Turkey, World, Culture, Life

Rumi an ‘architect’ of peace in Anatolia

Sufi mystic among contributors to peaceful environment in Anatolia, says governor of Konya province

Rumi an ‘architect’ of peace in Anatolia A whirling dervish performs during a ceremony to commemorate Mevlana Jalaluddin al-Rumi, a Sufi mystic and Islamic scholar who lived in 13th century

By Melike Kinacı and Engin Ozekinci

KONYA, Turkey

Mevlana Jalaluddin al-Rumi, a Sufi mystic and Islamic scholar, was one of the “architects” of the centuries-long peace and tranquility in Anatolia, according to the governor of Konya province.

“Throughout our history, peace and tranquility has prevailed in Anatolia, the cradle of civilizations, and spiritual architects like Mevlana have a big share in it,” Yakup Canbolat said on the first day of events commemorating the 13th century philosopher.

On the 744th anniversary of his death, Mevlana is being commemorated at his burial place in Anatolia’s Konya province in a ceremony known as Seb-i Aruz or ‘reunion with the Beloved’.

Centered around the theme “Time of Brotherhood”, this year's celebrations are taking place between Dec. 7-17.

Beginning on Thursday with a visit to the tomb of Shams Tabrizi and Brotherhood March, the events continued with a Sema ceremony in the Mevlana Whirling Dervish Hall and later a Gulbang, or traditional collective prayer.

Mentioning the “constructive” and “unitary” messages of Mevlana, Canbolat said: “We think that differences among us are our richness. Putting all differences aside, we call on the whole world: It is a time of brotherhood.”

As part of the events, the 4th International Mevlana Symposium was held at Konya’s Seljuk University on Friday.

Speaking at a symposium titled “Mevlana and Brotherhood in the Muslim World”, Emrullah Isler, an Ankara deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party, underscored Mevlana’s status as a role model.

“During these days of need for brotherhood and unity, the leadership of people like Mevlana will enlighten our road and help us solve the problems we face,” he said.

The 10-day ceremony covers more than 1,300 programs including international symposiums, exhibitions, workshops, auditions, meetings and a Mevlana movie screening.

Mevlevi Ayin-i Sherif, a “whirling” act accompanied by music and characterized by certain rules, is also being observed during the Seb-i Aruz ceremony.

For the first time as part of the international commemoration ceremony, visitors can view an exhibition called “derviş çeyizi”, or dervish dowry, which displays the clothes of dervishes.

The program also includes Mesnevi lectures in Turkish and English.

The final day of festivities marking the night of Rumi's reunion with the Beloved will be attended by artists, scientists and Rumi lovers from both Turkey and abroad.

*Cansu Dikme from Ankara contributed to this story.

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