Whirling Dervishes

Author’s note: For last week, I wrote a post on the state of Turkey’s economy in which I criticized the country’s tariff policy that prevents the importation of quality electronics. In a bout of comically absurd irony, the post was deleted when my hard drive crashed and I was unable to get it fixed because the necessary parts could not be imported or purchased.

Last weekend we traveled to Konya, a large city on the Anatolian Plateau. Konya was the capital of the Seljuk Empire, but it is best known as the home of Rumi, the great Persian poet and Sufi mystic. He founded the Mevlana order of Sufi mysicism. This order is best known for its whirling dervish ritual.

The ceremony begins with the Sheik giving his blessing to each whirling dude.

We happened to be in town for the 804th anniversary of Rumi’s birth and were lucky enough to witness this elaborate ritual performed in his honor. Also, through some stroke of Georgetown connection magic, we got to meet Rumi’s great great great… (x26) granddaughter before the ceremony. 

Red light. The spinning begins. Whirlers keep one hand up to receive from God and the other pointing down to transmit to the earth

Green light. Starting to get dizzy.

Blue light. It's pretty cool, but you get the idea

The feeding frenzy that is my life continues unabated. The group went to visit a local noblewoman (or something like that) on her estate. She served us a breakfast made entirely from ingredients grown and prepared on her land (and by she I mean her servants). It was an unbelievably delicious selection of jams, olives, cheeses and oven-fresh bread.

The eating never stops.

Finally, we visited the archeological site at çatal hüyük . This one of the oldest and best preserved neolithic settlements in the world.

Çatal Hüyük (yeah I know how to use the fancy Turkish letters now)

More to come from my exciting trip to south eastern Turkey, stay tuned!

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