Soĝanli - Güzelöz - Keşlik Monastery - Mustafapasja

Emek Pansion

Our pension in Soganli is a pleasant surprise: a cave-dwelling. There are lots of carpets on the floor and our bed is made of two mattresses on top of each other. But despite the cold nights here, our bed is nice and warm. And we feel protected by two major religions and a token against the evil eye.

Just to be sure

Where are the pigeons ?

Our pension isn't the only thing built in the rock here: there are also other houses, some churches and lots of pigeon houses. The pigeons were kept for the guano, as a fertilizer on the fields.

Inside the church

Grand Canyon ?
Just follow the canyon

Today we do not only walk inside the canyon, we also climb to the top, from where we can look down.

For a few kilometres we walk along the rim of the canyon. This is really strange. On the left side, there is a boring landscape, nothing special. On the right side however, there is the spectacular canyon with it's fascinating views. Our friend Jan, who's afraid of heights, wouldn't like it here. But we do !

The next morning we are brought to Keşlik monastery. Of course, the monastery is built in some caves. It is surprisingly big, though. The frescos in one of the two churches are not so much damaged as most of the frescos we have seen so far. It is an interesting place you should really visit if you have the opportunity.

Keşlik Monastery Inside the monastery


Village and Damsa Lake in the background Really interesting are the  hiding shelters the monks have made. These can be closed by large round doors, just like in a vault. No enemy will ever be able to enter this way. Too bad the monks didn't think about the windows. Burning oil is very nasty stuff, you know.

After the monastery we have a nice walk through another canyon, a narrow one this time. This is great walking, until we discover the next stretch of the canyon is filled with loads of impenetrable blackberry bush.

In the distance you can see lake Damsa. But first we go to Çemil, the village you see here.

Three cows

In the city lies this farm, with a couple of cows and some chicken under a shelter against the sun. In Holland you won't find a farm like this in the middle of a village.


A door

Çemil is a very picturesque village. If you're  photographers, like us, you can spend many hours in this village taking pictures of all the things that can be seen.

Damsa Lake

The Damsa lake is a reservoir. The white sticks are the remains of trees that used to stand here. In Summer, we think the lake can be very crowded with people coming for a swim or a picknick, especially in the weekend. On a Monday in October, we were the only ones here.

Mirjam with a scarf

It is a very sunny day, so Mirjam puts a scarf on her head. Also useful when you want to visit a mosque.

Traditional restaurant

Mustafapasja was a Greek village until the great emigrations in 1923. The older houses are Greek, like our hotel 'The Old Greek House'. To remain in style, dinner is with mezze, lots of small bites. The Turkish bit of the dinner is that we sit on pillows.