Three Perspectives of Konya

7 Haziran 2018 Kapalı Yazar: admin






  • Konya has been a host for many cultures and civilizations with its rich historical past. Konya , which has been a home for the first Christian settlement and sanctuaries, has a very important potential in culture tourism. Konya has been aiming to be one of the important centers for Cultural tourism besides religious tourism.
  • There is one UNESCO World Heritage Site (Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük) and four in UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in Konya (Eşrefoğlu Mosque, Konya -A Capital of  Seljuk Civilisation, Anatolian Seljuk Medrasas and Eflatunpınar: Hitite Water Monument)
  • Important historical values like Sille (Siyata), Aya Elena Church, Kilistra Antique City, Eflatunpınar Hittite Monument, Çatalhöyük, Karahöyük, İvriz Rock Reliefs, Bolat, Nekropol ve Bouleterion has been showing the potential of Konya in terms of Cultural tourism.
  • Traditional handicrafts and folcloric values of Konya are a part of Cultural tourism. Various crafts such as felt and carpet production, spoon making, rifle production, pottery and calligraphy attracts foreign tourists to Konya. Sema, folk dances and sufi music forms the main folkloric values of Konya.
  • Konya carries histroical marks spanning 9 millenia. Konya has a very rich heritage such as ruins, historical and natural protected areas, caverns and civil architecture.
  • Konya, once the capital city of Seljuk Sultanae, has an important tourism potential with Rumi and Nasrettin Hodja who are well known personalities worldwide.
  • Konya has a total bedding capacity of 4.663 in facilities with tourism operation license. There are also 29 restaurants with tourism operation license and 110 travel agencies.
  • There are 11 museums in Konya, 7 of which are downtown (Mevlana, Karatay Madrasa, İnceminare, Sırçalı Medrese, Atatürk, Etnography and Archeology Museum) and 4 are in districts.(Çatalhöyük Museum, Ereğli Museum, Akşehir West Front Encampment Museum and Akşehir Archeology Museum.)
  • Almost more than 2.5 million people visit museums of Konya every year.
  • There are 2 handwritten artifacts museums in Konya; Region Handwritten Works Library and Yusufağa Library. There are 18.118 handwritten works and 75.503 printed books and a total of 91.621 books in these libraries.



Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük

Two hills form the 37 ha site on the Southern Anatolian Plateau. The taller eastern mound contains eighteen levels of Neolithic occupation between 7400 bc and 6200 bc, including Wall paintings, reliefs, sculptures and other symbolic and artistic features. Together they testify to the evolution of social organization and cultural practices as humans adapted to a sedentary life. The western mound shows the evolution of cultural practices in the Chalcolithic period, from 6200 bc to 5200 bc. Çatalhöyük provides important evidence of the transition from settled villages to urban agglomeration, which was maintained in the same location for over 2,000 years. It features a unique streetless settlement of houses clustered back to back with roof access into the buildings.

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The vast archaeological site of Çatalhöyük comprises two tells rising up to 20 meters above the Konya plain on the Southern Anatolian Plateau. Excavations of the Eastern tell have revealed 18 levels of Neolithic occupation dating from 7,400-6,200 BC that have provided unique evidence of the evolution of prehistoric social organisation and cultural practices, illuminating the early adaptation of humans to sedentary life and agriculture. The Western tell excavations primarily revealed Chalcolithic occupation levels from 6,200-5,200 BC, which reflect the continuation of the cultural practices evident in the earlier Eastern mound.

Çatalhöyük is a very rare example of a well-preserved Neolithic settlement and has been considered one of the key sites for understanding human Prehistory for some decades. The site is exceptional for its substantial size and great longevity of the settlement, its distinctive layout of back-to-back houses with roof access, the presence of a large assemblage of features including wall paintings and reliefs representing the symbolic world of the inhabitants. On the basis of the extensively documented research at the site, the above features make it the most significant human settlement documenting early settled agricultural life of a Neolithic community.

Criterion (iii): Çatalhöyük provides a unique testimony to a moment of the Neolithic, in which the first agrarian settlements were established in central Anatolia and developed over centuries from villages to urban centres, largely based on egalitarian principles. The early principles of these settlements have been well preserved through the abandonment of the site for several millennia. These principles can be read in the urban plan, architectural structures, wall paintings and burial evidence. The stratigraphy of up to 18 settlement layers provides an exceptional testimony to the gradual development, re-shaping and expansion of the settlement.

Criterion (iv): The house clusters of Çatalhöyük, characterized by their streetless neighbourhoods, dwellings with roof access, and house types representing a highly circumscribed distribution of activity areas and features according to a clear spatial order aligned on cardinal directions, form an outstanding settlement type of the Neolithic period. The comparable sizes of the dwellings throughout the city illustrate an early type of urban layout based on community and egalitarian ideals.


The excavated remains of the prehistoric settlement spanning 2,000 years are preserved in situ in good condition, and are completely included in the property boundaries. The two archaeological mounds rise from the surrounding plain and constitute a distinctive landscape feature which has preserved its visual integrity. Shelters constructed above the two main excavation areas protect the archaeological structures from direct effects of the climate and thereby reduce the immediate dangers of rainfall and erosion.


The archaeological remains of Çatalhöyük have retained authenticity in material, substance, location and setting.Over forty years of well-documented research and excavation at the site bear testimony to the site’s readability as an early Neolithic settlement and thereby its authenticity. The site and excavations are well preserved. The physical mass and scale of the mounds have not much altered since the site was first discovered in 1958.

Protection and management requirements

The property is protected at the highest level as an ancient monument under the Turkish Directorate General of Monuments by Law 2863/1983 on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage amended in 1987 and 2004. It was registered as a conservation site on the national inventory of 1981 by the Superior Council for Immovable Antiquities and Monuments. According to these instruments, local authorities are also responsible for the property’s protection.

The management of the site is supervised by the Çatalhöyük Coordination and Supervision Council (CSC), an Advisory Board and a Management Plan team. A site manager has been formally appointed and a Management Plan team including experts from the excavation team in Çatalhöyük and the departments related to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has also been established. On the basis of the experience gained with a previous management plan drafted in 2004, the new management plan to be adopted shall contain specific sections on visitor management, access, education, risk preparedness and involvement of the local community and is announced to be finalized in late 2012.The provision of regular financial and human resources, as well as a dedicated archive for documentation of excavation and conservation activities are key to the management system.



Iconium (Konya)

In the central plateau of the Lycaonian District, Iconium was a city set amidst a very large fertile plain that stretched to the north and east. Well watered and surrounded by an unusually productive and stoneless alluvial soil, the farms of the region are still some of modern Turkeys finest  for grains, orchards of plums and apricots.

Ramsey noted that the historian Strabo was struck by the difference between the barren fields of the Lycaonian plains, and the lush area around Iconium. He concluded that the intelligent use of irrigation probably made the difference, since they were both subject to similar weather patterns.


The actual founding of the city is uncertain, but it is clear that the city was proud of its Greek heritage. By 25 BCE, Iconium was brought under the Roman province of Galatia. Holding on to their Greek heritage, Dr. Luke assigns the name Hellenes to this people in his writing.

The city was connected by a roadway to Pisidian Antioch some eighty miles to the northwest and had good lines of trade and communication. It was a Greek minded community with a significant but not dominant Jewish community. As a more democratic and Greek metropolis, resistance against St. Paul and St. Barnabas was not swift and decisive as in places with dominant leadership structures.


In this city some of this community stirred up mobs against St. Pauls message, but St. Paul was evidently able to manage the unrest for a period. The team remained in place, and saw considerable success in their preaching. After a spell of success, another mob began to stir. Unlike Pisidian Antioch, where the aristocrats expelled St. Paul and his companion, the mob of the Hellenes was stirred and eventually threatened to stone them. St. Barnabas and St. Paul fled the city south to Lystra and Derbe.


In addition to St. Pauls first visit to Iconium, he returned on the second journey and possibly on the third journey (Acts 16:1-4; 18:23). Certain of the Jewish community followed St. Paul from Iconium and harassed him again in Lystra, pushing the crowd to stone him (Acts 14:19). St. Paul recalls the problems he had in Galatia in his late writings (2 Tim. 3:11).

St. Pauls concerns over the perversion to the Gospel message were directed at this and the surrounding communities in the Epistle to the Galatians. In addition, Peters first Epistle was likely written to this city, along with Lystra, Derbe and Pisidian Antioch (1 Pet. 1:1).




Konya, as one of the oldest settlements and civilisation centre, achieved its real civil development under Islamic-Turkish rule. Muslim armies, from the beginning, tried to conquer Konya, so first Muslim conquest was at 723 AD but the city went out from Muslim dominance in the course of time.

Konya was conquered second time  by Seljuk Turks. The Seljuks, shortly after Malazgirt (Manzikert) Victory in 1071 AD, conquered Konya in 1073 AD.

Just after its conquest the city was declared as the capital city of the Seljuks.


Konya was the capital city of Kılıçarslan who defended Anatolia against the Crusaders and Alâeddin Keykubad who turned Konya one of the civilisation centers in the middle ages.

Konya, during this period, became, one of the significant capitals of Islamic Civilization after Medina, Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo. The city had its most magnificent days in the beginning of 13th century. Konya that mentioned as “Dar al-Mulk ” (The Capital) in the historical sources, became an international trade center at Asia Minor, as well as a scientific center. Thus, Mawlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi had been identified with the city in this century. “Akhi Organization” was the most crucial mainstay of the city at tough days of Mongol Invasion. Konya after Ottoman domination in late 14th century become a “Beylerbeylik” (Province). Many Ottoman princes such as Cem Sultan, were trained for state administration while governing Konya.


Konya, after a millenium of Seljuk conquest, is still continuing to be an attraction center with its population over one million, organized urban structure, industry, trade and tourism, as well as being the Seljukids capital and having international eminent figures like Mawlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi, Shams Tabrizi, Sahib Ata, Jalal al-Din Karatay, Hacıveyiszade Mustafa Sabri Efendi and also Seljuk sultans’ tombs, mosques, and madrasas and “Şeb-i Arus” organizations.




Dr. Mehmet Birekul

Kasım, 2016- Konya

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