Nigde

Ni?de is a town (pop. 337.931) in the southern part of Cappadocia, and the town went into a decline. Today, the main places of interest res to the west of the road. It also dates from the Hittite period; from tablets found in the village of Andaval in the province of Ni?­de, and now preserved in the Archaeological Museum in Ankara, we learn that they called it Nahita. In 1976 a basrelief made of hard black stone depicting a Hittite god was unearthed in Ni?de at a construction site near K?? 11 Mosque and is now in the local museum.

On the stone there is cuneiform script, a figure of a God holding an ax in his right hand lightning in his left. We see grapes on the lower left-hand corner and a sheaf of wheat on the lower right-hand corner. After 710 B.C. Ni?de fell under Phrygian rule and various ar­tifacts of that period attest to this. Though the Phrygians were fol­lowed by the Romans, very little has been found indicating their presence. In 53 A.D. Christianity began to expand fast in the region, but Roman persecution of Christians caused the converts to build underground cities at Gölcük, Misli, T?rhan, Hasaköy, Orhanl? and Edikli in the vicinity of Ni?de, similar to those at Derinkuyu, Kay­makl?, K?ra?ca?ar, Betören, K?z?lören, Tilköy, Çekmi, örentepe, Güble Çak?ll?, Do?ala, Suvermez. I believe that, apart from these, there are about hundred underground cities in Cappadocia, serving the double purpose of places of refuge for Christians and of centers for mis­sionary work.

In 313 the emperor Constantine granted recognition to this religion which started propagating all over the world.

Ni?de was part of the Byzantine territory from 395 to 1075, af­ter which date it remained in Seljukid hands until the middle of the XIII century. Upon the accession of Aladdin Keykubad I to the Sel­jukid throne, the governor of Ni?de, Zeyneddin Beshare, had a mos­que built in the sultan's name.

This mosque, which is still in use, is known as Aladdin mosque and is noted for the stone carvings, both on the interior and the exterior walls, and for its mihrab, mimbar and main door. The reign of Aladdin Keykubad (1219-1237) is the most glorious period of the Seljukid state, during which time med-reses, inns, puplic baths, mosques and caravanserais were built and decorated with beautiful examples of their art. With Aladdin's suc­cessor, Giyaseddin Keyhusrev, the Anatolian Seljukid state began to decline.

During this period the Mongols, at that time in possesion of Persia and the Caucasus region, started threatening also the al­ready weakened Seljukid state and finally took this opportunity to invade Anatolia.

In 1243 at Köseda? near Sivas the Seljukid army was defeated and the Mongols imposed an annual tax on them and later annexed the territory. A number of Turcoman princes reacted by declaring their independence from the Seljukids and Ni?de was held successively by the llhanids, the Karaman I ids and the Ottomans. It was also invaded by the Sasanids and the Arabs.

The devastation caused by these invasions and wars was too vast to be repaired and the town went into a decline. Today, the main plaees of interest for the tourist in Ni?de are:

  1. Aladdin mosque
  2. Sungur Bey mosque
  3. Rahmaniye mosque
  4. Various mausolea
  5. Ak Medrese
  6. The Citadel

 

Leave a Reply