My first stop on my first trip to Turkey was in the conservative city of Konya, in central Anatolia. Most people visit it on their way to or from Cappadocia (incredible fairytale-like cave dwellings). It was one of a few cities I’d get to along the ancient Silk Road.
Konya is known for its association with the Persian poet and mystic, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, or Rumi (1207 – 1273). Rumi spent much of his life here as a religious teacher and his tomb is housed inside the Mevlana Museum, the main attraction in the city. After his death, the Whirling Dervishes became associated with him, their performances still taking place year round and on the anniversary of his death.