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The Magic of Kaplankaya : Rock of the Leopard

According to local legend, leopards were known to have lived in this area, its land stretching from the Aegean coast up into a rocky, wild, steep hinterland covered with bushes, pine trees and olive trees, hence the name ‘Kaplankaya’. Architectural genius and the personal passion of the owners for preserving the environment have helped create an aura storing both the natural beauty of the site and its mystical, magical properties, stemming from the surrounding air, earth and waters which have generously given life to so many cultures and civilizations over thousands of years, and continue to do so. Traces of lives lived are everywhere within a few miles. Sit in the ancient theater of Miletus and dream of the dramas and comedies enacted there from the fifth century BC; visit the Temple of Apollo at Didyma and listen for the sound of the oracle; sail to Iassos and imagine the boys swimming to cleanse themselves after training in the gymnasium, observed by Alexander the Great. Step into a basilica built over a pagan temple foundation and feel the prayers lingering in the air. Visit an Ottoman hamam, think of all the conversations and gossip that have taken place there in steamy comfort.

Half an hours walk away from the center of Kaplankaya, along the coast, there are other signs of evolution, this time geological: a great jumble of sharp rocks, all sizes, thrown up by the sea. Known as the ‘Crystal Beach’, this is a favourite destination for explorers. For those who know how to look, the forbidding grey and white coloured rocks will reveal beautiful clusters of chrystals, clinging to the rims, lining the side of a rock split from its original mass, or just broken off and lying around, soaking up the sun and sea spray. The colours vary, from fairly pure to lighter and darker shades of yellow. The ancient Greeks and Romans valued chrystals for their natural beauty and assigned them magical properties, using them as protective amulets, luxury jewellery and decoration, engraved for use as seals, for votive gifts to sanctuaries. The first person known from the sources to have made a gem collection was Mithridates, King of Pontus (Karadeniz) 134 – 63 BC.

Crystals from the beach are said to have healing powers. A crystal reflects light, warmth, age old energy. The sun light absorbed within it shares its power with you, providing calm as well as vitality. The Kaplankaya custom is to leave your stone exposed to the light for some days, once you have found one, in order to let it ‘charge’ . Try cleaning it gently with water and a soft brush, keep it around you, and let us know what happens.

Enjoy Kaplankaya and its treasures.

About the Designer / Artisan

Mustafa Selçuk İpek began working in the Istanbul Grand Bazaar with one of the well-known jewellers of his time during the summer when he was still in middle school.

Years later, armed with his professional knowledge and an understanding of the ahi-order, he began designing his own collections in a special corner reserved for him in the antique shop of his father Faruk İpek, which is located in the Grand Bazaar, and he has earned success with innovative designs.

He set out on a journey of craftsmanship, art and design in 1985 with the motto "gold mark on silver" and his work continues with custom designs created with gold, diamonds and semi-precious stones.