Konya kōnˈyä [key], city (1990 pop. 509,208), capital of Konya prov., S central Turkey. It is the trade center of a rich agricultural and livestock-raising region. Manufactures include cement, carpets, and leather, cotton, and silk goods. As the ancient Iconium, the city was important in Roman times, but it reached its peak after the victory (1071) of Alp Arslan over the Byzantines at Manzikert, which resulted in the establishment (1099) of the sultanate of Iconium or Rum (so called after Rome), a powerful state of the Seljuk Turks. In the late 13th cent. the Seljuks of Iconium were defeated by the Mongols, and their territories subsequently passed to Karamania (see Karaman). In the 15th cent. the whole region was annexed to the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Muhammad II, the conqueror of Constantinople. Konya lost its political importance but remained a religious center as the chief seat of the Mawlawiyya Sufi order (the dervishes), which was founded there in the 13th cent. by the poet and mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi. His tomb, several medieval mosques, and the old city walls have been preserved, and Rumi is honored in an annual festival. In 1832 an Egyptian army under Ibrahim Pasha routed the Turks at Konya. The town's once-numerous Armenian population was largely deported during World War I. Konya prov., the largest in Turkey, has important mineral resources.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Turkey Political Geography