Konya is a major city in south-western edge of the Central Anatolian Plateau and is the seventh-most-populous city in Turkey with a metropolitan population of over 2.1 million. Konya is an economically and industrially developed city and the capital of Konya Province.
The Konya region has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC. Known as Iconium during classical antiquity, the city was ruled successively by the Phrygian, Persian, Hellenistic and Roman civilizations. In the 11th century the Seljuk Turks conquered the area from the Byzantines, and Konya then became the capital of the Sultanate of Rum. Under the Seljuks, the city reached the height of its wealth and influence. Following the demise of Rum, 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.
Excavations have shown that the region was inhabited during the Late Copper Age, around 3000 BC. The city came under the influence of the Hittites around 1500 BC. Later it was overtaken by the Sea Peoples in around 1200 BC.
The Phrygians established their kingdom in central Anatolia in the 8th century BC. Xenophon describes Iconium, as the city was called, as the last city of Phrygia. The region was overwhelmed by Cimmerian invaders c. 690 BC. It was later 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 the rule of emperor Claudius, the city's name was changed to Claudioconium, and during the rule of emperor Hadrianus to Colonia Aelia Hadriana.
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,having been persecuted in Antioch, and Paul and Silas probably visited it again during Paul's Second Missionary Journey in about 50.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 believe, provoking a disturbance during which attempts were made to stone the apostles. They fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia. This experience is also mentioned in the Second Letter to Timothy. 19th century American theologian Albert Barnes suggested that Timothy had been present with Paul in Iconium, Antioch and Lystra. The city became the seat of a bishop, which in ca. 370 was raised to the status of a metropolitan see for Lycaonia, with Saint Amphilochius as the first metropolitan bishop.
In Christian legend, based on the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla, Iconium was also the birthplace of Saint Thecla, who saved the city from attack by the Isaurians. Under the Byzantine Empire, the city was part of the Anatolic Theme. During the 8th to 10th centuries, the town and the nearby (Caballa) Kaballah Fortress (Turkish: Gevale Kalesi) (location) were a frequent target of Arab attacks as part of the Arab–Byzantine wars.
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. From 1097 to 1243 it was the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. It was briefly occupied by the Crusaders Godfrey of Bouillon (August 1097), and Frederick Barbarossa (May 18, 1190) after the Battle of Iconium (1190). The area was retaken by the Turks.Established in 1273, the Sufi Mevlevi Order and its Whirling Dervishes are among the 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, as well as acquiring several port towns along the Mediterranean (including Alanya) and the Black Sea (including Sinop) and even gaining a momentary foothold in Sudak, Crimea. This golden age lasted until the first decades of the 13th century.
Many Persians and Persianized 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.
Following the fall of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate in 1307, Konya was made the capital of a Turkish beylik (emirate); 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 Karaman Eyalet.
Ottoman Empire, Karaman Eyalet, and Vilayet of Konya 16th-century Konya carpet, in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
During 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 later the future Sultan Selim II. Between 1483 and 1864, Konya was the administrative capital of Karaman Eyalet. During the Tanzimat period, as part of the vilayet system introduced in 1864, Konya became the seat of the larger Vilayet of Konya which replaced Karaman
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