13 – 22 April 2004

Fitting for Islantbul, a city divided by the Bosphorus, Friends of the DAI on the Turkey expedition divided their time – between Asia and Europe, water and land, ancient history and modern shopping.  In addition to the requisite visits to Topkapi, Agios Sophia, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), and Sinan’s masterpiece, the Suleymaniye Mosque, they enjoyed a cruise on the Bosphorus, a stroll through the Grand Covered Bazaar, and a visit to Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer residence of Ottoman sultans.

From Istanbul, the travellers headed to Konya.  According to legend, two dervishes were making an excursion through the skies.  When they flew over the lands of central Anatolia, one asked “Konayim mi?” (“Shall I land?”).  The other answered “Kon ya!” (“Sure, land.”) So they landed and founded the city of Konya.

And what a special city it was.  Konya was the capital city of the Seljuks and the home of Mevlâna Jelaleddin Rumî, Sufi poet and founder of the Whirling Dervish order.  During their stop in Konya, DAI travellers visited the Mevlana Museum which includes the tomb of Rumi and the Ince Minare Museum, originally built as a Muslim theological seminary and now a museum of wooden artefacts and stone carving.

Photo credits: Istanbul http://www.ibb.gov.tr/sites/KS/en-US/Pages/Home.aspx

Konya Tom Brosnahan  http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/index.html