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TALAS

tal1Old name: Mutalaski

When 19th and early 20th-century writers raved about the beauty of Kayseri it was often Talas they were really talking about. Today that lovely old Talas has fallen into decay, almost hidden out of sight by a new Talas of modern high-rises that is effectively a suburb of Kayseri.

Ask to be directed to Eski Talas (Old Talas) and you will be pleasantly surprised to find yourself in a neighbourhood of fine old mansions that once belonged to Greek and Armenian merchants.

In the last few years there has been a belated attempt to renovate some of them and a new hotel is slated to be built in a mansion that used to belong to the Gulbenkian family.

Once locked and decaying, the Greek Orthodox church of St Mary (1886) has been beautifully renovated and turned into the Yaman Dede Cami, providing a pleasant centrepiece for the neighbourhood. tal2

Before leaving Talas you should also stroll along Ali Saip Paşa Caddesi in the lower Kiçiköy Mahallesi where a lot of restoration work has already been completed. 

Transport info

The easiest way to get to Eski Talas is to take the Talas tram from Kayseri's Cumhuriyet Meydanı. On arrival walk straight ahdea past the cemetery an dbear left until you reach a square (meydan). On the left you'll see the restored Kiçiköy mahalle with its many cafes. Turn right for the Harman Meydanı whence a path and the road climb to the upper mahalle.

There are also regular buses from the centre of Kayseri to Talas although unless you're careful you may end up on a very unappealing tour of the ugly high-rise neighbourhoods that hide the old town. With luck you'll arrive at the Kiçiköy mahalle whence s few dolmuşes run to the upper part of old Talas. It's an easy walk from the bus stop provided that it's not too hot. 

Read more about Talas in 2011: http://www.turkeyfromtheinside.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=22&Itemid=218

Read more about the history of Talas: http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/pat-yale_296556_three-famous-men-and-one-woman.html

tal4Carving above old church door

tal3Restored mansion in Ali Saip Paşa Caddesi

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