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Excavations have shown that the region was inhabited during the Late Copper Age, around 3000 BC. The city came under the influence of the Hittites around 1500 BC. Saint Paul and Barnabas preached in Iconium during the First Missionary Journey in about 47–48 AD. In Christian legend, it was also the birthplace of Saint Thecla. Konya (latin: Iconium) was historically the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate and the Karamanids. The Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük in Konya Province was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Konya, one of the oldest cities in Turkey was a major trading center of the Silk Road and still is important as the center of the Whirling Dervishes who preach friendship, tolerance, and divine love.
We begin by visiting the striking green tiled Mevlana Mausoleum and the attached Museum. From there we proceed to the Karatay Mosaic Museum, which displays bald and striking Seljuk ceramics. For lunch we try the local specialty: ‘etli ekmek’ – fresh pide “flat bread” topped with minced lamb, cheese or egg. In the afternoon we visit the Ince Minareli Medrese and the Konya Archaeological Museum. Next on the itinerary is the Alaettin Mosque. To one side of the mosque are the scant remains of the Seljuk Imperial Palace. We have tea in one of the innumerable tea gardens dotting the area, before returning back to Cappadocia. (L)