Construction of annex in ‘rose garden’ of Rumi Museum stirs debate
KONYAPlans to construct an additional building on the premises of the royal “Rose Garden” (“Gülbahçesi” in Turkish) has stirred debate in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, following the discovery of ancient tombs and bones during excavation works, Doğan News Agency reported on May 21.
The construction has already been temporarily suspended by the Konya Metropolitan Municipality, but as officials have indicated the project will restart once the recovered tombs are put under protection.
Secretary-General of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi’s Grandchildren Foundation, Mehmet Çipan, however said there were tombs all over the project’s site, even at places where tombs were said not to exist, adding that the municipality should halt the construction completely.
The Rose Garden at the Seljuk Palace was gifted to Mevlana’s father Sultanü’l-Ulema Bahaaeddin Veled by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad, when Sultanü’l-Ulema died on Jan. 12, 1231. Çipan said he is buried in a grave in the museum. It was the first burial to ever take place in the Rose Garden.
Çipan said it was widely known that the tombs of the ancient whirling dervishes were located in the Rose Garden.
“It is very odd that they see the tombs ruined during the excavation works surprising. Those graves are not a surprise. Although we have in the past warned them many times and it is widely known that every corner of the museum is a tomb, where these excavations were undertaken,” he said.
“What were these excavations done for? For 50 female and 50 male toilets. For a show room and offices,” he said.