Culture and history info
Aksaray region was an important stopover along the Silk Road that crossed through Anatolia for centuries and the city of Aksaray has a long history.
The town of Garsaura was named Archelaïs (Greek: Ἀρχελαΐς) by Archelaus of Cappadocia, the last Cappadocian king. In Roman times, the town was known as Colonia (Κολώνεια) and was a bishopric and an important military centre, holding an imperial aplekton. Of its bishops, Euphrasius was at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, Bosporus (who is mentioned in correspondence of Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus) at the First Council of Constantinople in 381, Daniel at the Council of Ephesus in 431, Aristomachus (who was also a signatory of the letter of the bishops of the Roman province of Cappadocia Tertia, to which Colonia belonged, to Byzantine Emperor Leo I the Thracian about the killing of Proterius of Alexandria in 458) at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, Alexander at a council called by Patriarch Menas of Constantinople in 536, and Conon at the Trullan Council of 692. No longer a residential bishopric, Colonia in Cappadocia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see. Colonia is also a titular metropolis in Turkey of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The town was also prosperous during Ottoman times due to its proximity to Tuz Gölü (Lake Tuz), which was a primary source of salt for Anatolia.
The region came under the control of the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate they founded left important landmarks in and around Aksaray. The Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta who was in the region in the 14th century was impressed by the class of Muslim traders that had emerged in Aksaray and noted the urban centre as "a beautiful city, surrounded by waterways and gardens, with a water supply coming right to the houses of the city."
Aksaray was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1470 by the İshak Pasha, and many inhabitants of the city were relocated to Constantinople, recently captured by the Ottomans, where they were settled in a quarter of the city that came to be named Aksaray.