Region: Konya - Ilgin
Local time: 03:15
"Iconium" of the Roman times is 263 kms from Ankara. The land is a wide plateau and has been continuously inhabited even extending back to the 8th millenium BC.
The most famous building here is the Green Mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, the great Turkish philosopher and poet. He is the founder of the sect of Whirling Dervishes, the seminary that was attached to the mausoleum. It has been converted into a museum housing Mevlana's works, and accoutrements related to his sect. Every year in December, ceremonies are held in Konya or the commemoration of Mevlana and the Whirling Dervishes. In this Dervish Festival, the "Sema" dance is performed by men dressed in white robes, whirling and rotating around the floor. This dance, in which the dancer with the great love of God is believed to attain divine unity, is an event well worth seeing.
On Alaeddin Hill in this region is the Alaeddin mosque and palace, which are fine 13th century monuments built during the reign of the famous Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat.
Karatay Medresse, constructed in 1251, stands to the north of this hill, and is now a museum which holds the best examples of Seljuk tiles and ceramics.