HATAY (ANTAKYA) HISTORY :
The origin of the ancient city goes back as far as the third millenium. According to a Greak legend, Perseus, son of Jupiter and Danae, come to this region, cut off the head of Medusa and hung it at the top of a pillar, whence the name of the city, Iconium, meaning the ‚Å“city with an image‚.
Konya came succesively under the do Jmination of the Hittites, Phrygians, Cime rians, Lydians and Greco Persions. During the Roman period, Saint Paul and Saint Barnabes, chased from Antioch in Pysidia (now Yalvag), came to Konya where they preached to the Gentiles. Saint Thacla, the most celebrated saint of the Orthodox Church and honoured as a martyr by the Greek and Latin Churches was taught personally by Saint Paul in Konya. Thus Konya became one of the earliest centers from which Christianity spread to the west.
In 1097, the city became the capital of the Seljuk Empire under Kilig Arslan, and rose to the peak of her splendor under the Seljuk Sultan, Alaaddin Keykubad (1220 1237). In 1466, Mehmet II, conqueror of Istanbul, made Konya definitively part of the Ottoman Empire.
Konya, capital of the Seljuk Empire, is rich in monuments dating from that period. The Mosque of Alaaddin, tiles. Sahip At&, a Seljuk college with mausoleum is remarkable for its gate tile adorned altar.
Here also one may see other Ottoman monuments, principaly mosques, such as Kapi Camu, …Å¾>erafeddin, Azi ziye, and Selimiye.
There are two museums in Konya : A museum of Islamic A.rt and one of Ancient and Classical Art, the former being an outstanding feature of the city.
Museum of Islamic Art or the Mausoleum of Mevlana Ce laleddin, the Rumi, served formerly as quarters for the order of Whirling Dervishes or Mevlevi. Celaleddin, the world famous mystic poet and philosopher, was the founder of the ocder. The edifice consists of a Mall where the ritual dance of the Dervishes took place and the adjacent mausoleum housing the tombs of Celaleddin and the members of his family. The hall is crowded with the relics of the Dervishes : hand written Kerans, one of which goes back a thousand years, volumes of Rumi‚„s famous Mathnabi and Divan i Kabir, all of which are beautifully il luminated, and gorgeous works of Seljuk Turkish arts. Several of the 700 year old rugs are invaluable. Some of the velvet situated on the hill of the same name (Alaaddin Tepesi), a tumulus at the center of the ancient city, was started under Mesut I and completed under Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad in the year 1221. It is one of the oldest Turkish mosques and ha9 numerous columns. One may visit there many impressive sarcophagi of the Seljuk Sultans. Karatay Kolege (Medrese), with its remarkable gate in Seljuk style and famous for ‘the black and blue mosaics covering its dome and walls, is a most beautiful example of Seljuk art. ince Minare, was built in 1265/7 as a university by Fahreddin Ali, a Seljuk vizir. Its architect was Haluk bin Abdullah. The gate as well as the trunk of the minaret nearby the upper part was destroyed by lightning , are conpderM’ masterpieces of Seljuk stone cutting art. Sirgali Medrese, college built in 1242 by: Muslih, a Seljuk vizir.
The name ixrgali, oueaigug:with glass‚, in an allusion to its gate hall and altarf ricpornamented with magnificent
Gener Konya and textiles of the XVIth Century are beautiful to look at. The wood work on the sarcophagus of Celaleddin7 s father and on the book stools are excellent examples of what a great artist can do with wood and chisel. In a glass case along the wall, there is a collection of old musical instruments played while the Dervishes whirled. They danced with both hands above their head, the left palm facing down towards the earth, and the right palm facing up, symbolizing the desire to break away with the Divine Spirit. Among the instruments are flutes, called ‚Å“reed‚ by Reynold A. Nicholson, the famous English orientalist, who translated the Mathnavi into six volumes.