest lake in Turkey with its 1,665 km2 (643 sq mi)

surface area and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world. It is located in the Central Anatolia Region, 105 km (65 mi) northeast of Konya, 150 km (93 mi) south-southeast of Ankara and 57 km (35 mi) northwest of Aksaray.

List of populated places in Aksaray Province

Below is the list of populated places in Aksaray Province, Turkey by the districts. In the following lists first place in each list is the administrative center of the district.

Mamasın Dam

Mamasın Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Mount Hasan

Mount Hasan (Turkish: Hasan Dağı) is an inactive stratovolcano in Aksaray province, Turkey. With an elevation of 3,268 m (10,722 ft), it ranks as the second highest mountain of central Anatolia. A caldera 4-5 kilometres wide formed near the current summit around 7500 BC, in an eruption recorded in Neolithic paintings.The ancient settlement of Çatalhöyük collected obsidian from the area of Hasan Dağ, which they probably traded with other settlements for luxury goods. Obsidian mirrors and flakes have also been found. The importance of Hasan Dağ to the people of Çatalhöyük may be shown by a wall painting, sometimes called the "first landscape" by art historians, which some believe is a depiction of Hasan Dağ towering over the settlement's houses.

It was the second mountain from the south in the Byzantine beacon system used to warn the Byzantine capital of Constantinople of incursions during the Arab–Byzantine wars.

Approximately a six hours' walk is required to climb to the top of the mountain from the highest point accessible by car. The summit offers a fabulous view over the central Anatolian plateau, including distant Cappadocia.

Nyssa (Cappadocia)

Nyssa (Ancient Greek: Νύσσα) was a small town and bishopric in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. It is important in the history of Christianity due to being the see of the prominent 4th century bishop Gregory of Nyssa. Today, its name continues to be used as a titular see in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Ortaköy, Aksaray

Ortaköy is a town and district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, located north-west of the city of Aksaray, nearer to Kırşehir. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 58,873 of which 26,961 live in the town of Ortaköy. The district covers an area of 725 km2 (280 sq mi), and the average elevation is 1,140 m (3,740 ft).

This is a rural district centred on the small, quiet town of Ortaköy.


Purushanda (also variously Purushkanda, Purushhattum or Burushattum) was an ancient city-state in central Anatolia, lying south of the Kızılırmak River in what is now modern Turkey. Its site has yet to be discovered. It may have been situated south-east of Lake Tuz, possibly on the mound of Acemhöyük (located at the village of Yeşilova, Aksaray) approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) north-west of the city of Aksaray. Another possible location is the mound of Karahöyük near Konya.The city is prominently mentioned in the Cappadocian Texts, a collection of Hittite writings unearthed at Kanesh. They depict it as a major seat of power in the region, describing its ruler as "Great King" (rubā'um rabi'um) whereas other rulers are merely "kings". A separate text known as the "King of Battle" (šar tamhāri), dating to the 14th century BC, recounts a heavily embellished account of the Akkadian king Sargon carrying out an expedition against Purushanda's ruler Nur-Dagan (or Nur-Daggal). The story is ahistorical, as it apparently portrays the 23rd-century Sargon in an anachronistic 19th-century BC setting. Some modern scholars consider it a work of fiction, although the Akkadian language version was also found among the Amarna letters (Egypt), and it may have some basis in historical fact.In the story, Sargon yearns for battle but is advised against it by his generals. Nonetheless, when a message arrives from a group of Akkadian merchants in Purushanda pleading for help from Sargon against the oppressive Nur-Dagan, the king mobilises his army and marches off through difficult terrain. Nur-Dagan is hopeful that flooding and the terrain will thwart Sargon, but the Akkadian launches a lightning attack which captures Purushanda. Nur-Dagan is taken prisoner and grovels before Sargon, declaring him to be a peerless mighty king and perhaps swearing allegiance as a vassal. After three years the Akkadians leave, taking with them the fruits of the land as spoils of war.Purushanda features again in the stories of the campaigns of the 17th century BC Hittite ruler Anitta. The Purushandan kingdom appears to have been a significant rival of Kanesh, the kingdom ruled by Anitta. The Hittite king launched a war against Purushanda but according to the Anitta Text, a Hittite account of later date, the Purushandan king surrendered to the Hittite army:

When I went into battle, the Man of Purushanda brought gifts to me; he brought to me a throne of iron and a sceptre of iron as a gift. But when I returned to Nesa [Kanesh] I took the Man of Purushanda with me. As soon as he enters the chamber, that man will sit before me on the right.The text indicates that the right to rule over Purushanda's territory – symbolised by the regalia of office, the throne and sceptre – was surrendered to Anitta. Its king was reduced to the status of a privileged vassal, entitled to join Anitta at the court in Kanesh in recognition of his voluntary surrender and his high-born status. The kingdom itself probably ceased to exist at this point and was absorbed into Hittite-ruled territory.


Sarıyahşi is a town and district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, at a distance of 110 km (68 mi) from the province seat of Aksaray. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 12,120 of which 7,751 live in the town of Sarıyahşi, and the remainder in surrounding villages. The district covers an area of 280 km2 (108 sq mi), and lies at an average elevation of 870 m (2,854 ft).

The district is good agricultural land watered by Hirfanlı Dam reservoir, and used for growing grain and other crops. There is a uranium mine in the village of Bekdik and various stone quarries.

The town of Sarıyahşi is a small rural centre providing schools and other basic amenities to the surrounding countryside.

State road D.750 (Turkey)

D.750 is a north to south state road in Turkey. It starts at Zonguldak at the Black sea coast and ends at the junction of D.400 near Tarsus in the Mediterranean Region. It crosses many state roads (like D.100, D.715, D.300, D.330 and D.805).

Aksaray Province of Turkey


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