CAPITAL CITY OF TOLERANCE

KONYA

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    One of the world’s oldest settled places and located on the Silk Road, Konya is the largest city in Central Anatolia. In the past it was the capital of the Anatolian Selcuk Sultanate. It is possible here to see some of the best examples of Selcuk architecture.

    One of the world’s oldest settled places and located on the Silk Road, Konya is the largest city in Central Anatolia. In the past it was the capital of the Anatolian Selcuk Sultanate. It is possible here to see some of the best examples of Selcuk architecture. The famous theologian and Sufi Mystic Mevlana Celalettin Rumi is synonymous with Konya (“Home of the Whirling Dervishes”). Rumi greeted death as a beloved event as he thought meeting God would be wonderful. The marriage of the soul to God is commemorated worldwide every year on the 17th of December, the anniversary of Rumi’s death, as the Sheb-e-Aroos (Wedding Day). Messages of peace, brotherhood, tolerance, and love are enshrined by the famous verse of acceptance “come, come, whoever you are!” and more than 8 centuries after his death, visitors still flock here!

    Konya Airport is located about 18km outside of the city center. You can reach the city in about 30 minutes and for 10TL using the airport Havas bus service. If you know the location of your hotel you can follow the stops (Otogar, Aydınlıkevler, Kulesite, Sille Kavşağı, Belediye, Alaaddin, Zafer, Fuar and Anıt) or ask the bus staff which one to use. It costs about 45TL to take a taxi from the airport to the center of town. In town transportation is provided by public buses, dolmus (mini-bus), tram, and taxis. You can discover all of the main tourist locations on foot from the city center.

    All types of lodging are available in Konya and you can even find luxury accommodations at reasonable prices. Rixos, Dedpeeman and Anemon are the city’s 5 star hotels. If you prefer to see the city on foot you can stay at one of the 3-4 star hotels, e.g.Hich Hotel Konya, Dervish Hotel, Mesnevi Hotel, Pasapark Hotel, Selcuk Hotel Shems, Hilton Garden Inn or Hotel Rumi located in the town center. If you are travelling on a tight budget, try the Hotel Ulusan or Mevlana Hotel.

    Konya is a place where the traces of many civilizations can be seen; mosques (cami), churches (kelise), historic schools (madrese), caravan cities (kervansaray), and historic public houses (han) are all here. In the town center: Mevlana (Rumi) Museum, Alaeddin Mosque, İnce Minare Medresesi (now the Wooden Artifacts and Stone Carving Museum), Karatay Museum (Tile Museum), Sırçalı Medrese (Tombstone Museum), Selimiye Camii (Mosque), İplikçi Camii (Mosque), Aziziye Camii (Mosque), Kapu Camii (Mosque), Şems-i Tebrizi Camii (Mosque) ve Türbesi (Tomb), Sahip Ata Külliyesi (Mosque Complex), Saint Paul Catholic Church and Mevlana Cultural Center where performances of Whirling Dervishes are often staged. About 8km from Konya is the village of Sille, which has been inhabited for 7000 years and where churches are carved into soft volcanic rocks. You can also go to the Aya Elena Church, built in 371AD. In nearby Beyşehir see the Grand Mosque (Eşrefoğlu Mosque), and in Akşehir, the tomb of Nasreddin Hoca. In neighboring Gökyurt the Kilistra Ancient City that resembles Cappadocia. The Byzantine Era Region of 1001 Churches is found near Karaman. The Obruk Han and Meram Gardens recreation areas are about 5km from Kızören. These should all be on your Konya travel agenda. The oldest and most developed Neolithic Age settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Çatalhöyük, is southwest of Konya. Nature lovers should visit the Salt Lake (Tuz Gölü), Lake Beyşehir National Park, and the Meke Crater Lake in Karapinar.

    Woven rugs and carpets, hats made of felt, scarves and hand bags, ceramic and porcelain, Mevlana and Sufi special items, ornaments, and jewelry, musical instruments (e.g. Ney, Rebab) are all available in Konya. Besides all of those items and gifts, you can also bring back Konya Peynir Şekeri (Cheese Candy) and/or Lokum (Turkish Delight). Kule Site, Makromarket, Kipa, are the important local shopping centers.

    A Rumi Festival is held annually from December 7th-December 17th. Don’t worry if your travel doesn’t coincide with the festival, you can take part in a Whirling Dervish program every Saturday throughout the year. Konya presents a wide range of different activities, from spelunking to photography, from horseback riding to parasailing (at Lake Beyşehir). For a wilderness experience go to the Karapinar Dunes near Mount Karaca (Karacadağ), for bird watching check out Tuz Gölü (in addition to flamingos, the lake is the feeding and nesting grounds for a number of different types of birds). And while you are here, visit the lakes of Akşehir, Çavuşçu, Uyuz, Kozanlı, Kulu. Formed by a tectonic depression, take a discovery tour of Lake Beyshehir National Park. You can stroll around historic places like the ruins of Kubadabad Palace, and the Eflatun Spring, left over from the Hitites. If you are interested in visiting a thermal bath, visit the Ilgın Thermal Tourism Center in Akşehir or check out the Beyşehir -Hüyük Köşk Hot Springs. To get rid of your travel weariness and for a unique experience you can get yourself a Turkish scrub at the historic Mahkeme Hamam (Turkish Bath).

    WITH TURKISH AIRLINES

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