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The Istanbul Mevlevihane Museum (Museum of Divan Literature) was established in 1973 in the Galata Mevlevihane.

One of the first mevlevi dergahs (Mevlevi dervish retreat) in Istanbul was the Galata Mevlevihane. Iskender Pasha built it in 1491. And the first sheik (head of a dergah or tekke) was Safayi Dede from Sinop. In 1765 the Mevlevihane was burned down and rebuilt. In 1791 the famous lyric poet Seyh Galip was appointed as sheik of the Mevlevihane. The last sheik was Ahmed Celaleddin Dede. After the Republic the Mevlevihane was closed down and abandoned until 1965. Repairs and restoration were completed and it was organised as the Museum of Divan Literature. The works of the school of Mevlana were collected. In the tombs and graves of the Galata Mevlevihane are buried famous scholars of the order of Mevlana such as Ismail Rusuhi Dede of Ankara, Sheik Galib, Esrar Dede, Halet Efendi, Fesih Dede, and Gavsi Dede. The entrance to the library is on the right of the entrance.


The "sema" is a ritual dance in which the Mevlevi dervish whirls gently and endlessly, eyes closed, with one palm raised to the sky and the other facing earth. It is a ritual portraying boundless spiritual love, thus embracing the entire universe.

A whirling dervish illustration

Museum of Divan Literature

Galipdede Caddesi, Tunel

Telephone: 90-212-2454141 | 90-212-2435045

Open daily except Mondays , 09:30-17:00



©2003 ISTANBUL PORTAL. All Rights Reserved.

Crazy As We Are: Selected Rubais from Divan-Kebir
Jewels of Rememberance: A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance Containing 365 Selections from the Wisdom of Mevlana Jalaluddin
The Whirling Dervishes: Being an Account of the Sufi Order Known As the Mevlevis and Its Founder the Poet and Mystic Mevlana Jalalu'Ddin Rumi (Suny)
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The Foundation of Universal Lovers of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi
Where is ISTANBUL ?
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  Area: 5.712 kmĀ²
  Population: 7.309.190
  Museum of Divan Literature is 15 km from Ataturk Airport