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Mevlana :

The great Turkish philosopher and poet Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi was commemorated on the 729th anniversary of his death with ceremonies held on 10-17 December in Konya. During the special “Mevlana Week” a series of conferences, meetings, panels and theatrical performances were held to promote various aspects of Mevlana's life. As a result of  the philosophies of Mevlana, Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli, Yunus Emre and other spiritual leaders, an atmosphere of peace has provided in Anatolia, the cradle of civilization. Mevlana can be thought of as not only a great mystic, poet and philosopher, but also one who demonstrated great tolerance for people of all faiths.

Every December foreign and Turkish tourists go to Konya to commemorate the death of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, who died on December 17, 1273. He is better known as the founder of the order of the Whirling Dervishes. 

Mevlana was born in 1207 in Bakh (in present day Afghanistan). Mevlana's father, Bahaddin Veled, left his homeland to escape the persecution of the Moguls. He first went with his family to Mecca and Medina and then to Asia Minor, seeking protection and asylum. Finally the family arrived in Konya in 1228 at the invitation of the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat. Bahaddin Veled, known as the “chief of all the learned” in Konya, became highly respected among the Seljuks. When he died in 1231, his son Mevlana was 24 years old. After Bahaddin's death, his followers and students began to gather around Mevlana. They regarded him as the sole intellectual and spiritual heir, and a source of inspiration. In the following years, Mevlana became a teacher in the schools of Konya. As a scholar and theologian, he became even more popular than his father.

In 1244 Mevlana met the dervish Şems-i Tebriz, or Shemseddin of Tabriz. This meeting marked the beginning of a great mystic love between the two men. The influence of Shemseddin changed the once sober-minded theologian, Mevlana, into an ecstatic mystic. He neglected his work in order to have meditative sessions with Shemseddin, which often lasted weeks.

Mevlana's family and also his students and disciples disapproved of this relationship. Shemseddin finally had to flee from Konya. Mevlana suffered greatly and tried all ways to locate him. In the end Mevlana's sons brought Shemseddin back to Konya. However after his return, the attitude of Mevlana's family and of his disciples toward Shemseddin did not change. Around 1247 he disappeared again and was never found. Speculations indicate, that he might even have been murdered. 

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