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Persian: Katpatuka
Turkish: Kapadokya


Cappadocia, Turkey
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Cappadocia, Turkey
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Cappadocia, Turkey
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Region in east-central Anatolia, Turkey, covering a rugged plateau north of the Taurus Mountains.
There is no clear definition to the extent of Cappadocia, approximately it can be set to 400 km from west to east, and 200 km from north to south. At its largest, in the 1st millennium BCE, Cappdocia covered an area all the way to the Black Sea. Later, the land of Pontus would emerge to the north.
Cappadocia formed its own states in the 2nd and 1st millenniums BCE, since the last 2000 years the ownership of Cappadocia has shifted between other states, mainly the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire and now Turkey.
There were relatively few major towns in ancient Cappadocia. Mazaca, also known as Eusebia and by the Romans renamed Caesarea (modern Kayseri) and Tyana were the exceptions. In earlier times, Hattusha was the capital of the Hittite kingdoms. The main urban centres of modern Cappadocia are Kayseri (540,000), Kirsehir (90,000), Nigde (80,000) and Nevsehir (70,000)
Cappadocia is especially famous for its unique soft rock buildings in and around Göreme.
It is commonly assumed that the name comes from Persian, 'Katpatuka', which meant "the land of beautiful horses".

The first people living in Cappadocia were the Hatti.
Around 1900 BCE: Immigration of the Hittites, probably coming from western Europe.
19th century: An Assyrian colony is established in Cappadocia.
1680-710: Cappadocia is the centre of several Hittite state formations.
7th century: Cappadocia is conquered by the Achaemenid Persia. The region is divided into two satrapies, Cappadocia and Pontus.
6th century: In the earlies record of the name 'Cappadocia', the region is mentioned as having a great presence of Zoroastrian religion.
330: Persia is conquered by the Macedonians, allowing Cappadocia to become an independent kingdom.
3rd century: Becomes part of Seleucid Persia.
190: The Roman victory at Magnesia; Cappadocia becomes an ally with Rome.
40: Rome takes effective control of Cappadocia, instating a puppet king.
17 CE: Annexed by Rome, Cappadocia becomes a Roman province.
1s century: Christianity is introduced in Cappadocia, apparently by St. Paul.
4th century: With the emergence of the Byzantine Empire, Cappadocia becomes part of this.
11th centruy: Conquered by the Seljuq Turks, who in this region introduces a mild regime, despite the Seljuqs being Muslims and the locals Christians.
1923: Cappdocia's Greek Christian population are expelled from their homelands (see Turkish Greek Cleansings).

By Tore Kjeilen