Seyitgazi

Seyitgazi is a town and district of Eskişehir Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. A 100 km section of the Phrygian Way passes through this county. The route passes through the renowned Phrygian Valleys where hikers may visit the ruins of ancient civilizations and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

The central town of Seyitgazi lies at a distance of 43 km (27 mi) towards the south from the province capital of Eskişehir. According to 2010 census, population of the district is 16,222 of which 2,890 live in the town of Seyitgazi. The district covers an area of 1,502 km2 and the average elevation is 1,040 m. Apart from the central town of Seyitgazi, the district has two dependent townships with their own municipalities – Kırka and Doğançayır, and 46 villages. Agriculture and the cattlebreeding are the most significant income sources of Seyitgazi.

History Of Seyitgazi

The town occupies the site of the Byzantine city of Nakoleia, and was named after the 8th-century Muslim saint and warrior Battal Gazi who fell in a battle nearby in 740. A külliye dedicated to Battal Gazi and containing his tomb, a mosque, a medresse, cells and ceremonial rooms for dervishes as well as charitable services for the community such as kitchens and a bakery was built in 1208 on a hill overlooking the town by Ümmühan Hatun, wife of the Anatolian Seljuk sultan Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev I and further extended in 1511 by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II. The shrine and the adjoining complex remain popular with local as well as foreign visitors.

Interesting Places in Seyitgazi

Nakoliea

Nakoliea was an ancient and medieval city in Phrygia, also known as Phrygia Salutaris, and taking its name in legend from the nymph Nacola. The area was known for its fertility in late Roman times, thanks to the river Parthenios (Seyit Su), and was wooded until the late 4th century (it is now deforested). It was there that Emperor Valens defeated the usurper Procopius in 366. In the time of Arcadius, a garrison of Goths under Tribigild who occupied the town revolted against the emperor in 399. In 782, it was temporarily captured by the Abbasid Caliphate. Remains from the ancient city are now found on display at the museum of Seyitgazi.


Turkmen Mountain

Mount Turkmen is located in the county of Seyitgazi and is the highest mountain in the province of Eskisehir with summit (1826 m.) within the boundaries of Eskişehir, but the western slopes part of Kütahya province. Bayat, Göcenoluk, Güllüdere, Salihler, Sandiközü, Lütfiye, İkizoluk, Çürüttüm, Idrisyayla, Gemiç and Akin (the largest) villages are located on the skirts of Mount Turkmen. It is covered with wide pine forests.


Unexcavated Tell

There are a few tells in the province; some have been excavated and studied by archeologists; one is right on the route, just outside of Sandıközü village.


Berberini Cave

The Berberini Rock Church has a triangular pediment with a Phrygian facade and two shelters carved into the rock. There is a single line inscription in Paleo-Phrygian in an arc-shape on the acroterium at the top of the facade. It can be found in the Zahran Valley.


Asmainler Hidden Valley

The Asmainler Valley, which starts from in the Seyitgazi District and extends along the borders of Kütahya province and the Afyonkarahisar Köhnüş valley from Seyircek Kale to the valley of Afyonkarahisar, is an important and unknown hidden valley of Phrygia, which preserves its natural beauty and is named after rocky tombs on the slopes. The rock graves are arranged along the valley which is identified with the Mother Goddess Cybele.


Seyit Battal Gazi Group Of Buildings

Seyit Gazi is a popular hero, who lived at the end of the 7th century and first quarter of the 8th century. The group of buildings (külliye) consists of a tomb and a mosque built on behalf of Seyit Gazi in the beginnings of the 13th century, and historical buildings added later. The tomb and mosque were constructed by the Selcuks and the  imarethane (kitchen for the distribution of food to the poor), medresse (school) and tekke (convent of Kalender dervishes), as well as a han, were built in the Ottoman period. Significant tombs include Ümmühan Hatun (mother of Alaeddin I), Çoban Baba, Ayni Ana, and the tomb of Battal Gazi and his daughter Elenora, and a set of seven tombs of headless warriors.


Sections

  1. Lütfiye to Sandıközü 3 km
    This route takes you along the asphalt road that runs parallel to the river from Lütfiye to Sandıközü. It’s also possible to follow the river in place of the road. Upon approaching Sandıközü, cross a bridge to the village, which lies at the mouth of the Zahran Valley. There is an unexcavated tell next to the village.
  1. Sandıközü to Zahran Valley 8 k
    The path follows the Akın Deresi, which has ruins of mills along it. After passing through sown fields you can see multi-storeyed caves, called Hallıören, which have been worked out of the upright rocks at the edges of the valley. The Berberini cave is also visible from the route. The path splits into two, you can choose to see the valley from above, or continue to look at the mills and caves. It’s possible to see deer coming down to the river to drink as well as many kinds of birds.
  1. Zahran Valley to İkizoluk 8.5 km
    Starting from the Dere settlement this route follows the course of the water through the valley. After narrowing, the valley widens once again and you can see man-made caves, sometimes several stories high, with steps made from timber leading up to them. After passing a mill, the route continues on a mix of road and path before entering the village of Ikizoluk.
  1. Ikizoluk to Salihler 6.5 km
    This path winds between fields on a mix of dirt track, tractor trails, field track. It continues parallel and above the river which flows under Salihler Village. After crossing the river and joining with the main asphalt road, hikers will arrive at the village where there is a teahouse and village hall.
  1. Salihler to Asmainler Hidden Valley 9.5 km
    This route passes a picnic spot with a water source and toilets, then continues onto a forest road which leads down into a deepening valley. There are unique rock formations on both sides of the path. After reaching a wide open space, the route takes you into the Asmainler Hidden Valley. At one point you will see the Tabancakaya (Gun Rock) settlement, which actually resembles a gun. A bit later you can see more cave structures on the other side of the valley. The route is especially nice in the Spring, when the wild flowers bloom.

Transport

Eskişehir, the province where Seyitgazi is located, is near the junction of Turkey’s high speed railway system (YHT), with frequent fast trains to Istanbul, Ankara and Konya. There are also buses from Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, etc. Flying from Istanbul is also a possibility. From Eskisehir, there are buses which go to Seyitgazi and from there the frequent bus on the main road to Afyon crosses the route twice.

Accommodation

There is a nice place to camp under a spring in the Zahran Valley or you can set up camp in the hamlet of Dere. In Salihler, there is a village hall where guests can stay, just contact the headman (muhtar) first; you can also camp in the picnic area located about 1 km out of the village. At Çukurca is the Midashan boutique hotel, http://www.midashan.com, which also has a campsite.

                        


© Copyright - Viaeurasia.
This website is produced with financial support of the EU and Republic of Turkey. the Culture Routes Society is responsible for the content of this website and it can in no way be interpreted as the opinion of the EU and/or Republic of Turkey.