Konya, Turkey




side (2) orthodox conservative
accept look for fascinating
heyday powerful old/older/oldest
apostle crowded for instance
empire capital produce (2)
stroll contrast private (3)
ideal wander back streets
enjoy side (2) traditional
follow survive elements (2)
huge humanity scarf/scarves
hall orthodoxy wear/wore/worn (2)
busy pick up grow/grew/grown (2)
local hubbub date back to
tray mosque entertaining
scurry connect make a point
gossip dedicate drink/drank/drunk
finale spank (2) catch up on
flame smooth leave/left/left (2)
poke unusual one-stop-shop
flute surprise it turns out
perfect poke into rich/richer/richest (2)
barber shepherd sit/sat/sat
creator century take/took/taken
preach symbolic know/knew/known
tomb follower also known as
dome apparent remember
focus pilgrim throughout
ponder venerate settlement
temple heart (3) browse (2)
explain adjacent significant
display attempt interpretation
poetry anthem mainstream
distill mystical couple (2)
pure plant (3) meditative
whirl heaven philosophy
trance palm (2) foot/feet (2)
raise date (3) shower (2)
hand deal (3) illustrious
conduit transcend mesmerize
witness material opportunity
pray initiative good/better/best
facet understand/understood/understood






This is Konya, one of the most conservative and religious towns in western Turkey. For many Turks, this town’s a bit too orthodox, but I’m looking for all sides of Turkey and Konya is a fascinating stop.

This city of a million people is one of the oldest in the world, with known settlements dating back 8,000 years. The city has an illustrious history.

Back in the first century, when Konya was called Iconium, the apostle Paul visited several times, and during its heyday in the 13th century, Konya was the capital of the Muslim Seljuk empire.

Strolling the streets, you experience the contrasts of the old and the new. It’s a university town with a fine park, ideal for young couples enjoying a little private time.

And wandering into its back streets, much of the traditional side of Turkey survives and the orthodoxy of Konya becomes more apparent. For instance, nearly all women wear scarves.

The huge produce hall is busy with people picking up locally grown fruits and vegetables. In the hubbub of the crowded streets, browsing can be endlessly entertaining. Boys with trays of tea or chai scurry from shop to shop.

Remember, travelers have a richer experience when they make a point to connect. Drink some tea. The barber shop is still a great way to catch up on all the gossip. The finale? Spanking with a flame, leaving you smooth as you’ve ever been.

And poking into unusual shops, you’ll be surprised at what you may learn. Turns out this place is a one-stop shop for shepherds. So, I’m a shepherd, sitting here in the elements. Ah, this is my backpack. I have to have a flute. Perfect. Do you take credit cards? Okay! It’s a good deal.

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Konya is the home of Mevlana, also known as Rumi, a 13th-century Muslim philosopher who preached a message of love. His tomb is the focus of many pilgrims visiting from throughout Islam.

Under beautiful domes, the tombs of Mevlana, his family, and earliest followers are venerated. Pondering the tomb of their great teacher, pilgrims remember his message which focused on connecting the powerful love of god with us on Earth.

Mevlana said, “I looked for god in all the temples, mosques and churches, and found him in my heart.”

The adjacent museum explains Mevlana’s teaching with a display of significant writings, books of poetry, and historic copies of the Koran.

Mevlana attempted to distill the message of Koran into a pure and simple anthem of love. His teaching was a mystical interpretation of mainstream Islam, and his followers, called “dervishes,” have dedicated their lives to living out that Mevlana, or Rumi, philosophy.

Mevlana’s dervishes whirl themselves into a meditative trance. While raising one hand toward heaven, the other toward Earth, they symbolically plant one foot on the Koran, the Muslim word of God, while the other walks through all the world.

One hand rises up as if to accept the love of god. The other goes palm down, showering the love of our creator on all humanity. As he whirls, the dervish transcends our material world, becoming a conduit between the love of god and his creation.

Wherever you travel in Turkey, you’ll find opportunities to witness this mesmerizing form of prayer. It’s a good example of the many facets of Islam— powerful religion that perhaps we can take the initiative to better understand.

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Turkey. Is the city of Konya very liberal and modern, conservative and traditional, both or in the middle? Did the presenter come to Konya to enjoy discos and nightlife in Konya?

Syria. Is Konya a small, new city in the center of Turkey? Has Konya always been a Muslim city?

Azerbaijan. There are only madrassas and religious schools in Konya. Is this right or wrong? How do the residents dress? What kind of clothes do they wear?

Iran. Do locals (only) shop in large supermarkets? Do they only buy canned, jarred and boxed foods?

Lebanon. The favorite drink in Konya is soda and beer. Is this correct or incorrect?

Iraq. Does Konya have a cowboy heritage?

Egypt. The presenter visited a cathedral and listened to a choir. True or false?
Jordan. I have visited Turkey. I have been to Turkey. Yes or no?

Albania. Have you been to beaches and shorelines (coastlines)?

Tunisia. What do you associate with Turkey? What comes to mind when you think of Turkey?

Algeria. What might happen in the future?

Morocco. Should people only visit beaches and seaside resorts, or should they go to museums, castles, palaces, villages, nature reserves?

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