Our ancestors were right in saying, “First wander the world and then see Konya,” which means that Konya is such a beautiful city that it can be compared to all the beauties of the world taken together. Konya is Turkey's sixth-most populous city.
With its traditional culture, spiritual atmosphere and history, Konya is a unique city of peace. Actually, one doesn't need to create long sentences to explain Konya. It is just as renowned writer Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar wrote in his book “Beş Şehir” (Five Cities). About Konya he wrote: “Konya resembles the Anatolian people, who have a strong soul, like to live on their own, are moderate in appearance and are rich inside. In order for you to catch up with Konya, you need to spend time there and experience its seasons.”
Those who have enough time to spend to experience Konya's seasons can comfortably wander the city. But what about those who don't have enough time? The Konya Chamber of Commerce created a photo album called “Photo Album of Konya from Past to Present” for those who want to learn about and see the city. Mustafa Akgöl, the art director for this album and editor of Yeni İpek Yolu magazine, explains the reasons behind the album's release: “We thought that there must be a way to convey this city, which has such a rich culture and a broad history, to the youth of today. For six years, the Konya Chamber of Commerce has prepared calendars consisting of photos of Konya's past. In time, a remarkable photo archive developed. Due to the existence of this archive, we decided to make this album.”
In Konya, many photography enthusiasts helped the Chamber of Commerce with this album. A.Safa Odabaşı, Cahit Sağlık, Ahmet and Yılmaz Oğul, and Ahmet Ektem are the most prominent, but there are many others. Besides collecting photos, the other task was to analyze the photos and explain them. Scholars such as Professor Haşim Karpuz, Professor Yusuf Küçükdağ and Dr. Hasan Özönder interpreted the century-old details in the photos. Historic buildings' remnants were sometimes not even in the photos. There are photos of Darüşşifa (a hospital), a medrese (a building or a group of buildings used for teaching Islamic theology and religious law), mosques, hotels, Turkish baths and mansions. Some have collapsed while some are still standing. The photo album sends you through a time tunnel.
Near Karatay Medrese is a kiosk
Konya Kiosk, at the northern foothill of Alaaddin Tepesi (Alaaddin's Hill), was built by Seljuk Sultan Kılıçarslan II. After Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat restored it, it was renamed Alaaddin Kiosk. In 1961, a concrete shelter resembling an umbrella was built to protect the remnant of the kiosk, which has remained intact to this day.
Turkey's second Atatürk monument
This monument is the second Atatürk monument erected in Turkey, after the one erected in Gülhane Park in Istanbul. This structure was intended to be an agricultural monument, but upon the outbreak of World War I, construction stopped. After the war, the builders decided to create an Atatürk monument. A bunch of wheatear in Atatürk's right hand represents Konya's corn production, and the sword in his left hand symbolizes his position as a pasha. The monument faces the train station, and it welcomes people as they arrive in Konya.
Panorama of Konya
If we happen to look upon Konya from atop a hill, we can see what resembles an old photograph. The city's houses are built with brick or adobe brick. Near the houses are historic buildings used for religious purposes. These buildings create the typical architecture of the city. If you turn your head towards Takkeli Mountain, you will see the many differences between the old and the new settlements. Many things have changed. A huge city square, brand-new houses and the 42-story Kulesite Shopping and Entertainment Center have been built. In spite of the many changes, the city still protects it historical assets.
Hadis Mabedi or İnce Minareli Medrese
Seljuk Vizier Sahip Ata Fahrettin Ali commissioned architect Kelük bin Abdullah to build the İnce Minareli Medrese (literally Slender Minaret Medrese) in 1267 for the purpose of teaching the science of Hadith (a field that studies the words of the Prophet Muhammad). Historical resources give the medrese's name as “Dar al-Hadith” (House of Hadith). It is called İnce Minareli Medrese because it has a slender, tall minaret with two şerefes, i.e. balconies. Half of the medrese collapsed when it was struck by lightning in 1901. It was later restored.
Trade center and Aziziye Bazaar
In Konya, to the south of Aziziye Mosque is a bazaar that shares its name: Aziziye Bazaar. Actually, its name was changed, and former residents of Konya call this bazaar İhtisabın Altı. (İhtisab means an Islamic-Ottoman office that enforces public regulations. “İhtisabın Altı” means “beneath the ihtisab.”) Aziziye Mosque was built on the demand of Sultana Pertevniyal, the mother of Sultan Abdülaziz. In time, the area surrounding the mosque became a place of business with stores and street hawkers. Later, it became one of the most important trade centers in Konya.