Mevlana Museum

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Central Anatolia

Somewhere between the cracks in the Hittite ruins, the fissures in the Phyrgian burial mounds and the scratches in the Seljuk caravanserais, the mythical, mighty Turks raced across this highland steppe with big ideas and bigger swords. Alexander the Great cut that eponymous knot in Gordion where King Midas displayed his deft golden touch. Julius Caesar came, saw and conquered, and in Konya, the whirling dervishes first spun. This central sweep of Turkey was also where Atatürk forged his secular revolution along dusty Roman roads that all lead to Ankara; an underrated capital city and geopolitical centre. Further north through the nation's fruit bowl, in Safranbolu and Amasya, 'Ottomania' is still in full swing; here wealthy weekenders come to capture a glimmer of a bygone age amid bendy-beamed mansions. Central Anatolia is the meeting point between the fabled past and the present – a sojourn here will enlighten and enchant.


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Central Anatolia and beyond