Apart from the obvious – exploring and capturing the streets of Istanbul, getting a chance to see a whirling dervish ceremony was a top priority for me. Famously known as Whirling Dervishes, the Mevlevi Order was founded by Rumi(Yes !, the Rumi we know for his poems and quotes) in the 13th century.
A quick Google Search will reveal to you, that in most cases, these have become more of shows for tourists. Appending ‘authentic’ to the search landed me on some blogs and I was lucky to find out about (Evrensel Mevlana Asiklar Vakfi) www.istanbuldervishceremony.com The Foundation of Universal Lovers of Mevlana, is one of many organisations established during the 1990s to reinvigorate the Sema and its spiritual significance.
They open their gates to visitors once a week, and have a limited number of seats, so prior booking is needed – Tickets are sold through Les Arts Turks.Les Arts Turcs.
What I got to experience here was priceless. Its like I was invited to experience the ceremony as it happens, and so the purity of the prayer can be felt. Those 2 hours spent there are simply unforgettable.