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Mevlevi Whirling Dervish Hall and Museum of Divan Literature

Update: 02 March 2010

This Mevlevi lodge was founded in 1491 by Mevlana’s grandson Sema-i Mehmed Dede. Later on, when it was reduced to ashes it was rebuilt upon the order ...

Come, come, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come, even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.”

Mevlâna Celâlettin Rumi (Mawlana Jalaluddin)

Mevlevi (whirling dervishes) philosophy is doctrine of the famous Turkish philosopher Mevlâna Celâlettin Rumi, who was born in 1207. Mevlevi thought is based on Sufism and its basic principle is to give up all the worldly pleasures and ambitions for full “spiritual refuge and enlightenment” to enable the “human being to find oneself”. Mevlevi lodges are the places where this lifestyle is lived and taught.

Among the most important present day Mevlevi lodges in Istanbul is the Galata Mevlevihanesi situated in Tunnel area.

Galata Mevlevi lodge is significant building not only because of the spiritual value, but also because of its architecture... Just at the entry of its yard there is a circular archway. On this archway there is Sultan Mahmud II’s monogram. Another work of art you can see on this arch is an epigraph belonging to the poet Lebib. 

Halet Efendi Library and Hasan Ağa Fountain are also at the entrance of the place. Şeyh Galip's mausoleum, who was one of the most important figures of Mevlevi order, is also located in this yard, and at the end of this yard there are the 'semahhane (semah hall)', 'selamlık (men’s quarter)' and 'dervish cells' sections.


Museum of Divan Literature
In the Museum of Divan Literature, located within Mevlevihane, instruments belonging to Turkish music and Mevlevi culture are exhibited with respect to the poet and musician Mevlevis, who has lived with music and art for centuries.

There are Sema (whirling) ceremonies in the Mevlevi lodge each Sunday and on the first and last Saturdays of each month. The ceremonies are performed at 15.00 from September to May, and at 17.00 from May to September. You can watch these ceremonies by paying 25 YTL.

We would like to remind you that the Mevlevi Lodge and the Museum of Divan Literature are open everyday except Tuesdays. The entrance fee for local visitors is 1 YTL, and for foreign visitors 2 YTL

Sema ceremonies
Dervish Lodge continues its activities today as well. Inthe special ceremonies organized for visitors, articles are read mentioning about Mevlana philosophy, the musicians perform Sufi music and then sema starts. Whirling symbolizes a spiritual coming and going. 

This whirl is performed from the right to the left around the heart and it means embracing all creatures with love and affection. During the ceremony, the soul leaves the world and unites with God freely, with an excessive joy.
 
While whirling, the right arms are open, directed to the skies, ready to receive God’s beneficence, whereas the left hand is turned toward the earth.  Therefore, God’s spiritual gift is conveyed to the people, upon looking with the eyes of God.

Address: Tünel Galip Dede Street No: 15 Beyoğlu
Telephone: +90 212 245 41 41

 

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