Ashab al-Kahf Kulliyesi

It is one of the four caves in Turkey that claims to be the original cave of Ashab al-Kahf, others being Mersin, Diyarbakir & Esphesus

Kahramanmaraş, Turkey

Coordinates: 38.249145, 36.855210

Eshab-ı Kehf Kulliye complex is next to a cave in on a hill named Bencilus 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) to Afşin ilçe (district) of Kahramanmaraş Province.

Its distance to Kahramanmaraş is 130 kilometres (81 mi)

The complex is composed of various buildings built in different eras.

The church was built by the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II in 446.

During the Sultanate of Rum, the Seljuk governor Nasretüddin built a mosque, a caravanserai and a fortified barracks between 1215 and 1233.

Later, under the Beylik of Dulkadir, a madrasa (religious school) was added in 1480-1492 to the complex by Bozkurt of Dulkadir (also known as “Alaüddevle”).

In 1500, Bozkurt’s wife, Şemsi Hatun, commissioned a women’s mosque.

A pergola for the governor known as Paşa çardağı was the addition during the Suleiman the Magnificent’s reign of the Ottoman Empire.

Ashab-e-Kahf Story

The külliye is known as the cave of the Ashab-e-Kahf (Seven Sleepers), where a legendary people lived in the 5th century.

Is is one of the many places which are allegedly the cave of the Seven Sleepers.

An emperor who was influenced by their story had the church built for them.

Later additions are also imposing. For example, the geometric ornaments on the gate which was built during the Seljuks cast shadows of a praying man, a praying woman and a dervish in during salah times.

There are some cave wax statue that makes the whole experience quite realistic.

World Heritage Status

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on April 13, 2015 in the Cultural category.

Study of history and theology professors

Tarsus comes to mind first when one thinks of the original site due to the promotion and advertisement made on the ongoing mistake. It is even rumored to be in Ephesus.

But it has been approved by the history and theology professors of the Turkish and Bosphorus that this is the main and original site.

Even its official document is exhibited in this complex.

The poster will describe their location to whomever you ask.

Know this

It would be very troublesome to go on foot since it is a very high place. You can go comfortably by car.

It is useful to know that there are no cafes, markets, etc. around it.

In the complex, there is a cave where 7 sleepers sleep, an inn from the Seljuk period and a mosque from the Ottoman period. You can finish your trip in 1 hour.