• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Home of Whirling Dervishes

Konya is probably best known from a tourism point of view as being the home of the Mevlani Museum Sect which was established in 1273 when Sultan Kayqubad invited Bahaeddin Veled and his son Rumi to settle in Konya. Later Rumi became the founder of the Mevlevi and it’s Whirling Dervishes. The Dervishes have become one of the most famous symbols of Turkey.


Excavations have shown that Konya was inhabited during the late Copper Age and and prospered under the influence of the Hittites, Phrygnians and Cimmarians civilisations. Then the Persian Empire occupied Konya until defeated by the all conquering Alexander the Great.

It was later ruled by Hellenistic Kings and then the Roman Empire! Christian influence includes visitations by St Paul and St Barnabas. During the Byzantium era it was invaded by Arabs in the 7-9th centuries. From 1068 onwards was a period of chaos. It was invaded by the Seljuks and for nearly 200 years it was under the Sultanate Sultan of Rum.


In the 1220s it was full of refuges fleeing from the advancing Mongols and it fell to them in the mid 1250s, although still administered by the Sultanate. It was during this time of upheaval that Rumi, with his father, first came to Konya. Finally after being a Turkish Beylik off and on for two centuries it became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1453.

During the Turkish War of Independence, Konya was home to a major airbase. The Third Air Wing of the 1st Air Force Command is still based in Konya and it became a centre for agriculture at the beginning of the 20th century. This century Konya is more known more for it’s textile production and manufacturing.


What to See and Do

Çatalhöyük, with a history dating back to 5500 BC, is an ancient site comprising of 14 layers of settlement. Considered as the starting point of settled life with the earliest samples of house architecture and religious shrines, the area is of crucial importance to human history. The ruins of Çatalhöyük inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List are not to be missed!

Konya museums include Mevlana, Karatay, Atatürk, Ethnography, Archaeology (includes the Sarcophagus of Hercules) Koyunoglu and Inceminare as well as Sircali Madrasa and the Mausoleum of Nasreddin Hodja.

It’s mosques include Shams-i Tabrizi, Iplikci, Aladdin, Selimiye and Kapur Mosque. Mausoleums like Yesil Mausoleum, Sultanlar, Gomec or Hatun Mausoleum are a must visit. Yesil Turbe (Green Mausoleum), which belongs to the Seljuk period, has become synonymous with the city as it is the resting place of Mevlana and his father.

What to Eat

Traditional dishes of Konya include Bamya çorba (Okra soup), kuru kabak sarmasi (dry zucchini rolls), firin kebab (oven kebab), Cebic, bulgurlu domates kurusu (cracked wheat with tomato) and desserts such as sacarasi, lor tatlisi and visneli tirit.

Etliekmek is a local and larger variation on Lahmacun. It is flat bread baked with ground meat, tomatoes, peppers and onions. These dishes are served in almost all the traditional restaurants.

The etiquette and selectiveness of the Selcuk times still influence table manners to this day – for example the desert in Konya is eaten before the meal instead of after!


What to Buy

The area around the Aziziye Mosque has shops and bazaars selling such things as clothes, toys, house linen and decor and beside the sardivan of the mosque there are lines of shops selling exotic spices and locum.

Just next to the Aleluddin Hill at the end of Mevlana Caddesi (leading to the tomb) is a shopping area where books area on sale.

There is also an underground shopping street also which deals with gold jewelery and the usual carpet shops There are excellent ceramics leather jackets and coats at reasonable prices.

Turkey Travel Guide Tours