The Mevlevi Tekke Museum of Whirling Dervishes
The Mevlevi order belongs to the Afghan poet Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, born in 1207, whose parents moved to and settled in Anatolia at his early age and became a professor of history, theology and jurisprudence at the age of 24.
His teachings focused on the individual soul’s separation from God during worldly existence, and the power of Divine Love to draw it back to the infinite on death.
Rumi also urged on music and dance as an expression of this mutual love, and the Mevlevi order became famous over the centuries for its whirling ceremony.
Originally, Mevlevihane consisted of buildings and extensive grounds. There was a kitchen providing food for the poor, accommodation for 18 dervishes and guest rooms for visitors. Below the domes were tombs for departed sheiks.
The accommodation section of the Tekke was converted into a hostel in 1956 for Turkish children under care. Having been closed in 1961 and reopened in 1963 the Cyprus Turkish Museum, it exhibited calligraphy, imperial edicts and weapons as well as costumes of Mevlevi dervishes and tombstones. What remains of the original Tekke is the semahane, where the dervishes performed their dance, and the tombs of the sheiks. Almost everything else was demolished when a shopping centre was built in 1970.
After renovations to the semahane and the tombs of the sheiks, the Mevlevi Museum was officially opened in 2002, with dervishes whirling once again .