Konya; Konya, the largest city of Turkey in size, the first settlement of mankind in Çatalhöyük, the gateway of Silk Road in medieval ages, the home of sophists and pioneers for divine love, the meeting point of great philasophers and scholars such as Mawlana Rumi, Muhittin Arabi, Sems-i Tabrizi, Kadı Burhaneddin and Sadreddin Konevi, the birthplace of whirling derwishes and Mawlavi religious order, the inviting voice calling all human being to peace for centuries, the capital of Seljuk empire in the past, is one of the well-known Turkish cities both in home and abroad. Konya is a big open air museum city representing the treasures of old civilizations with the finest examples as well as having the organizations of religous celebrations. Konya is one of the most populated cities of Turkey as well. It is not only famous for its rich industry and fertile agriculture but also has a fame with its culture, tradition, economy and amazing unique masterpieces taking a place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage leaves the visitors breathless while paying a visit to Konya. Additionally, the glorious and the breath-taking city Konya has ancient, valuable and historical monuments and natural beauties like Ivriz Hittite Rock Monument, Old Sille town with churches and traditional rocky houses like Cappodocia valley, the first mankind settlement as known Çatalhöyük, a great number of mosques as the marks of Islamic faith, the madrasahs as the colleges of the past, the stone bridges over the streams for safe transport in medieval times, Turkish baths for cleansity and hyygene facts and caravanserails for avoiding the camels and goods from pirates as well as hosting the travellers with joy and peace. All of those structures look like the pearls shining today as to remind us the golden past time.
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Location; Konya is the largest city of Turkey which covers an area of 41,000 square kms located in the middle Abatolia with the altitude of 1016m high from sea level. Konya is surrounded by the provinces of Ankara in the northwest, Isparta, Afyon and Eskisehir in the west, Mersin, Karaman and Antalya in the south and Aksaray & Nigde in the east. It is 262 kms from the capital city of Ankara, is 714kms from Istanbul and is 564kms from İzmir. Konya is a bridge that connects the Mediterranean and central Anatolian regions to each other with a great hihway as a backbone of the main transport sytem named E-5 from Taurus mountains to Cappodocia. According to the latest census, the population is 2,100, 225 so it is the seventh most poplutated city of Turkey in density. The growing speed is so fast that it is having a big migration each throughout the country.
Transportation; It can be easily reached to Konya by good air, railway and road connections. The railway connection was built in 1898 and there are daily express trains passing through Konya from İstanbul and Ankara. There is also a high-speed train from Istanbul to Konya twice a day in return lasts about 1.5 half hours. The travellers either from Ankara or Istanbul can reach to Konya by using many domestic arlines ever day in an hour by plane. It takes about eight hours from Istanbul, or five hours from Ankara by car through E-5 higway. Turkish authorities are trying to provide easier and better connection to Konya by making some new projects nowadays as investments so it will be more comfortable and faster in the near future than at present day. Direct flights from some European capitals to Konya is available all year round as well.
Geography And Climate; Konya is such a big city that has a lot streams and lakes as the biggest province in size.. The biggest towns are Eregli, Aksehir and Beysehirin popukation. One of the biggest lake of Turkey called Beysehir located in province of Konya which hosts for so many endengared birds and plants spending the winter to breed. Continental climate prevails in Konya, the summers are dry and hot, and winters are cold and rainy. The temperature difference between day and night is 16-22 C degrees in summer but it reduces to 9-12 C degrees in winter due to the moisture. It snows in winter and the average snow remains on the ground for 3 months. It rains frequently in Spring and the wettest months are April and May. The main feature of Konya’s climate is late beginning and ending of summer season. Summer drought that is characteristic of a steppe climate causes of growing the best qaulity of wheat and barley so Konya is considered as the grain depot of Turkey with fertile plantations.
Name; The name of Konya comes from the word “icon” that is accepted as holy depiction. It has various rumors about in Mythology. As described in one of the mythological stories, a memorial was made as the city’s gratitude the person whom he killed the dragon and was also drawn on a picture that described this event. The memorial was called icon so this name turned into Iconium. In Roman times, the city was named Augusta Iconium and it is mentioned as Tokonion in Byzantine written inscriptions. Later centuries the city was called in different names such as Stancona, Konien and Conia. The Arab troops changed the Conia name into Kuniya in 9th century AD so this word was derived to Konya from Arabic invasion to now still known as Konya.
Konya Kuisine; One of the reputed cities in Turkey with its cuisine is Konya and it has a great fame with delicious dishes all over the country. Konya owns a unique cuisine and has an incredible wealth of dishes on. It is obvious that the meals cooked in copper pots in the Seljuk palaces and served in a golden trays are still the kitchen products of Konya. The most interesting feature of Konya cuisine is traditional wedding receptions. It is a great customs to go to the reception to taste famous dishes as it is known “wedding rice” in Konya that has been carrying on since Seljuk empire period. The guests know what they are going to eat in wedding reception.It starts with yoghurt soup, then the guests have rice with meat, Semolina halva, Gombo and finally it ends with apricot compote. The menu is special and all dishes are cooked only in wedding season. The visitors going to Konya can taste these meals seperately in the restaurants as well as the other main courses of Konya today. The mian dishes which are known of Konya cuisine are as follows ; bread with lamb mince cooked in traditional owen, Fırın kebab made of boned lamb which is cooked at least twelve hours in copper boilers, cheese pan cake, Mawlana flaky pastry with lamb mince, Arab vaccine paste soup, flour halva and cream dessert with milk.
History; Konya is one of the oldest settlements of Turkey and the history goes back to pre-historic era. The excavations in the centre of Konya named Alaeddin hill has already proved this theory. Another excavations in Harmancık hill about 15 kms far away and Çatalhöyük 52 kms far away in the southeast of Konya have ancient settlement with well preserved examples of pre-historic times. Çatalhöyük is noted for as the one of the first settlements of mankind in the world by the archeologists and scientists. The great Hittite Empire in Anatolia and Syria has dominated the land of Konya in 13th century AD. After ending the sovereignty of the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians and Alexander the Great's invasion have undergone. By the time when Roman empire has been the main authority in Asia Minor, Konya maintained its presence as established city called Iconium. In the beginning of Christianity, the city gained a center of religious identity so St. Paul stopped in Konya and visited Kilistra during his missionary journeys between 47 C and 57 C AD.
With the advent of Islam, Arab empire began growing against the Eastern Roman empire and Konya has been raided over several times during the sieges of Constantinople to be captured by Arab troops in between 8th and 9th centuries. The first Islamic formations have emerged around Konya in this era. After the Menkizert battlefield in 1071, the Seljuks have raided the Anatolian cities and have conquered Konyawith its environment. Suleyman Shah made Konya as the capital of the Anatolian Seljuks in 1076. During the first crusade Konya was the capital , Sultan Kılıçaslan I defended the city against them and the city remained as the capital of Anatolian Seljuks untill 1277. During the reign of Alaeddin Keykubat I, the city was surrounded by high walls and it became the largest city of the empire with 50.000 in pupulation. Most of the monuments, madrasahs, mosques, caravanserails and famous buildings are the visible remains of Seljuk empire heritage centers in Konya today.
After the Seljuk empire, Karamanoglulları, one of the Turkic states, controlled Konya and its neighbors for a long time. Konya city has been changed hands between Ottomans and Karamanogulları exactly in sixteen times. Mehmet II, the conqueror of Constantinople, captured Konya in 1467 and he set up permanent Ottoman rule in the city. During the Ottoman time Konya was the capital of Karaman province. After the Russian and Balcan Wars, Albanian, Circassian, Bosnian refugees in the Balkans and Caucasus countries were settled down in and around Konya in order to make farming due to fertile plantations. During the war of Independence in between 1919-1923, Konya became one the resistances of Turkish volunteers and the great protest meetings were held in this city to support the leadership of Ataturk's Liberation. Konya was the center of the wounded patients from the front and being treated. Fighting military needs gathered in Konya and sent to the military troops from here.
Sites To Visit In Konya!...
Alaedding Mosque; One of the master pieces of Seljuk Empire and the oldest mosque in Konya city which was built in 1156 on panoramic Alaeddin hill overlooking the city on behalf of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I, the most succesfull sultan whom he made so many edificies in the empire,by architect Mehmet bin Havlan. The mosque is close to old Seljuk imperial palace so six previous Seljuk Sultans were buried in the courtyard with great artworks of their sarcophagis. Alaeddin mosque has been restored and renovated several times from the beginning of its construction up to now.
Catal Hoyuk; Çatalhöyuk , considered as one the first settlements of mankind , is about 52 kms far away from Konya and has been accepted to UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012. Neolithic Çatalhöyük city was founded about 9000 years before located on the southern Anatolian plateau and covers an area of approximately 14 square acres. There are exactly eighteen Neolithic layers in Çatalhöyük consisting of two big mounds. This ancient settlement proves that human being began city life in Çatalhoyük from rural areas.
Ince Minare Museum; It is existed in the west of the Alaeddin hill in the county of Selçuklu in Konya. It was built in 1264 AD in order to teach hadith lessons to Koran students by vizier Ali Ata Fahreddin during the reign of Seljuk Sultan İzzeddin Keykavus II. The architect of the building is Keluk bin Abdullah. The crown door of the museum is one of the masterpieces and the most beautiful examples of Seljuk period stone workmanship with breath-taking calligraphy in Arabic. It is recommended to see beautiful stone inscriptions, reliefs, wooden door wings, tombstones and stone Seljuk sarcophagis.
Kilistra Ancient Stone City; Kilistra ancient city, the unbelievable, nostalgic and original stone settlement, is located on Gökyurt village about 49 kms far away in the southwest of Konya city. This ancient city that catches the eye for its dreamy ambiance also impress the visitors with its magical landscape, amazing natural beauty and historical tissue. Kilistra ancient city was founded on the natural rock formation in the early Byzantine period on the line of five different areas. The improtant decision was privacy in the time of the city's foundation and construction because nobody knew what was happening in Kilistra rock groove-shaped layout beacuse the city appears a big rock mass when you look at distance away so Kilistra is a hidden Byzantine settlement.
Mawlana Museum; Mawlana Museum is the second most visited museum after Topkapı palace museum due to the burial place of great Turkish philasopher known as Rumi all over the world. The museum is not only the burial place where Rumi, his family members and his friends were buried, but also is accepted as the birthplace of the religious order named Mawlavi and the famous shrine for Mawlana lovers known as Sufi today. The brilliant and huge museum covers approximately 18.000 square metres area. Each year a big celebration is held on 17th December as the anniversary of death day of Rumi that is called wedding day by his lovers. For those who go to Konya is a must to pay a visit to this famous museum.
Sille; Sille is a former residential area approximately 8 kilometers away from down town of Seljuk district of Konya. According to the recent excavations, the first settlement dates back 6000 B.C. Sille used to be a Greek village untill the exchange of agreement between Turkey and Greece made in 1925 which is a small settlement today so most of the houses are the Greek style. Sille, an old Greek village, is one of the important visiting stops that needs to be explored with its rich history while spending some time in Konya city.
Sille Aya Elana Chucch; Aya Elana Greek Orthodox Church in Sille village is a heritage of former Greek inhabitants whom they emigrated to Greece in 1925 agreement. This glorious, precious house of worship is one of the oldest churches in Anatolia which shows that has a very deep and rich historical tissue. With this aspect, the holy building as symbol of Orthodox faith is visited by both domestic and foreign tourists every year.
Sultan Hani Caravanserial; Sultan Hanı Caravanserail, an inn for spending the night by the caravan merchants and their camels in safe during the transportation in medieval ages throughout Asia Minor, is the biggest place located on Konya & Aksaray road still standing as a pompous castle with a big portal gate.This glorious structure was built in 1228 by Muhammed bin Havlan. In each 20 miles there used to be a caravanserail like Sultan Inn as the accommodation stop for Silk Road trade.