Derinkuyu, known to its former Greek inhabitants as Malakopeia, is a city in Cappadocia, Central Anatolia. Most of the city's expanse is concealed underground, with only a few skylights to let air and sunlight through.
After the Byzantine Templars reasserted their presence in the Ottoman Empire in 1509, they took over the city of Derinkuyu. It became their headquarters, and served as the base of operations throughout the Empire.
During the early 16th century, the Templars set up their headquarters in Derinkuyu, after having been driven from their previous base in Rome by the Italian Assassins. There, the Templars set up prisons and installed themselves as the rulers of the city, filling the streets with Byzantine Templars.
The one in charge of the Masyaf expedition, Manuel Palaiologos, resided in Derinkuyu for some time after his family lost their hold on the Byzantine throne. Manuel's forces were garrisoned in the city, and both he and his fellow Templar Shahkulu held power within its walls.
By the same year, Tarik Barleti had Ottoman spies active within Derinkuyu, who were meant to observe the Templar activity in the city, and report it back to the Janissaries. After gaining enough information, Tarik planned to attack the Templars where they felt safest: Derinkuyu.
In March of 1512, the Assassin Ezio Auditore visited the city, following his search for the final key to Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's library. There, he met with one of Tarik's spies, a young woman named Dilara, who told him of the capture of all her fellow spies the previous week.
As the two parted, Ezio made his way around the city, where he overheard Byzantine Templars discussing Dilara, who they had captured just outside Derinkuyu's prison. They also spoke about Manuel's bodyguard Shahkulu, and how he was preparing to kill her and several other spies.
Unfortunately for them, neither the guards nor Shahkulu had the key to Dilara's prison cell, as it was at the city market, held by an off-duty Byzantine. Ezio tracked down the guard, and pickpocketed the key to liberate Dilara, before the two then left for Derinkuyu's chapel to kill Shahkulu.
Making their way across the city, they arrived in time to see Shahkulu beating a spy named Janos. Ezio free-ran around the area and made his way to a small platform, directly above where Shahkulu stood, since he realized that the Templar's armor was too thick for bullets. Ezio then leapt from the beam, and air-assassinated Shahkulu with his Hidden Blade.
Though Shahkulu fell, he reached up to strangle Ezio as the Assassin was speaking his last rites, to which Ezio responded by stabbing him once more in the shoulder, to make the man release his grip on his throat.
Unfazed, the Turkmen renegade shrugged off the second injury, and attempted to fight the Assassin alongside his guards. After a brief skirmish, Ezio finally killed Shahkulu, and questioned the two spies about the firearms Tarik had delivered to the Templars. Dilara revealed that although the rifles had been sabotaged to prevent them from firing, the gunpowder was authentic. Realizing that he could ignite the delivered gunpowder to flush out Manuel Palaiologos, and ignoring Dilara's protests that he would cause a panic in the city, Ezio left for Derinkuyu's stronghold.
Hunt for Manuel
Ezio entered Derinkuyu's depot, where their armaments were stored, and searched for the rifles. Upon finding the gunpowder, he ignited it, creating a large explosion that blazed through the stronghold. The resulting fire seared through the wooden fortress, choking the entire city with flames and smoke.
Upon hearing the loud explosion at the weapons depot, Manuel Palaiologos rushed out onto an elevated area, where he had a clear view of the entire city. From there, Manuel began calling out to the panicked citizens for calm, but he fled upon seeing Ezio advancing upon him.
As Manuel ran, he called out for his guards to kill the Assassin, and eventually made his way through a large gate in the corner of the city. He slowed upon reaching the small port at Derinkuyu's underground river, but Ezio, who had scaled the closed gate, cornered him there.
Manuel was forced to confront the Assassin, and the two met in a duel. Despite his efforts, Manuel was bested, and was subsequently killed in the confrontation. Ezio then took the final Masyaf key from Manuel, but he was confronted by Prince Ahmet on a boat offshore, who revealed himself to be a Templar as well.
Ezio conversed briefly with Ahmet, and the Ottoman prince commanded his men to kill the Assassin, before departing from the city.
- Ezio: "Keep out of sight until you hear the explosions. Then, you run."
- Dilara: "Explosions? If you do that, all hell will break loose. You will panic the entire city."
- Ezio: "Sì. I am counting on it."
- —Ezio and Dilara, a little before the fire.[src]
The fire Ezio had caused at the stronghold spread alarmingly through the city, filling the underground chamber with acrid smoke, and forcing an evacuation. Ezio fled with the rest of the civilians, many of whom were killed by the abundance of thick smoke, or through the falling rubble of burning buildings.
During the span of the evacuation, Derinkuyu's alarm bell rang loudly, and explosions periodically rocked the entire city. Despite the raging fire and deafening blasts, Ezio and a number of civilians managed to escape Derinkuyu, with the Assassin leaving the city by boat.
- In an interview with CVG, Alexandre Amancio noted that parts of the city were reminiscent of Petra.
- While in the city, Ezio could not lose notoriety.
- As Derinkuyu could never be liberated from the Templars, the unique items sold there were always subject to Templar taxes, which raised their prices by 10%.
- After his first visit, Ezio could take a boat to Derinkuyu from the Eastern Galata district docks.
- There was only one view point in the whole of Derinkuyu.
- Derinkuyu literally means "deep well."
- While in-game Derinkuyu is not far from the coastline, with Piri's boat being anchored at a short distance from its entrance, in real life the underground city is located more than 200 kilometres away from the nearest port.
- Historically, Derinkuyu served as a refuge for Byzantine Greeks against encroaching Turkish Muslims as the Byzantine Empire weakened. Due to Derinkuyu's remoteness, rugged terrain, and the various defenses and traps in the tunnels leading to it, these Greeks were able to live in effective independence from the Turks until the early 20th century.