YESILOZ – OREN SUBTERRANEAN
YESILOZ SUBTERRANEAN YESILOZ – OREN SUBTERRANEAN
Approximately half-way along the Avanos-Gülsehir highway, a hard surface offshoot due north will take the visitor to Yesilöz village, richly arbored and blessed with a multitude of fruit trees. Circa two kilometers north of the village, the landscape is dominated by a hillock, the southern and estern extremities of which are dotted with hot water fountains. These fountains are influencing not only the local vegetation but also the local “micro-climate” — an extremely hospitable site to settle for a picnic. Here too, the base of the hillock is proliferated with fruit trees and the area is subject to sudden and swift variations of temperature, locally denominated as “Iliman mesiresi”. Even during the dead of winter, the average temperature around the hillock can be several centigrades higher than elsewhere in the neighborhood, while during the summer sudden chilly spells are not uncommon. Despite the warm, sunny weather, the visitor should carry a jacket, or pullover.
Around the hillock, the fountains are so numerous that they have no names, only numbers. Circa 100 meters distant, the emission of the fountain No. 4 is feeble enough to be obstructed with a bit of stone, while the circa 800 meters distant fountain No. 5 sprouts forcefully enough to cast aside a heavy boulder. A large area here remains snow free, even during heavy snow falls.
Nearby, a 20 by 7 meter cave is used by shepherds as shelter for their flocks and themselves. Opposite the jagged entrance, the inner wall features three 70 by 70 centimeter cavities partly filled with earth—the entrances of a system of westerly tunnels leading to the Ören subterranean settlement. They are not easily negotiable but feature niches at 1.5 meter intervals for candles or oil lamps, and in the distant past the “streets” of the underground settlement must have been well illuminated.
However, in no case should a solitary visitor attempt to enter into the maze of narrow tunnels.
The facade of the troglodyte colony near the village of Incegiz, district Çatalca, only some fifty kilometers west of Istanbul—in Thrace! Down to the smallest detail this subterranean complex is identical with the rock-cut dwellings of the Göreme region, obviously contradicting authors who insist upon the Hittite origin of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı in Cappadocia.
The early Christian monastic colonies of Cappadocia had no contact with Thrace and needless to say that the Hittites have never been there either. Incegiz is situated on what used to be Phrygian territory, where the Phrygians are known to have operated several mines. Circa eight kilometers distant along the Catalca-Saray road, there is another cave complex and a long system of tunnels now beneath military territory and consequently inaccessible.
The Phrygians were past masters at tunnelling and deep mining techniques, and their presence in Cappadocia between 1200 and 600 B.C. is a documented historical fact.