We wanted to cover the few kilometres to Yozgat during this time tour through Central Anatolia to Konya and Kirikkale, because according to our information there are also very attractive landscapes and cultural-historical backgrounds that also go back to the Hittites.
We were particularly interested in the hot thermal springs of Sarıkaya. It is just 160 kilometres on the D 200 between Kirikkale and Yozgat, which we can cover in less than two and a half hours of driving time.
And whow, after the gentle hills near Kirikkale, it becomes more and more mountainous just before Yozgat and the road winds through the valleys of the Ak mountains until after 3 hours we reached the city of Yozgat, which has about 71,000 inhabitants and whose old name was Bozok . Yozgat is now the capital of the province of the same name, which, however, also has just 490,000 inhabitants and whose residents earn their “income” mainly from agriculture. The province of Yozgat shows a typical inland climate with mild and dry summers but very harsh winters, so that there are large fields of wheat. There is hardly any industry even in the city of Yozgat.
Hittite artifacts in the Yozgat Museum
We do not need to mention that we are almost in the centre of the former Hittite empire, the Yozgat Archaeological Museum alone is worth a visit. A variety of artifacts in the museum are from the Hittite period. We later ask about active excavation sites in the museum, but we are disappointed in this regard: excavation is currently paused. The ethnological museum is also well worth a visit, as it shows a broad cross section of the groups of the peoples living here and for sure their culture. Not far away are the ruins of the ancient city of Tavion, which we would have liked to have visited, but unfortunately had to be postponed to our next trip due to time constraints. As is the case so often, not all places and locations can be visited during the first visit. From this perspective, there is always a need for a second trip.
The Yozgat region had been under Ottoman control since 1398, a long phase until the 19th century that was just briefly interrupted by the incursions of the Mongols under Timur Lenk (around 1407 and 1408). It was not until the 18th century that the city of Yozgat was founded by the Turkmen tribe of Çapanoğlu. From this time there are some remarkable buildings of Ottoman architecture such as the Suleyman Bey Mosque, the Mosque of Çapanoğlu and a little later the construction of the clock tower of Yozgat.
The surrounding area of the city of Yozgat also has some attractive offers, including the Çamlık National Park and the Sarıkaya thermal springs. Only about 80 kilometres from Yozgat are thermal springs, which continuously supply hot water between 44 ° C and 47 ° C. The slightly radioactive water from the springs contains bicarbonates, soda, iron and calcium, so that it can be used in the healing treatments offered. Cures offered on site help against rheumatism, physical and mental fatigue, improve skin texture, are helpful for gynecological problems as well as calcium deficiency and for the rehabilitation of diseases. Hotels of the categories 1 and 2 stars are available.
Deportation of the Armenians remain to this day
Up until the 20s of the last century, a large part of the Yozgat population consisted of Armenians, who not just were expelled during the conflict between Ottomans and Armenians, but were also deported and killed in huge numbers. As a result, in 1919 the so-called "Yozgat Trial" took place in Yozgat as the first trial of the war court, which was supposed to clarify the guilty questions about the mass murder in 18 sessions. These days of the process were exceptionally well documented by the press at the time, so that one can still draw appropriate conclusions today.
Yozgat will be the destination of our tours again sometime in the future, as we see when we say goodbye to our pension operators. There is much more to discover here, and the beautiful nature also contributes with its charm. We listen with astonishment when we are told about increasingly large groups of hikers who have discovered the Ak Mountains as a hiking area for several years already.
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