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“Do not seek our graves on earth after our death.

Our grave is in the hearts of wise men.”



Interview: Mustafa Ali ÖZSES

Mevlana (Rumi), who summarized his life with the words "I was raw, I became cooked, then burnt " passed on Sunday, December 17, 1273 for eternity. Mevlana accepted death as a rebirth, and when he died, he would come together with the being he loved, that is, God. For this reason Mevlana called the day of death “Şeb-i Arus”, which means the wedding day or the bride's night.

“He who is good for people is the best of people. The best of the word is that which is concise and understandable. I bequeath you to be afraid of Allah, in secret and in the open, to eat less, sleep less, speak less, abandon your revolts and sins, fast, keep praying, constantly leave sensuality,  be patient against the sufferings caused by all creatures, not to sit together with stupid and ignorant people, and  be together with good-behaved and mature people” he says in his will.

After the death of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, his son, Sultan Veled, founded Islamic lodges called Mevlevihane (Mevlevi Lodge) which were attended by the members of Mevlevi sect at the end of the 13th century. The Mevlevi (Mawlawi) lodge is usually planned in the form of a complex. In the center there is a hall of whirling dervishes, and a tomb, cemetery, Meydan-i Sharif and a small mosque in the surrounding. The Mevlevi lodges cultivated people in many areas and in addition they introduced a culture especially intertwined with Istanbul. Sultans, craftsmen and viziers, in short people from virtually every social group benefited from the Mevlevi culture, contributing to its survival culture up to the present day.

In the 19th Century, five out of  eighty two Mevlevi lodges operating within the boundaries of the Ottoman State was in Istanbul. The first Mevlevi lodge in Istanbul,  Galata Mevlevi Lodge, was built by Mihaloğlu İskender Pasha in 1491 during the reign of Sultan Bayezid the 2nd (1447 - 1512).

Galata Mevlevi Lodge also known as Galata or Kulekapısı Mevlevi Lodge or Galipdede Lodge in the Ottoman period is located on the Tunnel Square in Beyoglu just in the left handside downwards on Galipdede Street. Mevlevi Lodge is one of the most important Ottoman monuments in Beyoğlu along with the "Galata Palace Enderun-u Humayunu" which was established in 1481. Mevlevi Lodge structures affected by the 1509 Istanbul earthquake called "Little Doomsday" has undergone many repairs and renovations from the beginning of 17th  Century and has become a great complex at the end.

Mevlevi culture has left deep traces in our culture. Especially in music; undoubtedly melted in this pot, many music lovers were raised and the largest form of music, namely the ritual form has been formed by the light of Mevlevi culture. In Galata Mevlevi Lodge Şeb-i Arus and Mevlevi Rituals are performed under the general art direction of Hezarfen Sanat Art Institution. We had an invaluable conversation about our Mevlevi culture, Galata Mevlevi Lodge and music with Ney Player Salih Bilgin, our master and ambassador of this unique culture, who makes best efforts to introduce this culture every year, and put it down on paper for you.