1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Konia

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KONIA. (1) A vilayet in Asia Minor which includes the whole, or parts of, Pamphylia, Pisidia, Phrygia, Lycaonia, Cilicia and Cappadocia. It was formed in 1864 by adding to the old eyalet of Karamania the western half of Adana, and part of south-eastern Anadoli. It is divided into five sanjaks: Adalia, Buldur, Hamid-abad, Konia and Nigdeh. The population (990,000 Moslems and 80,000 Christians) is for the most part agricultural and pastoral. The only industries are carpet-weaving and the manufacture of cotton and silk stuffs. There are mines of chrome, mercury, cinnabar, argentiferous lead and rock salt. The principal exports are salt, minerals, opium, cotton, cereals, wool and livestock; and the imports cloth-goods, coffee, rice and petroleum. The vilayet is now traversed by the Anatolian railway, and contains the railhead of the Ottoman line from Smyrna.

(2) The chief town [anc. Iconium (q.v.)], altitude 3320 ft., situated at the S.W. edge of the vast central plain of Asia Minor, amidst luxuriant orchards famous in the middle ages for their yellow plums and apricots and watered by streams from the hills. Pop. 45,000, including 5000 Christians. There are interesting remains of Seljuk buildings, all showing strong traces of Persian influence in their decorative details. The principal ruin is that of the palace of Kilij Arslan II., which contained a famous hall. The most important mosques are the great Tekke, which contains the tomb of the poet Mevlana Jelal ed-din Rumi, a mystic (sufi) poet, founder of the order of Mevlevi (whirling) dervishes, and those of his successors, the “Golden” mosque and those of Ala ed-Din and Sultan Selim. The walls, largely the work of Ala ed-Din I., are preserved in great part and notable for the number of ancient inscriptions built into them. They once had twelve gates and were 30 ells in height. The climate is good—hot in summer and cold, with snow, in winter. Konia is connected by railway with Constantinople and is the starting-point of the extension towards Bagdad. After the capture of Nicaea by the Crusaders (1097), Konia became the capital of the Seljuk Sultans of Rum (see Seljuks and Turks). It was temporarily occupied by Godfrey, and again by Frederick Barbarossa, but this scarcely affected its prosperity. During the reign of Ala ed-Din I. (1219–1236) the city was thronged with artists, poets, historians, jurists and dervishes, driven westwards from Persia and Bokhara by the advance of the Mongols, and there was a brief period of great splendour. After the break up of the empire of Rum, Konia became a secondary city of the amirate of Karamania and in part fell to ruin. In 1472 it was annexed to the Osmanli empire by Mahommed II. In 1832 it was occupied by Ibrahim Pasha who defeated and captured the Turkish general, Reshid Pasha, not far from the walls. It had come to fill only part of its ancient circuit, but of recent years it has revived considerably, and, since the railway reached it, has acquired a semi-European quarter, with a German hotel, cafés and Greek shops, &c.

See W. M. Ramsay, Historical Geography of Asia Minor (1890); St Paul the Traveller (1895); G. Le Strange, Lands of the E. Caliphate (1905).  (D. G. H.)