The final stop for my day exploring the area around Safranbolu was Yörükköyü. It’s a small village near Safranbolu that has remained almost untouched for nearly 200 years. It was founded by Yörük nomads of the Bektashi sect of Islam. There nearly 150 historic Ottoman homes in the town but only 60 are inhabited.
Yörükköyü is a special place because it has homes just as spectacular as Safranbolu, but it remains quieter and much more authentic. It’s a must-visit while in Safranbolu if not just to get a sense of how life was 200 years ago.
The most interesting place to visit in Yörükköyü is the Sipahioğlu Konağı. This 19th century mansion is still in the hands of the family that originally built it and serves as sort of an ethnographic museum. For a virtual tour of the home, click here.
The current owner of the house was a friendly man who happily showed me the rooms and explained how they were used. He also had a great collection of antiques strategically placed within the rooms.
Next, we walked to the Çamaşırhane, a 500 year old laundry house. There is a large stone table on the inside for washing the clothes. It has 12 sides and is uneven so taller women could work on one end and shorter women on the other.
I then took a good half hour to wander through the town and see it for myself. Other points of interest I found were a bust of Turkish opera singer Leyla Gencer, whose father was from the town, and a small wooden mosque.
For my excursion to Yörükköyü, I hired a taxi for a total of 90TL to take me to Bulak Mencilis Mağarası, İncekaya Su Kemeri, and the village. A trip to each site individually would have cost 35TL, but the driver offered to do all three for 90TL. There wasn’t a schedule and I was able to take my time at each site.