Population: 24,500

incesu1Market days: Thursday, Friday

İncesu stands at the start of the road that used to run from Kayseri to Ürgüp - and still does in a way except that these days it's poorly maintained since most people opt for the speedier new road that bypasses the town. 

In Turkish terms it is a New Town, founded in 1667 by the grand vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Paşa (1634-83) who was executed after leading his troops to defeat at Vienna in 1683.

Despite the fact that the approach to the town has been defacde by huge TOKİ towerblocks that look completely out of place here, the town is worth visiting for a handful of Ottoman monuments and for its pretty stone houses, many of them now deserted.

Around town

The most conspicuous monument in town is the vast Kara Mustafa Paşa Kervansarayı that once formed part of a huge complex together with a mosque, hamam and bazaar. It was commissioned by Kara Mustafa Paşa and could at one time accommodate around a thousand travellers and their animals.

The caravanserai has been restored although on my most recent visit in 2015 it was locked up. The shops in the arches of the covered bazaar are all boarded up now but the mosque is still in use. A bust of Kara Mustafa Paşa now stands in front of the entrance to the caravanserai. incesu3

Also worth seeking out is the sturdy 19th-century church, now derelict although its frescoes of saints are still just about discernible. Strangely, the church used to open onto a wall of rock carved with consecration crosses. Its narthex is now partly bricked up. 

The back streets around the church are full of fine rusty-brown stone houses, some of the them with red and black striped entrances and heavy corbels to support their balconies. Many are for sale as their inhabitants prefer to move into modern apartment blocks. Some are built into the rockface on perch precariously on top of rocks overlooking lush green fields on the road heading out to Ürgüp. 


Most visitors will want to visit İncesu from Kayseri which has a great choice of hotels although you can also visit on a drive from Cappadocia which has an even better choice of places to stay. 

Transport info

There are regular buses (350/351) throughout the day between İncesu and Kayseri (35km). The run takes about an hour. 

Read more about the old road to İncesu: http://www.todayszaman.com/columnistDetail_getNewsById.action;jsessionid=8F987C6AC613BA9735DEC0C27C5C74AD?newsId=147507&columnistId=79

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