Kapadokya - Tuff
Cappadocia is the name of the ancient province in central Anatolia. The irresistible region is created through violent eruptions of the volcanoes Mt. Erciyes (3,916 m.) and Mt. Hasan (3,268 m.) three million years ago. It took millions of years for the ash from these volcanoes to form a layer of tuff, covered in places by a further layer of basalt lava. The basalt ultimately cracked and split under attack from the weather and rainwater seeped down through the cracks and splits to slowly erode the tuff itself. The natural effects of alternating very hot and very cold weather and the rain and the wind breaking down the rock's resistance caused (and continues to cause) the emergence of the tall cones of tuff capped by hard basalt which the Turks call Fairy Chimneys. Where there is no basalt layer to protect the tuff lovely valleys have been formed connected to the plateau by steep canyons of andesite and basalt. The valleys are sheltered and fertile with an almost temperate climate. The tuff is easily worked and, for milennia, has provided dwellings and storerooms, both above and below ground, for smallholders. Despite it's increasing popularity with visitors, Cappadocia is very much home to small farmers who can still be seen every day tending their orchards, vineyards and field crops and riding their donkeys home to their cave houses.