3 Best Performing Arts Venues in Cappadocia and Central Turkey, Turkey

Konya International Mystic Music Festival

Held annually from September 22--30, the Konya International Mystic Music Festival hosts free nightly performances of mystical music and dance at venues around the city. Performers have come from as far away as India, Korea, and Mali and have included big names on the world music scene, such as Zakir Hussain and Kayhan Kalhor.

Mevlâna Festival

Each December, thousands of pilgrims from around the world descend on Konya for the Mevlâna Festival, which includes sema performances and other events commemorating Mevlâna Celaleddin Rumi. The program, which usually lasts about 10 days, culminates with an intense finale on the night of December 17—the anniversary of Rumi’s death, considered his “wedding night” with God. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the website of the Konya Culture and Tourism Office, or contact a local travel agency, such as Selene Tour, to make arrangements. Be sure also to make hotel reservations well in advance, as accommodations are limited and fill up quickly.

Mevlâna Kültür Merkezi

The huge, rather grandiose Mevlâna Cultural Center has a performance hall that seats 2,600; it hosts free sema ;performances every Saturday night at 7 pm. The center is also the venue for many of the events in the Mystical Music Festival in September (free) and the Mevlâna Festival in December (admission charged). Tickets for semas can be obtained at the center on the day of; tickets for festival events can be arranged through travel agencies or the Konya tourism office.

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