Derinkuyu and Ihlara Valley (Peristrema Valley) in Cappadocia,
Derinkuyu is on the highway from Nevsehir to Nigde, 25 km. from Nevsehir. It was established by the Greeks with the name of Melengubb. There are two large churches, one of them being used as a mosque. It is rather interesting with its destroyed frescoes on the walls and ceiling. The other church is a basilica, used as a mill at present. Derinkuyu is also important for its Derinkuyu underground city. It is similar to the one in Kaymakli because both are catacombs built by the same communities and for the same purposes.
Ihlara Valley (Peristrema Valley):
The valley is about 100 km. west of Urgup. At the bottom of the deep canyon, Melendiz river flows. The river does not dry during the summer. The churches lie between the villages Belisirma and lhlara for a distance of 10 km. The masonry-built Karagedik Church near Belisirma was painted in the 10th century. It’s understood that monastic life in this area began in the Early Byzantine Age and continued until the 14th century. The evidence for this is the restorations of the churches at different times. Many churches in the south have followed a certain decorative method. Thus it is obvious that these monks were not influenced by the Iconoclastic Crisis. They kept their confidence in the traditional iconography. On the other hand, some paintings reflect the late Byzantine Art. Examples are Sumbullili and Direkli Churches. Post-Sas-said and Mesopotamian influences are quite obvious in the Pre-Iconoclastic church of Aq’acalti. Here Daniel is seen in the lions’ den. Bahattin Samanlig-i Church in Belisirma with its paintings about Christ’s life is of the 13th century. Batkin Church, decorated in the 8th century resembles the middle age Roman churches. There are a series of crosses and figures of saints in the Greco-Syrian style. The Church of St. George was built by Basil Ghia coupes and his wife Thamar and dedicated to St. George.