Turkey / Cities and Towns /
Town in southcentral Turkey with 80,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), at an elevation of 1,250 metres above sea level. It is the capital of the Nigde province with 350,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Nigde, Turkey. Photo: Dick Osseman.
Abandoned church in Nigde, Turkey. Photo: Dick Osseman.
Some old houses in the region near the Süngür Bey Mosque. Nigde, Turkey. Photo: Dick Osseman.
Nigde has traditionally been one of the cities controlling trade from southern Anatolia to the inner Anatolia and the Black Sea coast, by controlling the mountain pass between the Melendiz mountains in the west and the Taurus mountains in the east. The passage was in antiquity known as the Cilician Gates.
Modern industries of Nigde are mainly flour milling, wine making and the manufacture of cement, textiles and tools.
Nigde is linked by rail and with the principal urban centres of Turkey; Adana 200 km south and Kayseri 150 km northeast.
Most of Nigde's historical quarters have been replaced by more modern structures. Among the landmarks, the most prominent is the Alaeddin Mosque from 1203, the Sungur Bey Mosque from the 14th century and the Dis Mosque from the 16th century. 6 km from Nigde lies the Eski Gümüsler monastery, famous for its Byzantine wall paintings in excellent condition.
It has been suggested that Nigde is the site of the ancient Hittite city Nakida.
10th century: The city of Tyana is destroyed by Arab attacks. This allows Nigde to take control over much of the trade going through the region.
End of 11th century: As part of the Seljuq sultanates, Nigde becomes an important and prosperous city.
14th century: Nigde is destroyed by the wars between the Mongols and the Turkmen principality of the Karaman. The town is soon rebuilt.
1467: Comes under control of the emerging Ottoman Empire. Since this year, Nigde has been an unimportant town.