Karaman is famous as the burial-place of numerous saintly people, including the mother of Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi, founder of the Whirling Dervishes.
It’s a historic Central Anatolian city 113 km (70 miles) southeast of Konya, with a hilltop fortress and several historic mosques, but it’s of third-rank importance to most foreign visitors unless you’ve got a thing for saintly mothers.
Should you be passing through, have a look at the Mader-i Mevlana (Aktekke) Mosque (1370) and its adjoining hamam, right in the city center. Besides Mevlana’s mother, his elder brother and the Karamanoglu emir Seyfeddin Süleyman Beyare buried here.
The Ibrahim Bey Medrese (Seminary) and Imareti (Soup Kitchen, 1423) and the fine adjoining Seljuk-style tombcrowned by a stork’s nest.
Also buried in Karaman is the renowned ancient 14th-century Turkish folk bard Yunus Emre in a mosque-tomb complex dating from 1349. Yunus’s poetry and songs are still popular in Turkey today.
The fortress (kale), has a summer concert stage within, and fine views of the city from its walls.
Karaman was an important provincial capital during the Seljukand post-Seljuk (Beylik) periods (1000-1400 AD). The Karamanoğulları emirs were among the country’s most important regional rulers.
Bus service between Karaman and Konya is fast and frequent, as is service to Silifke on the Mediterranean coast. There is also some service to Niğde, and from there to Cappadocia.
|Distances & Travel Times |
Aksaray:208 km (129 miles) N, 3.5 hours
Konya:113 km (70 miles) NW, 1.75 hours
Niğde:195 km (121 miles) E, 3 hours
Silifke:147 km (91 miles) S, 2.5 hours