In the Byzantine period Ürgüp was called under various names such as Osiana, Hagios, Prokopios. During the Seljuks period it was referred to as Başhisar and in the Ottoman Empire period as Burgut Castle, until the first years of the Turkish Republic when it was called Ürgüp.
Ürgüp, whose name derives from "ur kup" meaning "many rocks".
Urgup became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1515. It was the first time in the 18th century when Damat Ybrahim Pasha, the Ottoman Grand Vezier, established the governorship in Nevsehir (Muskara). Urgup was then administered by the governorship making Urgup secondary in importance.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Urgup on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 37' 52.76" N 34° 54' 37.82" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Urgup's panorama.
You may watch my 3 min 00 sec VIDEO-Clip Urgup - Slide-show with Mustafa Sandal & Galkan Aya Benzer music.
Breakfast : A Turkish breakfast normally consist of fresh crusty bread,olives,tomatoes,cucumber,cheese, jam or honey and sometimes a boiled egg.
Meze(hors d’oeuvres): Plays an important part in Turkish meals.They are often so delicious and satisfying that they can often be a meal in themselves , and vegeterians will find plenty of choice.There is a great variety , but the following meze are some you will find in local restaurants :
Sigara börek (filo pastry wrapped around the cheese and herbs)
Cacýk ( yoghurt with cucumber ,herbs,garlic and watercress)
Piyaz( haricot bean salad)
Ýmambayýldý (Aubergines with minced meat,onion and tomato )
Dolma (stuffed vegetables,peppers,vine leaves,cabbage or tomatoes)
Tursu (pickled vegetables)
Meat : Kebabs date back to the time of nomadic Turks who learned to grill and roast their meat over campfires.There are numerous varieties , some of which are named after the place where they were first prepared.Adana kebab is spicy with a sprinkling of purple sumak , betraying its Arab influence ; Iskender kebab consist of pide bread , a layer of döner lamb topped with fresh tomato sauce and yoghurt.Köfte is meatballs,usually without ay sauce and yoghurt.Lamb is undoubtedly the most commonly eaten meat in Turkey , but chicken and beef are also generally available.Being a Muslim country , pork is more exceptional.
Vegeterians : Vegeterian dishes are widely available or olive oil using seasonal vegetables.Turkish rice ,pilav , is especially good and so are the couscous and cracked wheat , bulgur pilav dishes.
Fondest memory: Desserts : Turkish people have a sweet tooth ! On the menu you will find delights such as ‘lips of the beloved’ , and ‘Lady’s Navel’
By far the most common dessert after meal is frest,seasonal fruit.Spring starts with strawberries,followed by cherries,figs, and apricots.In summer come peaches,watermelon and honeydew melon, and in late summer grapes,followed by plums,apples,pears and quince.Oranges,mandarins and bananas are available in the winter.
If you ask for fruit in a restaurant, you will normally be given a plate of mixed fruit,peeled,sliced and beatifully presented.In addition to fruit , you will find a variety of milk desserts including rice puding (served cold) and cremed caramel,pastries,baklava (filo pastry with honey and pistachio nuts) and ice cream.
try try somine restaurant : one of the 'up market' restaurants in Urgup
THE HISTORY OF DRINKING
Traditonally Islam condems the consumtion of alcohol , but the Turks have always kept an open mind.
As Lord Charlemont observed : “The Turks are the soberest people on earth yet some of them are apt to consider the words of the prophet in the literal sense and imagine if they abstain from the juice of the grape , they may drink any other spirituous liquor.”
With Turkey having many cultural influences , it is really down to the choice of the individual an deven those who abstain in public may enjoy a discreet tiple at home.
Perhaps the best way to sum up the Turks attitude to drinking is to recount the following tale :
Murat IV (1623-1640),himself a heavy drinker ,imposed on of the strictest crackdowns on alcohol and tobacco.He used to patrol the streets of Ýstanbul incognito,seeking out the drunk and having them executed on the spot.When raiding a local’s wine cellar one day , he found barrels of wine and demanded to know why they dare flout the prohibition so blatantly.The local replied “ my sultan, we put the grape juice in the barrel , but only god knows whether it becomes vinegar or wine !”
For almost eight centuries of Otoman rule , wine making was carried out with little interference from the authorities and , it hardly caused a stir when the modern republic took wine and spirits under its wings in the 1920’s.
Fondest memory: Drinking today :
Raký : Affectionately known as ‘lion’s milk’ is the traditional drink.This aniseed tasting spirit is drunk with water ; once the water is added, it changes from a clear liquid from a clear liquid to a milky white.The drink was developed because of the literal interpretation of the Koran against wine and the fermantation of the grape.
Çay : Turkish tea is served in small tulip-shaped glasses without milk.The Turks , who invariably have a sweet tooth , usually drink it with lots of sugar.If you find the tea too strong ask for ‘acik cay’ meaning weak tea.Elma cay , apple tea, will almost certainly be offered to you whilst you are out shopping.Ironically this drink, which tourists associate with Turkey , is rarely , if never , drunk by the locals.
Kahve : Turkish coffee has a strong and distinctive flavour and is served in tiny cups and saucers.You can order as follows : Sade kahve (without sugar) orta þekerli(medium-sweet), þekerli (sweet). Don’t be surprised if , after you have finished your drink , someone offers to tell your fortune from the sediment in your cup !
Ayran : Yoghurt , water and little salt mixed together and served chilled.It is especially refreshing in hot weather.
Wines : Turkey’s climate lends itself to wine production although its real potential has never been exploited due to the fact that , as a Muslim country , consumption remains relatively low.
The main wine producers are : Doluca, Kavaklýdere,Sevilen,Dikmen and Turasan(based in Cappadocia)
i ended up addicted to tea.Local people almost drink 25-30 cups of tea everyday !!
At its finest , Turkish food is amongst the best of the world.The range of climate zones means that country is one of only six in the world that are self-sufficient in terms of food production.Recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.As Turkey itself has been influenced by many cultures,different areas tend to have their own unique and traditional dishes.
The legacy of an Imperial kitchen is also evident. Hundred of cooks,all eager to please the royal palate,had their influence in perfecting the cuisine as we know it today. The importance of culinary art for the Ottoman sultans is evident to every visitor to the Topkapý Palace in Ýstanbul.By the 17th century there were some 1300 kitchen staff housed at the palace.Every cook specialized in different categories of dishes,such as soups,pilafs,kebabs,vegetables,fish,breads,pastries,sweets and helva, syrups, and jams and bevarages and fed as many as 10.000 people a day.Another important factor influencing the variety and development of Turkish cuisine was the Spice Road was under the full control of the Sultans.
Following the example of the palace, all of the grand otoman houses boasted elaborate kitchens and competed in preparing feasts for each other as well as the general public.In each neighbourhood at least one household would open its doors to anyone who would stop by for diner during the holy month of Ramadan or during any other festive occasions.This is how the traditional cuisine evolved and filtered down to the ordinary people.
Fondest memory: A real pottery kebab casserole ; they cook egg plants meat and onion in a big pottery bowl for hours and hours and serve with rice(pilaf) grape syrup dessert is awsame !
Favorite thing: This region , the heartland of the country , is of a rugged , often startling beauty . It has been witness to several great cultures of the past and its importance is no less today as the cultural and political center of modern Turkey.