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Kirsehir, Turkey.
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Kirsehir, Turkey.

Town in central Turkey with 90,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate) at a tributary to the Kizil river at an elevation of 990 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Kirsehir province with 250,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Kirsehir has small scale industries, but is mainly an administrative and trade centre of its region. The surrounding area deals with agriculture and livestock breeding.
Kirsehir is linked by road with other central Anatolian cites like Ankara 145 km northwest, Nevsehir 80 km southeast and Kayseri 150 km southeast.
Kirsehir is a nice city with charming quarters and a beautiful setting among small rivers and greenery. There are many historical sites, like the Cacabey mosque, a 12th century Seljuq observatory which became converted into a mosque in 1272. The Alaeddin mosque dates back to 1230 and there is a mausoleum of the poet Asik Pasa. The mosque and tomb carrying his name are constructed side by side, and are among the many fine buildings of Kirsehir.

It is believed that settlements here run back to Hittite times, in the 2 millennium BCE. It is possible that Kirsehir was the site of the Byzantine city of Justinianopolis of which we hear of in the 6th century CE.
14th century: Becomes centre of the Ahi brotherhood (see Sufism), after the local establishiment of Ahi Avran.
18th century: The Ahi brotherhood dies out.

By Tore Kjeilen