Konya, the city of whirling dervishes • Turkey

Dive into Konya's spiritual heart with a 14-minute visual journey showcasing its mesmerizing mosques, the hypnotic dances of the Whirling Dervishes, and the monumental Mausoleum of Mevlana. With over 5,000 years of rich history, Konya, Turkey is a tapestry of ancient civilizations and spiritual traditions. Learn about the mystical Sufism branch of Islam, and witness the poetic legacy of Mevlana, the influential Sufi mystic, poet, and philosopher. Experience the harmonious blend of faith, culture, and art as you delve into the realm of the Dervishes and the melodies of Sufi music. This is Konya – a city of reverence and mystique.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Turkey • Cappadocia 2014

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Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.

00:46 • Some mosques in Konya

02:17 • Whirling Dervishes




Konya has been inhabited for over 5,000 years, according to archaeological excavations carried out in the region. The region has experienced various influences during its long history, starting with that of the Hittites around 1500 BC. Then, it was successively Phrygian, Cimerian, Persian, Greek, Roman before the arrival of the Seljuk and Karamanid Turks.

A very long history for this city which is also the cradle of the order of the Whirling Dervishes. This is also what largely makes its international reputation today.


the Dervishes


The term Dervish, which means "poor, beggar" in Persian, designates a person who follows the Sufi ascetic path. Dervishes can be compared to mendicant Christian, Buddhist or Jain orders or to Hindu sadhus.




Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam. As an individual practice, Muslim mysticism has existed since the time of the Prophet. There are several movements in Islamic mysticism, including that of the Mevlevi (whose members are commonly referred to as "whirling dervishes"), founded in the 13th century by Jalal al-Din Rumi, also known as Mevlana.

Members of the mevlevi order often held official positions in the caliphate, but could not combine positions in the caliphate with high responsibilities of teaching disciples during dervish meetings.




Mevlana means "my master" in Persian

Mevlana was a Sufi mystic, but also a great poet and philosopher. Born in Balkh, in present-day Afghanistan, in 1207 Jalal el-Din Rumi died in Konya in 1273. This Persian, son of a renowned Sufi theologian and master, greatly influenced Sufism and earned the title of Mevlana. Mevlana is like Buddha, a religious title.

At the age of 12, Mevlana fled her country before the arrival of Mongol troops in Central Asia with her family, finally settling in Konya where her father exercised important functions in a madrassa, built especially for him by the sultan. Mevlana succeeded him on his death. Mevlana was then 24 years old.


the whirling dervishes


The Mevlevi order was founded shortly after the death of De Jalal el-Din Rumi by Husam od Dîn Chelebî and Sultân Valad and enjoyed great prestige during the 700 years of Ottoman rule in Turkey. At the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the order was dissolved by Kemal Attaturk in 1926. The whirling dervishes were again authorized in 1954, even if a certain folkloric side prevailed over the deep mysticism animating the first members of the Mevlevis. .

Music and dance are two major arts in the eyes of the followers of Mevlana. One of the most spectacular manifestations of the mevlevis is the sama, a spiritual concert and mystical choreography. The traditional instruments are the ney (flute), the daf (tambourine) and the tanbur (lute) and the dances of the dervishes symbolize the movement of the stars worshiping god.


Konya Landmarks


Konya shelters the mausoleum of Mevlana which was transformed into museum by Kemal Attaturk as well as some remarkable mosques.


about the place, Konya:

Konya is an important city in Turkey, located in the southern part of Central Anatolia. The city has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC. In Roman times, Konya was known as Iconium. 

Konya is currently the seventh most populous city in Turkey. The city reached its peak under the Seljuk Turks from the 11th century. In the 15th century, the region was integrated into the Ottoman Empire.


What's the weather like in Konya?


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Spoken comments in the film: 

Konya, in southern Anatolia in Turkey, is a very important city. Not only is it the seventh in Turkey by the number of its inhabitants, but it is also the cradle of the Muslim mystical brotherhood of the Whirling Dervishes. Founded in the 13th century, the Mevlevi movement (name given to the disciples of Mevlana) has perpetuated its tradition until today, however with a period of interruption, corresponding to the secularization of the country at the fall of the Ottoman Empire.



 (Turquie)  - Sufi Music form Turkey - Yahi in Makam Dugah 

Selimiye Mosque, Konya • Turkey
Selimiye Mosque, Konya • Turkey

Selimiye Mosque

Mausoleum of Mevlana, Konya • Turkey

Mausoleum of Mevlana

Sufi graves near Mevlana mausoleum, Konya • Turkey

Sufi graves near Mevlana mausoleum

whirling dervish ceremony at the Mevlana cultural center, Konya • Turkey

whirling dervish ceremony at the Mevlana cultural center

Kenya, Turquie

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