Konya

Konya is a city in Central Anatolia, known as the city of whirling dervishes and for its outstanding Seljuk architecture. Despite rapid growth in recent years, and the arrival of many students from out of town in the Selçuk University, Konya still retains the air of an Anatolian provincial town. Even though the influx of tourists from the west has increased considerably visitors are still left in peace, and do not have to suffer the hassles they get in Istanbul. Konya is one of the most conservative cities in Turkey with more women covering their heads with headscarves. Dress modestly if you want to fit in with the local population, although not many people will bat an eye lid if you choose not to.Mevlana museum in Konya, Rumi's resting place

Interior of ceramics museum in Konya

From about 1150 to 1300 Konya was capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, one of the successor states to the Great Seljuk Turkish empire of the 11th century. The Sultanate of Rum encompassed most of Anatolia, and the Seljuk sultans endowed its capital with dozens of fine buildings in an architectural style that was decidedly Turkish, but had its roots in Persia and Byzantium. Traditionally Konya lay at the heart of Turkey's very rich 'bread basket', but these days light industry is at least as important as farming, and pilgrimage tourism is also a big earner.

 

Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, also called Mawlana Balkhi or 'Mevlâna', was the founder of the Sufi Mevlevi order. He spent the last fifty years of his life in Konya, and his tomb is located here, at the Mevlana Museum. This wonderful mosque and living quarters (cells) for the dervish is well worth a visit. You can also go to a free 'sema', a whirling dervish ceremony, held at the Mevlana Cultural Centre every Saturday at 8pm. You don't need to arrange tickets in advance, but you might want to check at the Tourist Information centre right behind the Mevlana Museum.

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View from caravanseri near KonyaMosque turret, KonyaCaravanseri at Sultanhani near KonyaDried peppers in KonyarPumpkins in the sun, grown for their seeds in TurkeyWhirling dervish at Mevlana Museum