The first fairy chimney shows itself nearly half an hour after leaving Nevşehir Airport. That’s when I understand that I am inside the “neutral zone.” This first fairy chimney will soon be followed by a distant view of Uçhisar, my favorite town in Cappadocia. Then I say “I am in the other world.”

Every time I feel grateful for living in a country where Cappadocia is located at the center. If it snows at a particular moment, I sometimes feel afraid that my eyes will not be able to take in this beauty sufficiently. I feel a rush. Sometimes I do not have the heart to take a photograph even. I experience this Cappadocia ritual at least twice a year. With an ever-increasing love.

Cappadocia is a “neutral zone” for me. When you live in such a diverse and culturally diverse geography of the world, these cultural heaps often make you feel the luckiest person on earth, and at times, cross-cultural conflicts that break your heart too much. This unique geography we live in sometimes places a heavy burden on our hearts. But I think Cappadocia is a remedy for this geography. The fairy chimneys and the unique Cappadocia valleys always give me the sense of freedom brought by timelessness and lack of possession. Cappadocia is like Alice’s Wonderland, far away from everything. It does have an owner – it mainly faces nature despite hosting many cultures. You approach as close as you like, walk through it, but the only right you can claim on it gets to be your chance to admire it. Cappadocia belongs to either all of us or none of us.

Cappadocia is “another world” for me. Imagine a place that was home to geological formations you cannot see anywhere else. Then, imagine that you did not have to look at these structures from a distance but rather could enter them as well as underground cities you could go inside. You believe you should not go underground or that much deeper? Then imagine that you could look at all this from air, from a balloon. Imagine that you could walk for kilometers between the valleys. Then, imagine further and just place a river in the middle of these valleys. Now, if you are fully prepared, imagine that people had started to live in this region 600 B.C. and that you could see the traces of this life. If you don’t feel very cold, imagine that it would snow in this “other world.” However, do not forget that snow mostly brings an azure blue sky. Imagine that this region was called “the land of beautiful horses.”

And then think that you are a Turk myself living in Istanbul who can be in Cappadocia with only a one-hour flight. Imagine that your eyes were filled with tears whenever you go there. Wouldn’t you say “two visits a year are not enough?”

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