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Cappadocia, ‘Land of the Beautiful Horse’, was once famous for the fine steeds that bore its valiant knights. Few horses are left, but they can still transport you into another world. The photographer Jürgen Frank captures the eerie magic of the Anatolian plateau, Susan Wirth is exhilarated by five days in the saddle and David Barchard guides us through the epic landscape.
A Canter Through Cappadocia
Susan Wirth spends five days in the saddle in the Land of the Beautiful Horse
The ancient name for Cappadocia is “Katpatuka”, which is believed to mean “Land of the Beautiful Horse”. As this region of central Anatolia is not known for its equine tradition, this is surprising. So how did the name come about?
The most plausible theory is that it derives from the days when the Persians, who controlled the region in the sixth century BC, collected tributes from the local inhabitants in the form of horses. True or not, I can confirm that the concept has proved a potent marketing tool. Two thousand years later, as an insatiable horse enthusiast, I could not refrain from conjuring up dramatic images of wild steeds roaming the regions volcanic valleys.
Some like their asparagus translucently white, others prefer crunchy and green. Whatever your choice, it takes lightness of touch to reveal the delicate flavour.
You embarked in Paris or Vienna and alighted at Sirkeci station, an Oriental fantasy in the shadow of the Topkapı Palace. This was the train that brought Istanbul into the heart of modern Europe: the fabled Orient Express.
Kevin Gould waxes lyrical over Château Musar, a legendary wine from the old Ottoman Levant, and salutes the brave new Turkish winemakers who stay true to their roots.
After the grim years of the early 1920s, Turkey experienced a brief period of euphoria. A new Republic was born, and new faces appeared in this land of hope, among them the brilliant but now forgotten photographer Othmar Pferschy (1898–1984), who turned up on the Orient Express in 1926 and stayed for forty years.
We were greatly saddened to learn of the death of one of the great archaeologists of the 20th century, James Mellaart, whose discovery of Çatalhüyük in the 1950s fundamentally altered our understanding of the past. In 2005, on his eightieth birthday, he talked to Christian Tyler. We publish the article here in full, and at the same time offer Jimmie’s family our utmost sympathy.
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