South Koreans among top tourists to Rumi museum in Turkey


Rumi's museum next to a mosque in Konya

Rumi’s museum and the Selemyie mosque in Konya

Konya: South Koreans are among the top five tourists who visited the museum dedicated to Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi, the famed 13th century Sufi poet and scholar, in central Turkey.

The figure of South Korean tourists to the site and the country is likely to increase sharply as Turkey has seen more than a 40% rise in the number of South Korean visitors in the first five months of this year, compared to the same period in 2018.

In the period from January to May, 84,000 South Koreans visited Turkey, up from the 59,000 tourists who visited the country in the same period in 2018, according to Culture and Tourism Ministry figures.

Almost 750 years after his death, Rumi who famously said “Make peace with the universe. Take joy in it” continues to fascinate fans of his Sufism.

According to official Turkish tourism and cultural figures, more than 2.8 million people last year visited the site in Konya’s central Karatay district, making it the third-most popular museum in Turkey.

Only Hagia Sophia Museum and Topkapi Palace, both in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, have attracted more local and foreign tourists, Anadolu Agency reported.

The other four top countries with frequent visitors to the museum are Iran, China, Taiwan and the U.S.

The number of visitors is steadily increasingly and has over the past six months jumped by 13%. Abdussettar Yarar, the provincial culture and tourism director, said.

“Our activities continue to promote the historical, tourist, and cultural heritage of our city, especially Mevlana Rumi,” he told the news agency.

When Rumi passed away on December 12, 1273, he was laid to rest near his father. The Green Dome, the site of Rumi’s tomb, was added later.

The Mevlana Dervish Convent and Tomb opened in 1926, and in 1954 became the Mevlana Museum.


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