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The Fortresses (Kales) of Yazılıkaya Valley

There are four kales located on the high hills to the north and northeast of Midas City and Yazılıkaya Valley. They were built to protect the Midas City as well as the Phrygian settlements around it. The northernmost Akpara Kale also controls the Doğanlı Valley to the east. The other three castles, Gökgöz, Pişmiş, and Kocabaş, form the northeastern border of the Phrygian Highlands.

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B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 T. Bilgin, 2020

Pişmiş Kale
It is located on an approximately 100 m high rocky plateau, about 1.2 km north of the Yazılıkaya Village. Of the fortress walls, only the traces of the foundation stones remains. There are several rock carved rooms, silos, and cisterns. After the Phrygians, it was used until the end of the middle ages. Among all Phrygian fortresses, Pişmiş Kale is probably the best fortified one, as well as one of the few that has a cultic monument. Outside the south entrance of the kale, there is a rectangular niche on the rock wall on the east side. It is rather high from the ground level. There is also a Phrygian rock tomb on a separate rock mass on the southwestern slope of the kale.

R. Özer, 2020 B. C. Coockson, 2016 T. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. C. Coockson, 2016

Kocabaş Kale
The easternmost of the four Phrygian fortresses lined to the north of Midas City is a relatively small fortress and the first one that controls the entrance to the valley. It may have served as an outpost of Pişmiş Kale. On the high rocky plateau, there are foundations of large structures and pits that were used as silos and cisterns.

R. Özer, 2020

Gökgöz Kale
It is located about 500 m north of the Pişmiş Kale. It is a small fortress placed on a high hill and possibly was an outpost of the Pişmiş Kale during the Phrygian period. The entrance is from the west. There are rooms, cisterns, and steps carved into the rock on the plateau.

R. Özer, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 B. Bilgin, 2020 T. Bilgin, 2020

Akpara Kale
It is located in the southeastern part of the rocky plateau rising just southeast of Çukurca Village. The monumental entrance on the east side is reached by rock steps in that direction. There are rooms and silo pits carved into the bedrock. On the slopes of the hill, there are rock tombs from Roman and Byzantine periods.

R. Özer, 2020 T. Bilgin, 2020

Haspels, C. H. E. 1971. The Highlands of Phrygia. Sites and Monuments, Princeton.

Image sources:
Yazılıkaya / Midas Vadisi Yüzey Araştırması (
C. H. E. Haspels, 1971
Ben Claasz Coockson, 2016
Bora Bilgin, 2020
Tayfun Bilgin, 2020
Reha Özer, 2020

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