Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University Course Catalogue

About Turkey / Nevşehir

Nevşehir (Cappadocia)

Nevşehir is a province in central Turkey with its capital in Nevşehir. It adjacent provinces are Kırşehir to the northwest, Aksaray to the southwest, Niğde to the south, Kayseri to the southeast, and Yozgat to the northeast. Nevşehir includes the area called Cappadocia - a very popular tourist attraction in Turkey.

Nevşehir (the suffix “nev-“ means “new” in persian language) was once a town named “ Mushkara” and became a province on July 20th, 1954.

Cappadocia is a name given to a historical region during the archaic age. Today, Cappadocia region stands in the Central Anatolia region, in the middle of Turkey. The region used to cover a vast area during the archaic age, later on the borders shrunk. Today’s Cappadocia covers the city of Nevşehir in its heart; historically and geographically the neighboring cities Aksaray, Kayseri and Niğde share the borders of Cappadocia. In addition to its geological uniqueness and its historical & cultural elements Cappadocia is one of the most important culture and belief tourism centers both in Turkey and around the world.

For thousands of years, Cappadocia has attracted many settlers and the oldest traces of human settlement can be traced back to neolithic ages. The Region has been inhabited since prehistoric times by many civilizations such as the Romans, the Byzantines and the Ottomans. We can observe the history of the Region in three periods. The first period includes the paleolithic, neolithic and ancient periods. The Romans and the Byzantines lived in the second period while the settlement of the Turks falls on the last period.

Nevşehir has been home to many great civilizations throughout the history with its fabulous landscape and unique nature.

The eruption of Mount Erciyes about 2000 years ago created ash and lava rock formations. Softer rock was eroded by wind and water, but the harder deposits on the top layer erode more slowly, resulting in the “fairy chimneys”. The soft rock is relatively easy to carve, but hardens when exposed to air. Hence, the inhabitants of Cappadocia carved homes and churches into the rocks, making it an amazing place. As the region was always vulnerable to the attacks from outside, people built underground cities for a temporary stay against such attacks. The fact that the King's Road in the persian period and the Silk Road in the Seljuk Period passes through the region is a clear evidence of how important the region has been throughout centuries. The Christians under  the Ottoman reign buillt many churches in the region where people from different religions had the freedom to practice their own religions. These churches are one of the clearest examples of the peace in the region. Many towering figures in both political and spiritual terms were born in this culturally rich territory. For example, Hajı Bektash-ı Veli was the prominent figure in spreading the light through human values while İbrahim Pasha was part of the ruling class of the Ottoman Empire as a Grand Vizier. It was İbrahim Pasha  who ordered Nevşehir city to be built. He also ordered an islamic-ottoman social complex named after him to be built in the center of the city. In this region, where elegant horses were bred, is also famous for the traditional handicraft activities. The inhabitants, with the craft passed down from their ancestors, make their way into finding out the beauty hidden in the mud gathered from the banks of the Red River here. The winter season here embellishes the region with snow like a lace-work while the region turns green with the coming of the summer, making one feel filled with hope and joy.


One can enjoy many sports & leisure activities in the region such as trekking, mountain-biking, horse-riding. Moreover, hot-air balloon ride allows you to enjoy the magnificient scenery from above.


Both the local and the foreign tourists visiting the region do not only have the opportunity to enjoy the history, culture and the natural wonders of Nevşehir but also enjoy the hospitality of the inhabitants. Nevşehir is proud to have the Cappadocia Region listed on the UNESCO World Natural & Cultural Heritage List in 1985 thanks to its natural and cultural diversity.