Erkilet Air Base, Turkey
West of Cappadocia, over the mountains in central Anatolia, lies Kayseri, known as Caesarea in Roman times. The city spreads out at the foot of the extinct volcano Mt. Erciyes (3,916 meters). In the winter months the ski center has excellent runs for downhill skiers, and several pleasant hotels cater particularly to skiers. Close to the Byzantine fortress, the 13th century Huant Hatun Mosque and Medrese, with the Mahperi Hatun Mausoleum, comprise the first Seljuk complex, the Huant Hatun Complex, in Anatolia. The Medrese is now an Ethnography Museum. South of the complex, stands the beautifully decorated Döner Kümbet of 1276, a Seljuk mausoleum of classic simplicity. A major Seljuk city, Kayseri was an important center of learning and consequently, there are many medreses (theological schools) among the remaining historical buildings.
Mount Erciyes is the most outstanding feature in this region, not only with its fascinating scenery but also with the opportunities it offers for winter sports. It is a beautiful ski-resort with many facilities, and there also exist several areas suitable for mountaineering. At the foot of Mount Erciyes are the Sultan Marshes, 50 kms south of Kayseri. Birds of 130 species are to be found here and it is an interesting and lovely spot for bird watchers.
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