The desolated and untouched lands of the Central Anatolia have a quite different atmosphere; sometimes vast like Arizona, sometimes mysterious like the monasteries and caves situated at the sharp cliffs of the Taurus Mountains. While crossing the Taurus, crimson clouds cover the sky; the caves at the sharp cliffs are dark and damp; you run into women full of life and weaving rugs. A traveler had said once, “Don’t look down while passing through the Taurus, because all of the treasures are hidden in the sky.”

We are at the most important destination of our route: Karaman. The historical richness of Karaman comes from being populated significantly at all historical periods. The Beylic of Karaman was established by Kerümiddin Karaman as an independent beylic in 1256. Taking the lead of the Beylic in 1264 Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey is still being remembered by his edict issued in order to protect the Turkish language: “After today no one speaks other than Turkish at the palace, at the council, at social gatherings and at outings…” As a result of the Ottoman Empire’s establishment, the Conqueror Sultan Mehmet had The Beylic of Karaman joined to the Ottoman Empire in 1467.

The never aging young woman of the Karaman Museum…
We start our sightseeing from the Karaman Museum in this important city. The Museum is the home of a young woman’s body, which was thrown out of the Manazan Caves by the treasure hunters in the 6th or 7th century. The body is well preserved because of the ability of these settlements carved in tuff: keeping the air temperature and humidity stable. The young woman is wearing a dress and she has some patterned fabric pieces along with her.

There are many locations worth visiting in Karaman: the Karaman Castle, the Aktekke Mosque that was built out of ashlars, the Yunus Emre Mosque that attracts attention by its simplicity and its mausoleum which houses the symbolic coffins of Yunus Emre, Taptuk Emre, Yunus Emre’s son İsmail and Yunus Emre’s daughter, the Hatuniye Madrasah which Nefise Sultan, the wife of Karamanoğlu Alaadin Bey, had it built out of ashlars… Today, you may taste the delicious Turkish dishes at the Touristic Hatuniye Restaurant located at the madrasah.

There are ruins that reflect the art of medieval Byzantine on the volcanic Karadağ at the northern Karaman. Located at the entrance of a settlement known as Madenşehir, the Binbirkilise is the largest of its structures. Situated at central Karaman, the Tartanevi, which Hadji Ahmet Efendi of Tartanzades had it built in 1810, sets a fine example of the Anatolian Turkish residential architectural style. Amongst the baroque ornamentations, depictions like the Mosque of Sultanahmet, the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Maiden Tower, the Mausoleum of II Mahmut, paddle steamers, sail ships, which belong to westernization period of the Turkish painting, draws the attention.

600 year  old bazaar 
There is a unique bazaar located between the villages of Karaman’s Ermenek district, İkizçınar and Yaylapazarı: the Zeyve Bazaar. There are approximately 300 historical plane trees at the Zeyve Bazaar, which is a matchless open bazaar of Anatolia with its nearly 600 year old history. With its natural beauty, cold springs, settlements, authenticity, water mills, water powered sawmills and bakery, it is a place worth to see. The organic fruits and vegetables, which were grown by the locals, are marketed to the domestic and foreign visitors in here between the months of June and October. In addition, handicrafts unique to the region await for their buyers at this bazaar.

Center of the attraction at paragliding
While in Karaman, you may enjoy the alternative sports activities. The first paragliding activities at Karadağ situated at the city center took place in 2010. Two pilots, who were taken off from Karadağ at 242 and 262 kilometers flights, broke two separate records of Turkey. After this, paragliding pilots from Europe and around the world have been visiting Karaman to fly. Karaman has proved that Karadağ is one of the locations, which has the most suitable routes of the world in terms of aerial sports. It became the center of attraction with its great thermal characteristics and its geographical structure suitable for long and safe flights.

Watch Karaman from the Karaman Castle.

Definitely taste the Karaman’s famous calla dish, meat bread, arabaşı dish, batırık dish, şebit pilaf, tarhanabaşı dish, grape halvah, suböreği (layered pastry), guymak, Zeyve Kabob and bandırma with walnuts.

Visit the Yunus Emre Mosque located at the central Karaman and its mausoleum, which houses the symbolic coffins of Yunus Emre, Taptuk Emre, Yunus Emre’s son İsmail and Yunus Emre’s daughter