Museum dedicated to Islamic scholar Mevlana breaks visitor record

Museum dedicated to Islamic scholar Mevlana breaks visitor record

KONYA - Anadolu Agency
Museum dedicated to Islamic scholar Mevlana breaks visitor record

The Mevlana Museum hosts hundreds of thousands of guests every year. Home to the tomb of the 13th century mystic Rumi, the museum is among the most visited museums in Turkey.

The Mevlana Museum in the central Anatolian province of Konya, which draws people from all around the world every year, broke a new record last year with 2.93 million visitors.

The museum, which is home to the tomb of famous 13th century poet and mystic Mevlana Jalal ad-din Rumi, hosts hundreds of thousands of local and foreign guests every year. Having a significant potential in terms of history, culture and faith tourism, it is among the most visited museums in Turkey.

Visitor number increases every year

Tourists flock to Konya to visit the tomb of Rumi, who give the messages of love, peace and brotherhood in his peoms. The number of visitors was 1,565 million in 2012 and it reached 2.93 million with 33 percent increase.

Konya Museum Director Yusuf Benli said after Rumi died, his tomb began to be constructed in the place of the museum. He said with additions through time, the tomb took its current shape and it was turned into a museum in 1926.

HDN Benli said the museum receives people from all over the world, with an increasing number every year, adding, “Last year’s figure was very good. Visitors come in different categories; those who come to the museum with regular tickets and the ones who make visits with the ministry’s campaigns or museum card. There are also some with institutional cards. Generally, the number of foreign visitors is over 450,000. The others are from Turkish provinces.”

Benli noted the increase in the number of visitors was caused by people’s love for Rumi. “We are working to offer a more comfortable environment in the museum for guests.”

The museum receives visitors from various parts of the world from the Far East to Europe Benli said, adding their profile changed monthly.

He said they had hosted nearly 60,000 people during the Şeb-i Arus (the night of reunion) ceremonies. “The modernization of museums and new presentations trigger tourism,” he added.

Mevlana, who is also known as Rumi in Western countries, was born in Balkh, now part of Afghanistan, and passed away in Konya, Turkey, where he was laid to rest. During his 66 years of life, he left a legacy of major works of poetry and prose, including “The Quatrains” or “Rubaiyat,” “Divane-Shams,” the great work of Shams and “Fihe Ma Fi,” a collection of mystical sayings.

He is better known for his six-volume “Masnavi Ma’navi” (spiritual couplets), which is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of both Islamic mysticism and Persian literature.