Some of Turkey’s finest sights lie in the tract of Anatolia that stretches east of Ankara; the fact that very few travellers go out of their way to see them simply enhances the allure for those who do. Coming from Ankara, the first sites of note are a clutch of ruins from the ancient Hittite kingdom – those at Hattuşa, in particular, are up with the best in the land. Then come Amasya, a small city with a truly enchanting array of Ottoman buildings; Tokat, home to the biggest kebabs in Turkey; and the Selçuk treasure-troves of Sivas and Divriği.
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- Hittite sites
Stuck in the middle of a mountainous nowhere, on a hill overlooking a tributary of the young Euphrates, sleepy DIVRIĞI merits a visit for the sake of a single monument – the whimsical and unique Ulu Cami and its dependency, the Darüşşifa. These date from the early thirteenth century, when the town was the seat of the tiny Mengüçeh emirate. The Mongols, who evicted the Mengüçehs in 1252, demolished the castle but left the religious foundations alone, and the place was not incorporated into the Ottoman Empire until 1516.
Divriği retains a ramshackle bazaar area, crisscrossed by cobbled lanes and grapevines. It also sports distinctive wooden minarets and old houses with inverted-keyhole windows, neither of which are seen elsewhere in Anatolia. The conspicuous mosque and sanitorium, joined in one complex at the top of a slope 250m east of town, command a fine view.