Konya is a city located in the south of Central Anatolia, 4 hours driving distance from Ankara. It is one of the oldest settlements of universal history and the seventh most populous ciy in Turkey with 2 million population.
The history of the city, dates back to 10,000 years before with the first settlement in Çatalhöyük in prehistoric age accomodating one of the earliest human communities. Since then, Hittite Empire, Phrygians, Saint Paul’s journeys, Anatolian Seljuk Empire, Mevlana tradition, Ottomans and Turkish Republic have developed a rich historical and cultural heritage in the city.
Konya was the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire during the reign of Suleyman Shah between 12th / 13th century. In this period, the city acted as the capital of the Seljuk Turks and advanced rapidly to become a great cultural center. It was during this period as well that the worlwide famous philosopher and poet Mevlana Jalal Al-din Rumi founded the sect of ' Whirling Dervishes'. The philosophy is based on achieving ecstasy and unity with God through controlled trance-like worshiping. Teachings emphasize love is the path to spiritual growth and insight. Tolerant of any thought and idea. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. All religions are more or less truth..
Mevlana was a teacher who influenced the whole islamic world and philosophical thinking throughout the world. The concepts he theorized, still continues to impress people for generations, either directly or indirectly.
Today Konya is mostly identified with Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi and best known throughout the world as the home of the whirling dervishes. Every year between December 10-17, anniversary of his death, memorials are held in the city for Mevlana and whirling dervishes.
The most famous building in Konya is the Green Mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin(Jalaluddin) Rumi.
The former dervish seminary attached to the mausoleum is converted into a museum devoted to manuscripts of Mevlana's works. It’s a place of worship and home to many famous works of art and textiles.
Aladdin Mosque and Palace, located in Aladdin Hill, are fine 13th century monuments built during Seljuk Empire and are worth to see.
Karatay Medresse, constructed in 13th century, stands in the north of this hill, and is now a museum holding the best examples of Seljuk tiles and ceramics. The Ince Minareli Medresse with the fascinating monumental portals, the Sircali Medresse, and the Iplikci Mosque are some other works of Seljuks in the city.
The various museums comprising rich collections of historical findings, are other interesting sights in Konya. Especially the Archaeological Museum you should definitely visit for its charming pieces including Sidemara Sarcophagus. The Koyunoglu Museum which is a gallery of natural history; and The Atatürk Museum are also open to visitfor history lovers.
Konya is known as one of the most religiously conservative cities in Turkey. We recommend to bring modest clothes with you to avoid any misunderstanding or problem by the public.