Rock Sites of Cappadocia Region in Turkey,
Turning right on the road to Avanos from Goreme one reaches the ruins of Zelve after a drive of 3 km. through a valley filled with fairy chimneys of various types and tall rocks pierced with many holes. Into these rocks were carved during the Byzantine period numerous churches and shelters, the entrances of which are sometimes high above the level of the valley. After the departure of the Byzantines, Turks built a small village in this valley, but had to leave it in 1950 -55 because of the destructive effects of erosion and moved to a new village that was built. The Valley boasts the most interesting and numerous fairy-chimneys of the Cappadocian region.
No one knows the exact date of the foundation of the town of Avanos, which is located 15 km from the city of Nevsehir, and falls within its jurisdiction a nomadic tribe of Seljuks moving from east to west led by Bey Evranos settled near the Kizilirmak river south of MT Ziyaret and founded the town which is known today as Avanos. In the beginning, this tribe named the town after its leader EVRANOS but after a time the name was transformed to Avanos. The first inhabitants of Avanos made clay objects water jugs, dishes water storage vessels and other household utensils. Today’s inhabitants of Avanos have kept up this tradition and their pottery is quite renowned. The arts of carpet-weaving are especially important in this touristic area. In more ancient times this region was known as Venessa which means city on the river in Latin. The nearest tourist sights are Sarihan (7 km), Zelve (7 km), Cavusin (16 km), Avcilar (9 km), Goreme (12 km) and Ozkonak (18 km). Tourists are attracted to these towns more than to others.
Sinasos Or Mustafa Pasa
Mustafa Pasa is a small town (pop. 3000) built in a valley 5 km. to the south of OrgOp. This is another settlement where the distinctive construction of the houses attracts the local and foreign tourists. These houses indeed deserve special mention also for the rich decorations around the doors and windows. This place used to be inhabited by Greeks until after the War of Independence. After their emigration, it was settled by Turks and its name (Sineson, Sinosos) was changed into Mustafa Pasa. A two-storey monastery dating from that period now serves as a hotel; the frescoes have been preserved. The church of Ayos Vasilios is at a distance of 1 km. from the town and one enters it by going down a staircase built into the rock. The church itself has been carved entirely out of the rock and four columns support its ceiling. Though not of great historical interest, its frescoes deserve mention.