Konya Kultur Sokagi
Konya Kultur Sokagi
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Paul D
Varanasi, India36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Solo
“Either seem as you are or be as you seem”
Hazrat Mevlana Mohammed Jalal al-Din (Rumi)

Unlike most of my travel in Turkey to date, coming to Konya was a premeditated plan. I had an appointment with the Mevlivi (aka the 'Whirling Dervishes' which is a western appellation). There was something drawing me to this place, one of the longest continually habitated cities in the world, and perhaps the 'holiest' place in Turkey.

My first and lasting impression of Konya was that it is a city that knows itself and its place in the world. A prosperous centre, it has a proud and long history, and of course at its heart is the heritage and ever-presence of Mevlana (Rumi).

A dervish is actually a Muslim sufi ascetic, often travelling around the countryside being supported by the faithful, not unlike a saddhu in Hinduism. The Mevlivi derive from their 13th century founder and sufi saint and poet, Mevlana (Rumi). Rumi, who was probably Persian, settled in Konya where he became the head of a medrese. The belief is that Rumi would stroll in the gold market and get inspired by artisan's hammering to start a slow meditative dance, which developed into a prayerful trance as he started swirling around in ecstasy. This form of union with god became formalised over time into the Mevlivi dance tradition. Today it has become exploited in places like Istanbul as a 'tourist show' business. But in Konya, the real thing goes on, and the government (maybe also for ulterior motives) has patronised the Mevlana tradition through the building of a huge modern Mevlana Cultural Centre where every Saturday night the Mevlivi do their thing (for free). Meanwhile Konya is steeped in Mevlana tradition, both for tourist development (as witnessed by the numerous restaurants and hotels and other businesses bearing the name) and Muslim pilgrimage. Rumi is revered here as the saint he was, and an impressive Mevlana Museum hosts his tomb.

It was time to attend the Mevlivi. I had to check my cynicism in response to the plush new 'Mevlana Cultural Centre' complete with huge posters of the Turkish Prime Minister and local Mayor boasting their patronage in getting this place built. The auditorium is huge and replete with 'state of the art' lighting and sound acoustics. But despite all, once the Mevlivi entered the arena, I was taken to a place of bliss and tranquillity. The 'swirling' is not as fast as I had expected, but just right in its hypnotic impact. The beat and drone of the accompanying musicians perfects the illusion of heaven on earth. The reverence and centredness of the Mevlivi shone through. The practice of Mevlana dance, as it has evolved into a strict discipline, is called Sama. It was borne out of spiritual ecstasy and exuberance, firstly as a spontaneous outpouring without any certain method or ceremony. Later it was systematised to become Sama, the 'Noble Ceremony'. The followers of Rumi became a formal 'lodge' with codes and set practices for living and organising their practice (Sama being just one manifestation of their devotion to god). I left the 2 hour and 4 part Sama floating, and walked back to the city and my hotel in my own kind of trance.

I spent my last morning in the Mevlana Museum Centre (which also houses Mevlana's tomb). Being prone to either not noticing signs or not understanding them, I started taking pictures of the tomb itself (because it was surrounded by beautiful decor and I did not actually realise it was Mevlana's tomb), only to have a security guy yell across the crowd that photography was forbidden.

I left Konya with a good feeling... a feeling that I would return one day.
Written August 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mehmet C
Ankara, Türkiye25,627 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
During our trip to Konya on October 21, we visited the Mevlana area. There was a street in the place we stopped by. The lighting at night was nice. There are cafes and nice restaurants. Also, there was a parasite with an inverted umbrella. It was a small section of a beautiful street. We liked it very much. It has entrance and exit controls. You cannot see it from everywhere. Be careful about that.
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Written October 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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