In Turkey, the faithful have been honouring the memory of Mevlana, the famous poet and philosopher who died seven hundred and five years ago.
GV Large figure of whirling dervish in street of Konya (2 shots)
CU Shops with whirling dervishes souvenirs (3 shots)
GV Alaedden Mosque (2 shots)
GV Seljuk ruins
GV Women in traditional peasant garb
GV Mevlana Mausoleum (3 shots)
SV PAN Pilgrims arriving at mosque
GV Pilgrims changing shoes before going into the mosque (3 shots)
SV PAN People leaving mosque
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Turkey, the faithful have been honouring the memory of Mevlana, the famous poet and philosopher who died seven hundred and five years ago.
SYNOPSIS: The focal point for the ceremonies is the town of Konya where Mevlana was buried. Whirling dervishes were an essential part of Mevlana's philosophy. He was a strong believer in the virtues of music and dance as a means of abandoning one self to one's faith. And into the brotherhood of his disciples -- the Mevlevi -- came the whirling dervish. They performed their complex and highly significant dance as a ritual expression of the union of man and God.
Konya's history goes back some three thousand years before Jesus Christ. It was the capital of the Seljuk Empire which was later expanded by the `Cousins' of the Seljuks -- the Ottoman Turks -- to become the Ottoman Empire. It was the last of the Ottoman rulers -- Kemal Attaturk -- who proscribed the public activities of the Mevlevi Sufi Brotherhood. In his attempt to bring modern western civilisation to his country in the 1920's and `30's, public displays of religious rituals were forbidden,. It wasn't until 1954 that the ban was lifted.
The Mevlana mausoleum and nearby mosques draw pilgrims from all parts of the world, perhaps because of Mevlana's philosophy. His doctrine advocated tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness and charity and awareness through love. To him and his disciples all religions were more or less good. Muslim, Jew and Christian were all held in the same regard. All faiths were regarded as roads leading to the truth. Mevlana also endorsed equality among the sexes.