The whirling dervishes

Konya Travel Blog

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Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)

People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Olcay, Kadir and Mustafa (Turkey)

I had expected Konya to be slightly colder than the South coast, but i hadn't realised just how cold it was going to be. I departed my bus from Silifke at 19.45 and after calling Olcay i stood waiting for a dolmush to take me to his house and i thought that my hands were going to drop off in the meantime. Konya bus terminal is located 14kms out of the centre, which is already pretty inconvenient, but Olcay's house was actually another 25 minutes ride further than this!

I got off the dolmush at Kayalar Mosque, which is located near the University and i knew which house to go to as Olcay and one of his flat mates Mustafa were flashing the living room light to get my attention.

Man weaving a carpet
Although the location was pretty dreadful from a tourism perspective, the guys were incredibly nice, so this totally made up for it. Whilst Olcay and i chatted, Mustafa went to the kitchen and cooked us all a very tasty Dinner.

It was great that the guys had central heating in their house and it made for a comfortable nights sleep. The only thing that did disturb me was the muezzin making his call for prayer at silly o'clock, which had me cursing for a few seconds until i fell back into a deep slumber. Finally i got up at 10.30, and found all the guys had already departed for University, as they had a day of exams ahead of them.

At 11.00 i caught the bus into the centre, which took about 50 minutes, and i was astounded at just how spread out Konya was. The road was a three lane highway, so we made pretty good time, which makes me think that the University must be at least 30kms from the centre.
Selimiye Camii
I exited the bus at Alaaddin Tepesi (Aladdin's Hill), which is located in the heart of the City and set off to see what Turkeys religious epicentre had to offer.

Located in the middle of Aladdin's Hill is the aptly named Aladdin Mosque, a creation dating back to 1221 and authorised by the Seljuk Sultan of Rum, Alaeddin Keykubad I. By coincidence i had arrived at prayer time and as i find it quite therapeutic to listen to Muslim prayers, i sat myself down and watched the daily rituals been performed. Once the prayers had finished, i went to look around the Mosque, which had an ornate Mimber and Mihrab and plenty of marble columns forming supports. Outside the building were two large tombs dating from Seljuk times and known as turbes.

Exiting the Mosque i went and bought a kebab and a carton of ayran and took a walk towards Konya's star attraction, the Mevlana Museum.
Mevlana Museum
Founded in honour of Rumi, the great Afghan philosopher, the site had also been the home of the Whirling Dervishes. Ataturk brought an end to their occupancy here when he clamped down on the group, siting their religious conservative influence as a hindrance in Turkey's move towards modernisation.

I was quite impressed that entry to the Museum was only 2YTL ($1.25), as i had expected to pay at least 8YTL, but they had actually dropped the admission over the last year. To be honest though, unless you have some special affiliation with Rumi, its not really worth more than 2YTL. On show was the tomb of Rumi and dozens of other Sufi mystics, a diorama and lots of memorabilia about the dervishes. From the outside, i found the blue dome the most attractive feature of the architecture, although the ablutions fountain was also pleasing on the eye.
Building at Ulcer Cemetery


Located over the road from the Mevlana Museum was the Selimiye Mosque, which was constructed in 1567. I had a quick look around it and then randomly wandered off around the town, as i didn't really have anything else that i was keen on seeing. I managed to fix my walking boots in the bazaar, chat with a carpet seller whilst drinking apple tea and find out about buses to Egirdir. Another kebab was consumed along with some pistachios and then i went to use the net for a couple of hours before returning home.

As the guys all had exams the following day we planned on having a quiet night in, but after some time we all got a bit bored, so went to the shop and bought some beers. As only Olcay spoke English in the house, it was a bit hard to communicate with the other guys, but beer always seems to find a way to overcome such obstacles. With the help of Olcay as translator, we managed to chat about a few things such as the History of Turkey, the problems between Israel and Palestine and of course football, before retiring to bed at 01.00.

Deats says:
do you know about "beer o' clock" as well, oh and my favourite "10 past beer o' clock" ;)
Posted on: Feb 01, 2009
vila says:
"silly o'clock" - thanks for broadening my english vocabulary :-)
Posted on: Feb 01, 2009
Deats says:
I thought you would be more dısappoınted that there are no Roman theatres...
Posted on: Jan 23, 2009
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Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Man weaving a carpet
Man weaving a carpet
Selimiye Camii
Selimiye Camii
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Building at Ulcer Cemetery
Building at Ulcer Cemetery
Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mosque)
Tomb at Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mo…
Tomb at Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin M…
Tomb at Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin Mo…
Tomb at Alaaddin Camii (Aladdin M…
Selimiye Camii
Selimiye Camii
Selimiye Camii
Selimiye Camii
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Ulcer Cemetery, with the Mevlana M…
Ulcer Cemetery, with the Mevlana …
Intricate windows of a Mosque
Intricate windows of a Mosque
Building at Ulcer Cemetery
Building at Ulcer Cemetery
Aziziye Camii
Aziziye Camii
Aziziye Camii
Aziziye Camii
Hukumet Meydani
Hukumet Meydani
Kadir and I sharing a beer
Kadir and I sharing a beer
Konya
photo by: herman_munster