SELJUK CARAVAN ROAD
In the past, when the transportation was carried out on the back of camels, horses and mules, the caravan constituted by the vehicle carrying out this transportation was called "caravan". From the rich merchants of the old times to all the penniless and strange travelers who had to walk on foot, people from many different professions and creeds would always join the caravans. They would travel during the day, spend the night at certain mansions in the evening, and set out again early in the morning. Of course, there was a need for accommodation places to rest and rest the tired bodies of this crowded convoy. The foundation structures built on the side of the main road for the safety and accommodation of these caravans were called "caravanserai". In the inscriptions and sources of the caravanserais, it is also referred to as an inn, a range inn, or a ribat.
Ribat was the border barracks and bastions where the Turks who had converted to Islam kept their forces ready for "jihad", and various structures housed a military unit within a fortified perimeter wall.
In Turkish culture, it has been accepted as a duty to help passengers and travelers, regardless of their religion or race, and to provide convenience to them. This understanding, which lasted for centuries, continued after the acceptance of Islam by gaining a religious dimension. In fact, Islam's ruling that accepts good worship has made this tradition more attractive.
We know that caravanserais started to be built for commercial purposes, but when we look at the services provided, it is seen that there is a development that goes beyond the initial commercial purpose. So much so that the caravanserais became centers where Turkish cultural life and social life were brought to light at that time.
In the caravanserais, animals stayed indoors in summer, and people and cars stayed in open spaces. In winter, despite the decrease in commercial activity, people and animals shared the same space indoors. People stayed on the higher benches, and the animals stayed on the lower ones.
Depending on the size of the caravans, no money was taken from these people or caravans for three to seven days, and this period could be extended in extraordinary cases such as illness. In some caravanserais, money was always taken. Sick passengers were treated and their medicines were provided. In the caravanserais, everyone was served equally, regardless of the difference between free-slave, rich-poor, Muslim-Christian.
After this information we have given about the caravans, we can start to create our route gradually.
Our starting point will be Aksaray.
The main stops of our route will be the Seljuk Caravanserais, but one of the historical, cultural and natural riches that one should see on this line when going from Aksaray to Antalya.
we will talk.
The first settlements in Aşıklı , which is located in a volcanic tuff field in Aksaray Cappadocia, date back to BC. It started in the 8000's. Aşıklıhöyük is the oldest first village settlement belonging to the Aceramic Neolithic Period in Anatolia and the Near East.
Aksaray, which came under Seljuk rule in 1142, was conquered by the II. Many palaces, madrasas, zawiyas and caravanserais were built during the reign of Kılıçarslan. II. Kılıçarslan had a palace built and changed the name of Arkhelais to Aksaray, which functioned as the second capital.
On our way, there is one of the natural treasures of our country.
The formation of the valley started with the eruption of Hasan Mountain, a volcanic mountain, as a result of tectonic movements, and a large volcanic layer covering the surrounding surface.
Melendiz Stream advancing along the Ihlara Valley and the Canyon formed as a result of the collapse gained a greater depth by carving the floor of the valley. Melendiz Stream, which reaches a depth of 100-200 meters in places and flows by dividing the valley into two, reaches Tuz Lake by taking the name Uluırmak near Aksaray.
The frescoed churches carved into the rocks in the Ihlara Valley have been preserved and have survived to the present day as an unprecedented historical treasure.
As for the caravanserais,
During the Seljuk Period, approximately 20 km. on the east-west route, each at a distance of one day. The inns and caravanserais built at intervals are among the structures that best reflect the Seljuk architecture.
Four of the masterpieces made in this period in Aksaray have survived to the present day. These are Sultanhanı, Agzikarahan, Öresin Han (Tepesidelik Han) and Alayhan.
Sultanhanı, located on the 40th kilometer of the Aksaray-Konya road, was built by Alaaddin Keykubat in 1228-1229. It is a masterpiece of the Seljuk Period in terms of architectural stonework and decorative arts. The inns, which were established to ensure the safety of the Konya-Aksaray road, which is important in commercial and military terms, consist of summer, winter, masjid and barn sections. It is in the type of classical Seljuk inns.
Another point we should stop on our route is of course Salt Lake. With its magnificent view, its visitors are not missing, especially in summer.
Salt Lake, the second largest lake in Turkey, makes the city an important center of attraction with its visual aesthetics that it adds to Aksaray's natural and historical richness. The lake is a popular photo safari site. The lake is surrounded by swamps, and the land outside the swamp is barren. Its deepest point is 1 meter and its height above sea level is 890 meters. It has a very important place in salt production in Turkey.
In addition, the tombs of Sheikh Hamid-i Veli, known as Tapduk Emre, Yunus Emre and Somuncu Baba, await their visitors on this route.
Seljuk monuments such as the tomb of the Seljuk Sultan Kılıçarslan II, the Great Mosque and the Eğri Minaret are also important points.
The new target in Bozdağ National Park in Konya's Karatay District, where Roman period watchtowers were discovered, is the ancient theater and a double-lane stone road built 2,000 years ago. Wild sheep, which are on the verge of extinction, are kept under protection in the Bozdag National Park, which is 58 kilometers from the city center of Konya.
We see that every inch of land in Anatolia yields a wealth of wealth.
Konya, of course, is a completely different and privileged route. If we say that we need to leave at least 2 days, maybe the people of Konya will be angry, but unfortunately, we have seen the Mevlana Museum and left many times during our tours.
Be yourself, do not leave Konya without doing the following.
Before visiting ATEŞBAZ-I VELİ TOMB,
Without wandering around BEDESTEN BAZAAR,
Without seeing the magenta PINARI,
Without going to SİLLE,
Seeing the world's oldest landscape painting at ÇATALHÖYÜK,
Without visiting the ALAADDIN MOSQUE and KARATAY TILE WORKS MUSEUM
And of course, don't leave Konya without eating pide with meat.
If we count the inns and caravanserais on our way after leaving Konya:
It is on the Konya-Beyşehir road route, 17 km from the city center. The inn located in the distance of the Anatolian Seljuk period is important in that it is the first inn on the caravan route between Konya-Antalya and Alanya.
Located on the 30th kilometer of the Konya-Beyşehir highway, the work is dated 1207 AD and is in a very solid state in terms of plan layout and architecture.
The building, located at 44 km of the Konya-Beyşehir highway, belongs to the group of inns with an open courtyard and a closed section.
Yenice Farm Inn:
The open and closed parts of the Seydişehir Üzümlü Highway in Yenice Mahallesi Çiftlik area were built together and in an east-west direction.
Derebucak Ortapoyam Inn:
Located on the Derebucak-İbradı Highway, the inn provides the connection between Derebucak Tol and Eynif Tol Inn. It is a partially surviving example of the Seljuk period caravanserais between Kubadabad and Alanya.
Manavgat-Sırt Village Tol(Murtbeli) Inn:
Built on the Beyşehir-Alanya road route, this caravanserai is one of the Seljuk period inns lined up between Kubadabad and Alanya, as can be understood from the inscriptions found in Derebucak.
It is 30 km from Antalya within the borders of Alanya District of Antalya Province. It is located on the shore of the Alara Stream, which flows into the sea, away from
The building, which is the last destination of the Konya-Alanya Caravan Road, is located on a small hill within the borders of Konaklı Village of Alanya District.
We know that the routes to be determined by the caravans from Konya to reach Alanya and Antalya by the shortest route pass through the most suitable valleys of the Taurus Mountains, just like in ancient times. For this reason, the ancient road routes used by the Romans and Byzantines in the shipment of trade products transported from Konya to the ports on the Mediterranean coast were also used for the Anatolian Seljuk period trade. It is still possible to see the traces of these historical roads, which are especially easy to access and are not closed during the winter months.
The fact that the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I had the Kubadabad Palace built on the shores of Beyşehir Lake also contributed to the caravan route passing through here.***
Letter from which the names of the caravanserais on the Konya - Alanya route are taken ***CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE SELJUK CARAVANSERAILS ON THE ROUTE OF KONYA-ALANYA TO THE EŞREFOĞLU PRINCIPAL
This study is the updated version of the paper presented at the International Symposium on the History, Culture and Civilization of the Central Anatolian and Mediterranean Principalities - 1 Eşrefoğulları Symposium held on 11-13 September 2014 in Beyşehir, with new information added.