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The Central Anatolia Region
The Central Anatolia Region, located in the center of Turkey, covers approximately 19 percent of the land in Turkey, with a surface area of 151,000 km2. It is the second largest region in the country after the Eastern Anatolia Region. Nevsehir, Aksaray, Kirikkale and Kirsehir Provinces are entirely within the borders of the region, while some sections of other provinces are partly in the Black Sea, Mediterranean, and Eastern Anatolia Regions.
Agriculture and animal husbandry are important sources of income in Central Anatolia. Approximately one-third of the grain production in Turkey is in this region. Wheat production surpasses the other types of grains. As far as wheat production in the region is concerned, Konya Province has always been in the lead followed by Ankara Province. Hard wheat, which is suitable for making macaroni, bulgur and semolina, is grown in the region. Of the leguminous plants, mostly beans, chickpeas and a small amount of lentils are sown. One-third of the production of potatoes in Turkey is also realized in this region. Of the industrial plants, sugar beets are grown the most. Konya, Ankara, Nigde, Nevsehir and Kayseri are significant for viniculture and fruit growing.
There are small and medium-size industrial facilities in Central Anatolia. Carpet weaving is concentrated in some areas of Kayseri, Sivas and Konya Provinces. The main industrial facilities in the region are concentrated in the centers, such as Ankara, Eskisehir, Kayseri, Sivas, Konya, Kirikkale and Corum.
Eskisehir is virtually a city of students with, more than 250,000 students. Anadolu University, the largest university in Turkey, and one of the ten largest universities in the world, is in Eskisehir. Furthermore, the province has become a rapidly developing industrial and trade center in recent years. The "International Eskisehir Art Festival" is organized annually in the province where cultural and art activities have also been increasing. The festival, in which world-famous artists participate, is followed with enthusiasm by the people of the city.
The grave of Yunus Emre, a famous poet who lived in the thirteenth century, is in Sarikoy to the east of Eskisehir. Yunus Emre is one of the leading architects of the spiritual values of the Turkish nation. The peerless poet has played a significant role in providing unity to the Anatolian Turks. The emotions of love for human beings, close friendship, tolerance and unity are very influential in his poems. Every year an International Yunus Emre Culture and Art Week is organized in Sarikoy.
The Balikli Cermik Thermal Springs, which are well-known in the world, are near Kangal County in Sivas Province. The thermal spring waters, at a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, gush from the source, accompanied by fish that are 2 cm to 10 cm in length. The fish approach patients who have skin problems, such as chronic pimples, wounds, eczema and psoriasis, and clean and heal the wounds without causing pain to the patients. One of the most important centers for the cure of psoriasis in the world is here. It is possible to completely recover from psoriasis in 21 days.
Karaman Province to the south of Konya is an important center from the aspect of Turkish history and language. In 1277, the Turkish language was adopted in Karaman as the official language of Anatolia for the first time. Karaman Citadel was constructed by the Seljuks in the twelfth century. The Araboglu Mosque, which is interesting because of its dragon-head shaped gutter-pipes and original arches, was built by the Karamanogullari in the fourteenth century. Among other historical works which are interesting are the Nefise Sultan Madrasah, with its elegant decorations, the Karamanoglu Ibrahim Bey Kulliyesi, known for its richly ornamented minaret, the Mevlana Mosque (Aktekke), and the Emir Musa Pasha Madrasah. There are numerous monasteries and churches belonging to the early Christians in the surroundings, and at the summit of Karadag (elevation 2288 meters), to the north of the city, which was called "the Region of 1001 Churches" by the Christians in the past.