On the eastern side of the village of Alaçati, 13km/8mi east of Karaman stands a 5m/16ft hillock, where in 1961 British archeologists started to unearth the remains of dwellings dating from the fifth century B.C. As in Catalhüyük, the houses here have an entrance in the roof.
Some 60km/39mi south of Karaman a track snakes its way 1,200m/3,900ft up to the Alahan Monastery (magnificent view!). The fifth century complex consists of two churches and a chapel. At the beginning of the 1960s work began on the western church (Church of the Evangelists) to restore the main walls, including the monumental church portal and the relief stonework with symbols of the Evangelists. The resulting church was much smaller and had only a single nave. The eastern church with its three porches ornamented with vine tendrils and fish remains as an impressive domed basilica, whose style characterizes the transition from late Greco-Roman to Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture. The arcades in the nave are borne by Corinthian columns.
The Binbir Kilise complex contains some well preserved Byzantine churches and mausoleums. The center thrived during the 3rd and 8th C and came to an end in the 11th C.
Ermenek lies on a direct route via Mut 150km/94mi southwest of Karaman but on roads of variable quality. Here stood the ancient town of Germanikopolis which was founded in the first century B.C. by Antiochos IV and was the first center of the later Karaman emirates. The architectural styles here also demonstrate the close links between the Karamans and the Seljuks, who used the Arab Kuf style for their mosques. All the mosques are pillared, have no courtyard and are set transversely to the wall showing the direction of Mecca. Examples in Ermenek include Ulu Cami (1302) Akca Mescit (1300), Sipas Camii (1306) and Meydan Camii (1436). A further interesting mosque complex can be found at the 12th century Sari Hatun Camii. Of particular interest are the diagonal-cut carvings on the staircase.
The so-called Yabangülü Sakli or "hidden churches" can be found in the area around the village of Güldere 40km/25mi southeast on the Gödet Çayi pass. Several smallish, but still quite spacious cave churches are "hidden" in raised positions on one rock.
Kazim Karabekir, Turkey
To the west some distance from the road to Konya, 20km/12.5mi northwest of Karaman stands the village of Kâzim Karabekir - carpet-weaving village with unusually constructed houses. In contrast to the normal clay brick constructions typical of central Anatolia, almost all the houses in this village are built with flat limestone slabs. There are two interesting mosques in the village.
The remains of three Seljuk caravanserais can be found in the region around Karaman: at Gaferyat Hani, 15km/9.5mi northwest of Karaman in the village of Ilisira, at Kozak Hani, southwest of the road to Silifke and the Sartavul Hani, founded by Alaeddin Kaykobad in the 13th century, which lies some 20km/12.5mi south of Karaman, to the east of the Silifke road.
The small town of Mut 75km/47mi south of Karaman was formerly known as Ninica Claudiopolis which was founded by Marcus Aurelius Polemo. There are few ancient remains with only the tower of the once Byzantium-controlled citadel still standing. Try to visit the 14th century Lal Aga Camii with a central dome, a large front porch and annexes that create a side-aisle effect.
The landscape close to the 1,600m/5,248ft Sertavul Pass to the south of Karaman differs from the other mountain passes in the Taurus region because it is relatively flat. It changes in character as the pass extends further south into the deep valley around Mut. The mainly treeless terrain is often devoid of grass but the plains are covered with cushion plants. The karst landscape is dotted with limestone rocks and riddled with countless sinkholes. It was this mountain pass that Barbarossa crossed before he drowned in the bath in Kalykadnos.
Near the village of Yesildere some 30km/19mi south of Karaman lies one of the oldest Early Christian monasteries. The countless rooms, tunnel-like passages and galleries are reached via a remarkable staircase.