A locale’s inclusion in a James Bond film may well be worth its weight in gold. The latest 007 feature Skyfall is perhaps far from an exception. Its star-studded showcase of scenic spots in Turkey, such as Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, the coastal resort of Fethiye and the South Eastern city of Adana, provide ample fodder for a serious case of Ottoman wanderlust. However, in December, travellers’ impetus to visit Turkey may be more about Elysian lure.
Such aforementioned spiritual sensibilities are perhaps best epitomised in the enchanting and profound poetic works of 13th century poet Rumi (known in Turkey as Mevlānā), whose final resting place was Turkey, on 17th December 1273.
From 7-17th December, Turkey honours this spiritual scribe’s life with events taking place throughout the country. The most notable and popular of these celebrations is the Whirling Dervish Festival in Konya (the location of the Mevlānā Museum, and Rumi’s tomb). One of Rumi’s colourful poems summons the spirit of the whirling dervishes: “Dance, dervish dance, bring the face of God before you. Only love can lift the heart up so high that its true colour is restored by the sun!”
Another work, one of his best known and loved pieces is ‘The Silent Articulation of a Face’ which includes the evocative lines: “A tiny spider tries to wrap an enormous wasp. Think of the spiderweb woven across the cave where Muhammad slept!”
Visitors may ignite all the aforementioned influences with a visit to Cappadocia, one of Turkey’s most magnificent regions and its ‘heartland.’ A previous Bond incarnation, Pierce Brosnan, was shot at in the area during filming of The World is Not Enough. Visually aligned with the exotic Bond aesthetic, magical caves formed by volcanic rock are a highlight of the area, which is home to the 5-star Cappadocia Cave Resort and Spa Hotel. From there, Konya, the centre of the Rumi festivities is a four-hour bus ride away.
Goreme Bus Schedules available at Turkish Heritage Travel