Just a few kilometers from Ihlara Valley lies the little town of Güzelyurt, dramatically set beneath the snow-capped summit of Hasan Dağı. We came here for its stone houses, refuge caves, and underground city. It was a prosperous Ottoman-Greek town specializing in farming and goldsmithing. The League of Nations population exchange following World War I took hundreds of Greek-speaking families to Greece, where they founded the town of Nea Karvali. The exchange brought Muslim families from the Greek towns of Kastoria and Kozan to re-populate Karbala, now renamed Güzelyurt. As with many such exchanges, the number of Muslim families who came to Güzelyurt was far fewer than the town could absorb, so many buildings went unused. Most prominent among local monuments is the Great Church Mosque (Büyük Kilise Camii), built in 1896 as the Church of St Gregory of Nazianzus to replace a much older church built on this site in 385. Next to the church is the entry (🎫 20 TRY) into the underground city. The restored complex ranges across several levels and includes one hair-raising section where you descend through a hole in the floor.
Parking location – Güzelyurt: 38.277397N 34.367865E