KONYA


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Ancient Iconium is located at the extremity of the great depression of central Anatolia at the edge of a vast and rich plain which makes it the granery of Turkey.
The origins of the city are very old, but its most brilliant period dates back to the Seljuk Turks who made it the capital of their empire from the end of the 11th century. The Place remained an important religious, cultural and trade center with beautiful monuments until the Seljuk sultans were defeated by the Mongols in the 13th century. In 1228 the famous poet and mystic Mevlâna Celaleddin Rumi, native of Balkh, came and settled in Konya where the Mevlevi order with the Whirling Dervishes was founded.

Mevlâna Commemoration Ceremonies and Festival take place every year in December in Konya, and Javelin Games (Cirit) take place every year in September.

Mevlâna Museum is the ancient convent of the Mevlevi with the Mausoleum of Mevlâna (Tekke) which is recognizable by a fluted dome covered with turquoise blue tiles. Under the dome lies a marble sarcophagus made for Mevlâna and his son Sultan Veled which was offered to the convent by Süleyman the Magnificent. The sarcophagus is covered with a fine cloth, a gift of Sultan Abdülhamit, where verses of the Coran have been embroidered in gold thread..
The Whirling Dervishes Festival takes place every year in December in Konya .


The other monuments of the city are:


The Alaatin Mosque has a sculpted timber roof supported by 42 Greco-Roman columns.

Karatay Medresesi
, with a beautiful sculpted marble portal, holds the Ceramic Museum.

Ince Minare Medresesi
, which name comes from its slender minaret, holds the Seljuk Arts Museum.

Sırçalı Medresesi
holds the Funerary Monuments Museum.

The Ottoman mosques
.

Mevlâna Museum is the ancient convent of the Mevlevi with the Mausoleum of Mevlâna (Tekke) which is recognizable by a fluted dome covered with turquoise blue tiles. Under the dome lies a marble sarcophagus made for Mevlâna and his son Sultan Veled which was offered to the convent by Süleyman the Magnificent. The sarcophagus is covered with a fine cloth, a gift of Sultan Abdülhamit, where verses of the Coran have been embroidered in gold thread..
The Whirling Dervishes Festival takes place every year in December in Konya .


The other monuments of the city are:


The Alaatin Mosque has a sculpted timber roof supported by 42 Greco-Roman columns.

Karatay Medresesi
, with a beautiful sculpted marble portal, holds the Ceramic Museum.

Ince Minare Medresesi
, which name comes from its slender minaret, holds the Seljuk Arts Museum.

Sırçalı Medresesi
holds the Funerary Monuments Museum.

The Ottoman mosques
.

 




ÇATALHÖYÜK

Located in the south-east of Konya, Çatalhöyük which, according to the excavations, dates back to 6750 BC, was the oldest cultural center in the Near East. The flat roofed mud-brick and pisé houses, inside which one could only enter with the help of a ladder, had a courtyard and were built close together. The walls were decorated with paintings. The people of Çatalhöyük used to honor their deads who where buried, after a partial or total removal of the flesh, under the ground of their houses or under the benches they used for sitting or sleeping. They venerated a Mother-Goddess in full bloom shapes, symbol of fertility.


The model Çatalhöyük home is on display at the Ankara
Anatolian Civilization Museum.

Deer hunt and Mother-Goddess /Ankara Anatolian Civilization Museum.





 
KARAPINAR

In the region of Karapinar, located 96 km / 60 miles east of Konya, are a few crater lakes; the most famous are the lovely Meke Crater Lake, and Acıgöl Crater Lake both located on the road to Ereğli.





 
İVRİZ

The village of İvriz can be reached by a picturesque road from Ereğli (18 km / 11 miles). There, near a pond you can see one of Turkey's finest neo-Hittite rock- cut reliefs reprensenting king Varpalavas of Tuwanuva venerating the fertility god Tarhun. Tuwanuva was a Hittite city and in the Roman and Byzantine times it was known under the name Tyana. It is now called Kemerhisar because of its acqueduct, and it is located near Bor on the road to Niğde.








 
KARAMAN

In ancient times, Laranda was located in a stategic place controling one of the acces roads to the Anatolian Plateau. Once the property of the Danışmendids and later of the Seljuk Turks, the city was named after the Karamanoğlu , of Turcoman origins, who had conquered the city ruled during a short period by the Latins and the Armenians.
The seljuks rewarded the Karamanoğlu with a dominion and a city which became the capital of the Karamanid Emirate in 1256.
Thanks to Mehmet Bey in 1277 it became the first Turkish state to use the Turkish language "Türkçe" instead of Persian which had been the official language of the Seljuk sovereigns. Fittingly, Yunus Emre, the first great poet to write in Turkish, lived and died there (1238-1320) : his poetry, language and philosophy shaped Turkish culture and still do so..
The emirate was united to the Ottoman Empire by Mehmet II in 1466. The citadel date from Seljuk times, although the town's most significant buildings, the Yunus Emre Mosque and Tomb, the Araboglu and Aktekke Mosques and the Hatuniye Medrese (which has been transformed into a restaurant serving Turkish traditional cuisine), were all built during the Karamanid period.




















In the region of Karaman is ancient Derbe which was visited by St Paul. It is located at the foot of Mt Karadağ (2288 m/ 7,505 ft), now an extinct volcano. Located near Madenşehir on the northern slope of the mountain, the Valley of Bin Bir Kilise (1001 Churches) houses the remains of numerous Byzantine churches and chapels. Also at the top of Mt. Karadağ , a long cut-rock Hittite inscription in hieroglyphic scripts has been discovered in a grotto-sanctuary.

Near Taşkale, 50 km / 31 miles east of Karaman, are the fascinating remains of Manazan. Built during Byzantine times, the entire city-monastery was carved into the rocky hillside of the valley. Today, parts of the city are still used for wheat storage.





South of Karaman up a steep narrow road are the remains of the beautiful Byzantine Alahan Monastery . This Byzantine complex dating from the 5th century comprises three main parts: the basilica, the baptistery in the middle, and the church. There is also some fine stone carving to admire. Its magnificent location on a natural terrace offers a breathtaking view over the Göksu Valley.