Mehmet Caliskan, a Man of Many Talents
During the artist residency at the Babayan Culture House we had the fortune to meet an extremely warm and and interesting man called Mehmet Caliskan. Mehmet runs the Babayan Evi Cave Boutique Hotel , not to be confused with the Babayan Culture House as was the case when we arrived in the beautiful rural community of Ibrahimpaşa in Cappacocia.
After our initial arrival at the village square late in the evening we were totally disoriented and had no idea where we were supposed to go. We told the shuttle bus driver that we were not going to pay the fare until we knew where we were supposed to go. Luckily, after explaining that we were expecting someone from the Babayan Culture House to meet us, the owner of the corner store (Kuş Mehmet, another lovely man) rang the Babayan Evi Hotel, and shortly later we were met by Mehmet Caliskan.
After figuring out that we were staying at the Babayan Culture House and not his Hotel, Mehmet escorted us to the where we were staying and even insisted on helping us with our luggage. He also invited us to visit him at his Hotel for some tea.
Over the course of our stay we ended up visiting the hotel several times for afternoon tea and dinner. Not only did he prove to be a gracious host he is also an excellent chef, a movie actor, and historian
Mehmet runs the hotel almost single handedly with some help from his brother Fazlı and the cleaning lady. There are eight rooms with various configurations from twin share to family suite and all are beautifully decorated in gemstone themes.
The meal we shared was absolutely delicious, all prepared by Mehmet himself. For starters we had yogurt soup followed by a fresh salad and bread, main course was a beautiful eggplant and lamb casserole cooked in a clay pot served with couscous.
During our discussions with Mehmet we discovered that he has a keen interest in the local history, especially the Greek connection with the area. He also turns out to be a movie actor, with a role as a priest in the soon to be released Ghost Rider 2.
And just about everywhere we went in Cappadoccia there was a photo of the locals with Nicolas Cage.