Turkey’s first and only UNESCO music city: Kırşehir

Turkey's first and only UNESCO music city: Kırşehir

Known for its artists from the Abdal culture, represented by Neşet Ertaş, the curator of the steppe, and being the first city from Turkey to be included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of music, Kırşehir almost resembles an open-air museum with its historical artifacts and excavation sites from the Seljuk and Ottoman states.

Standing out with its historical values ​​and spa treatment opportunities from the Hittite, Firik, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods, Kırşehir awaits its visitors in the new normalization period.
Kırşehir, where the spiritual founder of the Ottoman Empire, Sheikh Edebali, was born and grew up, and where Ahi Evran-ı Veli, the head of the Ahi organization that formed the foundation of the Ottoman Empire, lived, is home to the Cacabey Astronomy Madrasa, Aşık Paşa and Mevlana, known for writing their works in Turkish 800 years ago. It is one of the important historical cities of Anatolia because of the tomb of Sheikh Suleyman Turkmani, who was a student of Turkey and contributed to the spread of foundation services in Anatolia.
The Cacabey Astronomy Madrasa, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List under the title of “Anatolian Seljuk Madrasahs” and was built by the governor of the city, Nureddin Cibril bin Cacabey in 1272, is known as the first observatory in Anatolia where astronomy education was given in its time.
The Lale Mosque, Ahi Evran Complex, Melik Gazi Cupola, and Kalehöyük excavations in the city center and Kaman district from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods turn Kırşehir into an open-air museum.
Kalehöyük Archeology Museum, which received the “Best Green Design” award by the European Center for Architecture and Urban Design Art Studies and the Chicago Library, and the Japanese Garden, which is one of the largest botanical gardens outside the borders of Japan, attract local and foreign visitors, especially Japanese visitors to Turkey. attracts the attention of foreign tourists.
Kırşehir, which is also known as the entrance gate of Cappadocia, becomes a frequent destination for tourists going to this region with its health tourism facilities where thermal water is used for therapeutic purposes. Tourists visiting the historical monuments in the city also benefit from the healing hot spring water.
Mucur and Kepez underground cities, located in the Mucur district adjacent to Nevşehir on the Ankara-Kayseri highway, contribute to the tourism activity of the city. It is believed that the underground city of Mucur, which has 42 rooms open to visitors on 2 floors, extends as far as Cappadocia.
Seyfe Lake Bird Sanctuary, which hosts cranes, seagulls, spinning wheels, ducks, geese and local birds, especially flamingos, offers a visual feast to visitors with its endemic plant species.
In Kırşehir, which is the first city from Turkey to be included in the Creative Cities Network by UNESCO in the field of music with the masters it has trained, especially Neşet Ertaş, the music performed by artists from the Abdal culture attracts the attention of visitors. The folk songs of Neşet Ertaş, one of the most important representatives of the Central Anatolian Abdal culture such as Aşık Said, Muharrem Ertaş, Ali Çekiç, and Şemsi Yastıman, echo every day in the streets and avenues of Kırşehir.
The name and the tradition it represents is kept alive in the Cultural Center, Gönül Sultans Culture House and the events of different institutions. Visitors to the Culture House have the opportunity to listen to Ertaş’s works in his own voice in the android sculpture. Neşet Ertaş, who is full of eyes and rich in heart due to the Abdal tradition she nurtured, is remembered for her modest life, attitudes that prioritize love, respect and tolerance. The words “I am the turret of your feet, the servant of your hearts”, which the poet sang to his fans before each concert, are not erased from the memory of his fans.
The poet, who did not accept the title of “state artist” offered to him during the presidency of Süleyman Demirel, saying “Everyone is the artist of this state”, is also known as the last legend of the Abdalism culture. Bozlak master was included in the Turkish National Inventory of Living Human Treasures by UNESCO as part of the Convention for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and was recognized as a “living human treasure”.
Before the Corona virus (Covid-19) epidemic, Kırşehir hosted approximately 235 thousand domestic and foreign tourists a year, and 95 thousand tourists visited it in 2020, when the epidemic took place. While tourism is expected to reactivate after the epidemic in Kırşehir, it is aimed to reach 500 thousand visitors annually.
Kırşehir Governor İbrahim Akın said that the city is an important culture and history city of Central Anatolia, which has a history of 5,000 years. Emphasizing that the city, located at the entrance of Cappadocia, has many places to visit and see, Akın said, “When you come to Kırşehir, it is possible to see historical sites, nature such as the Seyfe Lake Bird Sanctuary, and facilities related to geothermal treatment together, and benefit from these.”
Stating that there are constant visitors to the city, especially Japanese tourists, Governor Akın said: “Kırşehir is an important city that our guests can visit at the entrance of Cappadocia with its geothermal, historical and cultural values, and underground cities. We welcome our visitors to our city. Number of visitors to our city. It is increasing every year. Recently, there has been a natural decline due to the epidemic. However, we think and evaluate that our visitors will increase with the decrease of the epidemic. We believe that our historical city Kırşehir, located at the entrance of Cappadocia, should be a frequent destination for domestic and foreign tourists, and we welcome our visitors to our city.”

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