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  Ankara - Cappadocia - Konya (Mevlana Mausoleum)
 

The early permanent settlement in and around Konya go back to prehistoric times. The cultures of the Neolithic, Palaeolithic and Early Bronze Ages can be found within this period of the time. The mounds within which the early settlement are buried are within the borders of Konya. The findings of the Neolithic period have been dug-out during Catalhoyuk excavations. The Hittite settlements were at Karahoyuk, which lies on the outskirts of Konya today. The archaelogical excavations have shed light on the way of living of the people who lived on this land in those days. The Phyrigians who ended the Hittite domination on Asia Minor, were migrating tribes from the Thrice. The findings from the Aleaddin mound, Karapinar, Gicikısla and Sizma belong to the seventh millennium B.C. Konya (Cavania) was invaded by the Lycian, Alexander the Great and the Romans. The Roman domination all over Asia Minor was long-lasting and Konya was called Iconium then (25 A.D.) Saint Paul landed at Antalya and, penetrating the Anatolia interior, made her a land of the Otoman Empire. From there, he passed through Antiochia (Yalvac) and came to Iconium. In those days Lystra, Laodica and Sille were the predominant Byzantine settlements. The penetration of Islam into Asia Minor brought the Arabian raids, which were made from Konya. After the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071 a large part of Anatolia including Konya was captured by Seljuk Turks, and the dominance of the Eastern Roman Empire began to disappear. Suleyman Shah, the Anatolian Selcuk Sultan, declared Konya the seat of his empire in 1076. In 1080 Iznik was made the capital and in 1097, once more, Konya was declared the capital of Anatolian Seljuk Empire, staying that way until 1277. Karamanoglu Mehmet Bey took over the rule of the Karamanogulları State, The Ottoman Sultan Murad II captured Konya in 1442 and ended the Karamanoğulları rule. Konya enjoyed many years of esteem making fro herself a notable reputation during the Ottoman reign. Konya was the halting place of Yavuz Sultan Selim during has campaings to Egypt and Persia. Suleyman the Magnificent and Murad IV halted in Konya on their way to Bagdat. The city grew larger and developed rapidly after 1923. The considerably rich backround of Konya has been enough to make her seen as an open-air museum, with numerous historical sites and a large number of works of art. Mevlana Museum: The Mevlana Convent and Museum is one of the holiest shrines of Turkey and home of the mystic Mevlevi order of whirling dervishes, and also symbol of the city of Konya. Selcuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat gave the area on which the museum is located, which was a rose garden of his palace, as a gift to the father of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, the great poet, mystic and The founder of Mevlevi order of dervishes who lived in the 13th century. Construction of Mevlana's tomb began in 1274. In 1396, the tomb was covered by a cone shaped dome decorated by exquisite turquiose tiles. Additions To the complex continued throughout the Ottoman period. In 1926, the Mevlana Convent opened as a museum. The artifacts presented to the convent throughout the centuries are on display. The most interesting section of the museum is under the green dome where the sarcophagi of Mevlana and his son, Sultan Veled, stand. The museum contains 65 sarcophagi of the members of Mevlana's family and his followers. On display are hand-written copies of the sayings and books about Mevlana and the Mevlevi order, musical instruments, metal glass and wooden objects, carpets and kilims. In the former dervish 35 cells, the garments of the order are exhibited on three mannequins. The museum's library houses 9,116 printed and 3,705 hand-written documents. Five more tombs are located in the courtyard. The museum is housed in the first tekke (lodge) of the Dervish sect, and is considered to be a holy place because it contains the tomb of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, one of the most important philosophers of Turkish Islamic Mysticism. It is thought that the site was presented by the Seljuk sultans to the dervishes, and the buildings which were mostly constructed during the 15th and 16th centuries, are attractive and ornate. Mevlana Turbesi (tomb) is surrounded by the tombs of his son and father, and all are heavily decorated and a place of utmost respect. (Visitors should not wear shorts, and women should cover their heads.) Many Muslims come here to pray, and pay their respects to the philosopher who extolled the virtues of music and dance, humility and compassion. The museum also contains the cells, chapel and hall in which the Mevlana would teach, and musical items, clothing and manuscripts which the dervishes once used. The rooms surrounding the beautiful courtyard are furnished in the style of the period, with ornate artwork and architectural features. Every year there is a festival held in Konya periods "Commemoration Day for Mevlana" 10th - 17th of December. Opening hours: 08.30-17.00, closed Mondays. Karatay Museum (Theological School): The Seljuk Theological School was constructed by Emir Celaleddin Karatay in 1251, and inside is an extensive collection of ceramics and tiles from the Seljuk and Ottoman times. The beautiful marble portal is a great example of ornate Islamic art, combining Greek, Arabic and Seljuk architectural styles. One of the highlights is the dome of stars, which represents the heavens using distinctive shades of blue tiles, inscriptions quoting the first chapter of the holy Quran, and the names of the prophets. Opening hours: 08.30-12.00 & 13.30-17.30, closed Mondays.

     
 
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Did you know Turkey that Was the first to produce and use coins 2,700 years ago.
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Geographical Regions: Turkey, which has 80 administrative provinces, is divided into seven geographical regions; the Black Sea region, the Marmara region, the Aegean region, the Mediterranean region, Central Anatolia, the East and Southeast Anatolia regions
Dear Toroshan, Herewith I would like to emphasize again the excellent experience we had last week with our guide Yildirim on the climbing of the Ararat. He was taking care of us with a lot of attention and we could really trust on him. Also after the climbing he was escorting us very kindly and all appointments were taken accurately. It was really a great pleasure for us. We should also congratulate Celam who prepared nice meals, always with enthousiasm, and we will remind him as our ‘good cook’ forever. As soon as we have the opportunity, we will send you some pictures about this expedition. Be assured we are happy about the way it was organised. Best regards, Pierre Kockerols / Brussel