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Clockwise from top: Konya city view; Selimiye Mosque; Aziziye Mosque; Konya Kültürpark; and Mevlana Museum
Official logo of Konya
Konya is located in Turkey
Location of Konya, Turkey
Konya is located in Europe
Konya (Europe)
Konya is located in Earth
Konya (Earth)
Coordinates: 37°52′N 32°29′E / 37.867°N 32.483°E / 37.867; 32.483
Country Turkey
RegionCentral Anatolia
 • MayorUğur İbrahim Altay (AKP)
 • Metropolitan municipality38,873 km2 (15,009 sq mi)
 • Urban
6,600 km2 (2,500 sq mi)
 • Metro
6,600 km2 (2,500 sq mi)
1,016 m (3,333 ft)
 (2021 estimation)[1]
 • Metropolitan municipality2,277,017
 • Density59/km2 (150/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density210/km2 (550/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density210/km2 (550/sq mi)
 • Metropolitan municipalityTRY 149.229 billion
US$ 16.616 billion (2021)
 • Per capitaTRY 65,928
US$ 7,341 (2021)
Time zoneUTC+3 (TRT)
Postal code
Area code(+90) 332
Licence plate42

Konya[a] is a major city in central Turkey, on the southwestern edge of the Central Anatolian Plateau, and is the capital of Konya Province. During antiquity and into Seljuk times it was known as Iconium. In 19th-century accounts of the city in English its name is usually spelt Konia or Koniah. In the late medieval period, Konya was the capital of the Seljuk Turks' Sultanate of Rum, from where the sultans ruled over Anatolia.

As of 2023, the population of the Metropolitan Province was just over 2.3 million, making it the sixth most populous city in Turkey, and second most populous of the Central Anatolia Region, after Ankara. Konya is served by TCDD high-speed train (YHT) services from Istanbul, Ankara and Karaman. The local airport (Konya Havalimanı, KYA) is served by frequent flights from Istanbul whereas flights to and from Izmir are offered few times a week.


Konya is believed to correspond to the Late Bronze Age toponym Ikkuwaniya known from Hittite records.[3][4] This placename is regarded as Luwian in origin.[5] During classical antiquity and the medieval period it was known as Ἰκόνιον (Ikónion) in Greek (with regular Medieval Greek apheresis Kónio(n)) and as Iconium in Latin. [6][7]

A folk etymology holds that the name Ikónion was derived from εἰκών ('icon'), referring to an ancient Greek legend according to which the hero Perseus vanquished the native population with an image of the "Gorgon Medusa's head" before founding the city.[8]

Konya was known as Dârülmülk to the Rum Seljuks.[9]



The Konya region has been inhabited since the third millennium BC and fell at different times under the rule of the Hittites, the Phrygians, the Greeks, the Persians and the Romans. In the 11th century the Seljuk Turks conquered the area and began ruling over its Rûm (Byzantine Greek) inhabitants, making Konya the capital of their new Sultanate of Rum. Under the Seljuks, the city reached the height of its wealth and influence. Following their demise, Konya came under the rule of the Karamanids, before being taken over by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. After the Turkish War of Independence the city became part of the modern Republic of Turkey.

Ancient history

Hercules Sarcophagus (ca. 250–260 AD) in the Konya Archaeological Museum
A marble statue of Nike, the Ancient Greek goddess located in Konya Archaeological Museum.
Marble Sarcophagus, typical of Pamphylia. Roman period, 3rd century AD, in the Konya Archaeological Museum

Excavations have shown that the region was inhabited during the Late Copper Age, around 3000 BC.[8]

The Phrygians established their kingdom in central Anatolia in the eighth century BC and Xenophon describes Iconium (as the city was originally called) as the last city of Phrygia. The region was overwhelmed by Cimmerian invaders c. 690 BC. Later it formed part of the Persian Empire, until Darius III was defeated by Alexander the Great in 333 BC. Alexander's empire broke up shortly after his death and the town came under the rule of Seleucus I Nicator.

During the Hellenistic period the town was ruled by the kings of Pergamon. As Attalus III, the last king of Pergamon, was about to die without an heir, he bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman Republic. Once incorporated into the Roman Empire, under emperor Claudius, the city's name was changed to Claudiconium. During the reign of emperor Hadrianus it was known as Colonia Aelia Hadriana.

St Paul and Iconium

According to the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles Paul and Barnabas preached in Iconium during their First Missionary Journey in about 47–48 AD,[10][11][12] having been persecuted in Antioch. Their visit to the synagogue of the Jews in Iconium divided the Jewish and non-Jewish communities between those who believed Paul and Barnabas' message and those who did not, provoking a disturbance during which attempts were made to stone the apostles. They fled to Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia. This experience is also mentioned in the Second Letter to Timothy,[13] and 19th-century American theologian Albert Barnes suggested that Timothy had been present with Paul in Iconium, Antioch and Lystra.[14] Paul and Silas probably visited Konya again during Paul's Second Missionary Journey in about 50,[15][16][17] as well as near the beginning of his Third Missionary Journey several years later.[18][19]

According to the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla, Iconium was also the birthplace of Saint Thecla, who saved the city from attack by the Isaurians in 354.[20]

Byzantine Era

Under the Byzantine Empire, the city became the seat of a bishop, and in c. 370 was raised to the status of a metropolitan see for Lycaonia, with Saint Amphilochius as the first metropolitan bishop.[20] In the 7th century it became part of the Anatolic Theme and was, together with the nearby (Caballa) Kaballah Fortress (Turkish: Gevale Kalesi) (location) a frequent target of Arab attacks during the Arab–Byzantine wars in the eighth to tenth century,[20] being captured by Arabs in 723-4.[21] The rebellious general Andronikos Doukas used the Kaballah fortress as his base in 905–906.[22] During the tenth or eleventh century the church of Saint Amphilochius was constructed inside the citadel of Kaballa, housing the tomb of the saint which the Turks later believed to be the tomb of Plato, renaming the church to Eflâtun Mescidi (mosque of Plato).[23] The monastery of Saint Chariton, another local from Iconium, was located a few miles away in Sylata.[24]

The Seljuk Turks first raided the area in 1069, but a period of chaos overwhelmed Anatolia after the Seljuk victory in the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, and the Norman mercenary leader Roussel de Bailleul rose in revolt at Iconium. The city was finally conquered by the Seljuks in 1084.[20]

Seljuk and Karamanid eras

Late evening view of Mevlana Fountain opposite the Selimiye Mosque, Konya. Turkey.
Ince Minaret Medrese (1279) in Konya

Iconium became the second capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum after the fall of Nicaea until 1243.[25] It was briefly occupied by the army of the First Crusade (August 1097) and Frederick Barbarossa (May 18, 1190) after the Battle of Iconium (1190). The area was reoccupied by the Turks after the Crusaders left.

Established in 1273, the Sufi Mevlevi Order and its Whirling Dervishes are renowned symbols of Konya and Turkey.

Konya reached the height of its wealth and influence in the second half of the 12th century when the Seljuk sultans of Rum also subdued the Anatolian beyliks to their east, especially that of the Danishmends, thus establishing their rule over virtually all of eastern Anatolia,. They also acquired several port towns along the Mediterranean (including Alanya) and the Black Sea (including Sinop) and even gained a brief foothold in Sudak, Crimea. This golden age lasted until the first decades of the 13th century.[citation needed]

Many Persians and Persianised Turks from Persia and Central Asia migrated to Anatolian cities either to flee the invading Mongols or to benefit from the opportunities for educated Muslims in a newly established kingdom.[26]

The Mevlana Museum (1274) is the last resting place of the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi in Konya, the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate.

Following the fall of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate in 1307, Konya became the capital of the Karamanids, a Turkish beylik, which lasted until 1322 when the city was captured by the neighbouring Beylik of Karamanoğlu. In 1420, the Beylik of Karamanoğlu fell to the Ottoman Empire and, in 1453, Konya was made the provincial capital of the Karaman Eyalet.

Ottoman Empire

Under Ottoman rule, Konya was administered by the Sultan's sons (Şehzade), starting with Şehzade Mustafa and Şehzade Cem (the sons of Sultan Mehmed II), and continuing with the future Sultan Selim II.

Between 1483 and 1864, Konya was the administrative capital of the Karaman Eyalet. During the reforming Tanzimat period, it became the seat of the larger Vilayet of Konya which replaced the Karaman Eyalet, as part of the new vilayet system introduced in 1864.

In 1832 Anatolia was invaded by Mehmed Ali Paşa of Kavala whose son, İbrahim Paşa, occupied Konya. Although he was driven out with the help of the European powers, Konya went into a decline after this, as described by the British traveller, William Hamilton, who visited in 1837 and found a scene 'of destruction and decay', as he recorded in his Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia, published in 1842.[27]

Konya's textile and mining industries flourished under the Ottomans.[28]

Turkish Republic

Greeks from nearby village of Sille in 19th century

During the Turkish War of Independence (1919–22) Konya was a major air base. In 1922, the air force, renamed as the Inspectorate of Air Forces,[b] was headquartered in Konya.[29][30] Before 1923, 4,000 Orthodox, Turkish-speaking and Greek-speaking Christians lived there. The Greek community numbered approximately 2,500 people who maintained, at their own expense, a church, a boys' school and a girls' school. In 1923 during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the Greeks of the nearby village of Sille were forced to leave as refugees and resettle in Greece.[31]


Konya Metropolitan Governor's Office

The first local administration in Konya was founded in 1830 and converted into a municipality in 1876.[c] In March 1989, the municipality became a Metropolitan Municipality. As of that date, Konya had three central district municipalities (Meram, Selçuklu, Karatay) and a Metropolitan Municipality.


Home to several industrial parks. The city ranks among the Anatolian Tigers.[32][33][34][35] In 2012 exports from Konya reached 130 countries.[35] A number of Turkish industrial conglomerates, such as Bera (ex Kombassan) Holding, have their headquarters in Konya.[36]

While agriculture-based industries play a role, the city's economy has evolved into a center for the manufacturing of components for the automotive industry; machinery manufacturing; agricultural tools; casting; plastic paints and chemicals; construction materials; paper and packaging; processed foods; textiles; and leather.[35]

Turkey's largest solar farm is located 20 miles east of the city, near Karapınar.[37]


Konya sits in the center of the largest province, in the largest plain (Konya Plain), and is the seventh most heavily populated city in Turkey.[38]

Lake Meke, a large crater lake in Konya Province

The city is in the southern part of the Central Anatolia Region with the southernmost side of the province hemmed in by the Taurus Mountains.


Konya has a cold semi-arid climate (BSk) under the Köppen classification[39] and a temperate continental (Dc) climate under the Trewartha classification.

Summer daytime temperatures average 30 °C (86 °F), although summer nights are cool. The highest temperature recorded in Konya was 40.9 °C (106 °F) on 14 August 2023, closely beating the former record of 40.6 °C (105 °F) on 30 July 2000. Winters average −4.2 °C (24 °F), and the lowest temperature recorded was −26.5 °C (−16 °F) on 6 February 1972. Precipitation levels are low and happen mainly in winter and spring.

Climate data for Konya (1991–2020, extremes 1929–2023)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.3
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4.6
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.3
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −3.9
Record low °C (°F) −28.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 35.9
Average precipitation days 10.53 8.97 9.80 10.83 12.47 8.10 3.00 2.63 4.40 7.27 7.13 10.10 95.2
Average relative humidity (%) 79.8 73.3 63.4 58.7 56.1 47.5 38.9 39.4 44.2 57.6 70.1 79.9 59.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 105.4 138.4 195.3 216.0 269.7 309.0 344.1 334.8 291.0 235.6 159.0 102.3 2,700.6
Mean daily sunshine hours 3.4 4.9 6.3 7.2 8.7 10.3 11.1 10.8 9.7 7.6 5.3 3.3 7.4
Source 1: Turkish State Meteorological Service[40]
Source 2: NOAA (humidity)[41]


Mevlana Cultural Centre in Konya

Konya has a reputation for being one of the more religiously conservative metropolitan centres in Turkey.[42]

Konya was the final home of Rumi (Mevlana), whose turquoise-domed tomb in the city is its primary tourist attraction. In 1273, Rumi's followers established the Mevlevi Sufi order of Islam and became known as the Whirling Dervishes.

Every Saturday, there are Whirling Dervish performances (semas) at the Mevlana Cultural Centre. Unlike some of the commercial performances staged in cities like Istanbul, these are genuinely spiritual sessions.

Expensive, richly patterned Konya carpets were exported to Europe during the Renaissance[43] and were draped over furniture to show off the wealth and status of their owners. They often crop up in contemporary oil paintings as symbols of the wealth of the painter's clients.[44]


Alaaddin Mosque (1235) on Alaaddin Hill (Alaaddin Tepesi) in central Konya
Taşköprü, Beyşehir.


One of the city's best-known dishes, etli ekmek consists of slices of lamb served on flaps of soft white bread.[48] Konya is also known for unfeasibly long pides (Turkish pizzas) intended to be shared, and tirit, a traditional rice dish made from meat and assorted vegetables.


Konya is also known for its sweets, including cezerye, an old Turkish sweet made from carrots, and pişmaniye, which is similar to American cotton candy.


Konya Metropolitan Stadium in Konya

The city's football team Konyaspor is part of the Turkish Professional Football League. On May 31, 2017, they won their first national trophy, beating İstanbul Başakşehir to the Türkiye Kupası in a penalty shootout. They repeated this success on August 6, 2017, defeating Beşiktaş to win the Türkiye Süper Kupası (Turkish Super Bowl).

Konya Metropolitan Stadium (Konya Büyükşehir Stadyumu) is in the Selçuklu neighbourhood and can seat up to 42,000 spectators.

The city hosted the 2022 Islamic Solidarity Games in August 2022.


Founded in 1975, Selçuk University had the largest number of students (76,080) of any public university in Turkey during the 2008–09 academic year.[49][better source needed] The other public university, Necmettin Erbakan University, was established in Konya in 2010.[50][better source needed]

A view from KTO Karatay University

Private colleges in Konya include the KTO Karatay University.[51][better source needed]

Konya hosts the Anatolian Eagle Tactical Training Centre for training NATO Allies and friendly Air Forces.[52][better source needed]


A TCDD HT65000 on the Ankara–Konya line of the Turkish State Railways
A Škoda 28 T tram produced for the upcoming Konya Metro

Intercity buses

The central bus station has connections to a range of destinations, including Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir. It is connected to the town centre by a tram.

Inner-city public transport

The Konya Tram network is 41 km (25 mi) long and has two lines with 41 stations. Opened in 1992, it was expanded in 1996 and 2015. The Konya Tram uses Škoda 28 T vehicles.[53]

Work began on building a Konya Metro in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2024 and will have 22 stations.[54]

Konya also has an extensive inner-city bus network.


Konya is connected to Ankara, Eskişehir, Istanbul and Karaman via the high-speed railway services of the Turkish State Railways.[55][56]

Airport and airbase

Konya Airport (KYA) is a public airport but also a military airbase used by NATO. The Third Air Wing[d] of the 1st Air Force Command[e] is based at the Konya Air Base. The wing controls the four Boeing 737 AEW&C Peace Eagle aircraft of the Turkish Air Force.[57][58]

Notable people

Twin towns – sister cities

Konya is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ Turkish pronunciation: [ˈkoɲ.ja]
  2. ^ Turkic:Kuva-yı Havaiye Müfettişliği
  3. ^ "İhtisab Agalıgi" (Islamic-Ottoman office for public regularity)
  4. ^ Ana Jet Üssü or AJÜ
  5. ^ Hava Kuvvet Komutanlığı


  1. ^ "Turkey: Administrative Division (Provinces and Districts) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  2. ^ "Statistics by Theme > National Accounts > Regional Accounts". Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  3. ^ Forlanini, Massimo (2017). "South Central: The Lower Land and Tarḫuntašša". In Weeden, Mark; Ullmann, Lee (eds.). Hittite Landscape and Geography. Brill. p. 244. doi:10.1163/9789004349391_022.
  4. ^ Bryce, Trevor (2006). The Trojans and their neighbours. London: Routledge. p. 81. ISBN 9780415349550.
  5. ^ Klein, Jared; Joseph, Brian; Fritz, Matthias (2017). Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. de Gruyter. p. 239. ISBN 978-3-11-026128-8.
  6. ^ Bryce, Trevor (2006). The Trojans and their neighbours. London: Routledge. p. 81. ISBN 9780415349550.
  7. ^ Klein, Jared; Joseph, Brian; Fritz, Matthias (2017). Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. de Gruyter. p. 239. ISBN 978-3-11-026128-8.
  8. ^ a b "Konya". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  9. ^ "KONYA İç Anadolu bölgesinde şehir ve bu şehrin merkez olduğu il". TDV Encyclopedia of Islam (44+2 vols.) (in Turkish). Istanbul: Turkiye Diyanet Foundation, Centre for Islamic Studies. 1988–2016.
  10. ^ Acts 13:51
  11. ^ Acts 14:1–5
  12. ^ Acts 14:21)
  13. ^ 2 Timothy 3:10–13
  14. ^ "Acts 14 Barnes' Notes". Bible Hub. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  15. ^ Acts 16:2
  16. ^ Ramsay, William Mitchell (1908). The Cities of St. Paul. A.C. Armstrong. pp. 315–384.
  17. ^ Bruce, Frederick Fyvie (1977). Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free. Eerdmans. p. 475. ISBN 978-0-8028-3501-7.
  18. ^ Acts 19:1
  19. ^ Bruce, Frederick Fyvie (1977). Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free. Eerdmans. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-8028-3501-7.
  20. ^ a b c d Foss, Clive (1991). "Ikonion". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. London and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 985. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
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  29. ^ "Bir Hata Oluştu". Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
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  35. ^ a b c "General Overview Of The Konya Economy". Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  36. ^ "Anasayfa | Bera Holding". Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  37. ^ "The World's Largest Solar Power Plant in Konya". TR Dergisi. 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2022-07-21.
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  39. ^ "Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification" (PDF). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
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  41. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991–2020: Konya" (CSV). National Centers for Environmental Information. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  42. ^ "'Islam problem' baffles Turkey". BBC News. 2004-12-03. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  43. ^ Campbell, Gordon (2006). "Carpet II: History". The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-19-518948-3.
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Further reading

Published in the 19th century

Published in the 20th century

Published in the 21st century

  • C. Edmund Bosworth, ed. (2007). "Konya". Historic Cities of the Islamic World. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill.
  • "Konya". Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture. Oxford University Press. 2009.
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