Whirling Dervishes and Magnificent Mosques

Konya, Turkey

Konya is the home of the whirling dervishes. Their founder Rumi, was a philosopher and wrote many poems…this verse struck me as one the world could really embrace… “Come, whoever you may be, even if you may be an infidel, a pagan, or a fire-worshipper, come. Ours is not a brotherhood of despair. Even if you have broken your vows of repentance a hundred times, come.” (Replace Infidel etc with whatever religious group you please!) Today, I shuffled past Rumi’s sarcophagus with hundreds of Moslem Women in the Mevlana Museum. Their devotion and faith moved me…and then tonight we watched the whirling dervishes…not whipped into a frenzy as I had imagined, but in a slow almost meditative dance. Yesterday we wondered why so many people were converging on the city centre as we were walking out towards the park. It was May Day and in Turkey it is a public holiday. Seemed like thousands of workers with slogans, caps and banners were all heading for the Mevlana to pay their respects. The crowds were amazing.

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