During this low season when tourism is down and a sense of discouragement is in the air, I thought I would take a few posts and write about deeper ideas. I have been thinking about truths I have recognized or been reminded of while living in Cappadocia. I am hoping to take the next few weeks and articulate some of them. Today the focus is on the landscape and how we got here…

Cappadocia metaphor from suffering beauty

How much water, fire and time did it take to form today’s Cappadocia?


During “normal” times millions of people flock to Cappadocia to see the captivating landscape that was formed over many millennia. Volcanoes exploded and boiling lava flowed over the entire region burning everything in its path and hardening into a crusty surface suffocating everything underneath.

Slowly water worked on the rock and tiny holes formed. First bits fell away then huge chunks of rock tumbled down forming valleys and unique shapes. Different layers revealed the colors painted by the changing soils over time.

People played their part by carving the stone and shaping what they could with rudimentary tools and much sweat and blood. Later, battles were fought to control the region. Control passed from kingdom to kingdom many times.

And then in the last 30-40 years the world developed and shrunk to the point at which the masses could travel widely and unique sights became reachable. At first some Europeans trickled in and now the world comes to Cappadocia each year. Everyone I talk to marvels at what they witness here.

But as the above description shows, it didn’t just appear. It took fire and time…


What is true in the physical realm is often also true in the world of character formation.

Look around at the people you respect. At the people who stand above the rest, the people you would trust with your life, the people full of wisdom.

I guarantee you they have weathered personal volcanoes. They have lived through tragedies and suffering. Figurative erosion and flooding and fires have taken their toll. But instead of destroying, they have refined and purified and allowed beauty to come forth.

None of us desire to go through difficult things. Some of us come through them embittered and small. But the “Cappadocians” among us shine like the sun.

The next time we face hardship, may we remember Cappadocia and think of the beauty that is being formed in us as we let Him who created Cappadocia do His work in us as well.

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Duke Dillard moved to Turkey with his wife and 6 children in 2007. He got an MBA at Bilkent University in Ankara, where they had their 7th child. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. We love Cappadocia and Cappadocians and want to help visitors make the most of their time here. You can connect with Duke on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or link circles on Google+. Click here to read more about Duke and his family.