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The scientific research project titled “Mawlawi Culture in Turkish Music and Literature” is realized in 2020-2021. It was carried out within the body of Istanbul University and supported both by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey and Zeytinburnu Municipality. You may access all the works that came out as a result of the project with the contribution of many scientists and artists, on this website.

About the Project

Mawlawiyah (Mawlawi Order) has a history of more than 750 years. After it was institutionalized, the Mawlawihanes continued their activities in a very wide geography. Compared to the other Sufi orders, the central position of art and literature is the most outstanding feature of Mawlawiyah. In fact, Mawlawihanes have functioned as art education centers throughout history. More than 300 poets in Turkish literature were followers of the Mawlawiyah or trained in Mawlawi culture since the 13th century.

 In this respect, it is not a coincidence that the master of classical Turkish literature Sheikh Galip, and the greatest minds of classical Turkish music such as Buhurizade Mustafa Itri, Osman Dede, Ismail Dede Efendi, and many more, were also trained in Mawlawihanes. On the other hand, many artists and men of literature such as Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Halide Edib Adıvar, and Asaf Halet Çelebi were not directly affiliated with Mawlawiyah but due to their interest in both Mevlana and Mawlawiyah culture, this historical experience also influenced them.

One of the primary aims of “Mawlawi Culture in Turkish Music and Literature” project was to focus on the founding role of Mawlawiyah in Turkish music and literature through researches and publications, to evaluate the place of Mawlawi culture in Turkish literature, and to specifically address the effects of Sheikh Galip in both the classical and modern periods.

In the context of artistic production, the most important output of Mawlawiyah is undoubtedly the Mawlawi ceremonies at the juxtaposition of music and literature. Mawlawi ceremonies are among the most complex and qualified works of Turkish music in form and they are fueled by classical Turkish literature in their lyrics. However, today’s researchers and artists cannot utilize the most important and authentic written sources of these works that represent Turkish art and Turkish culture in the world due to reasons such as lack of means to access these documents, change in the alphabet throughout history and changes in the notation system. One of the primary aims of the project was to prepare these sources for publication and make them available for today’s researchers and artists, and to produce some sample works with the new archive of notes and lyrics compiled from the relevant sources. In this context, one of the sources studied for the newly created archive of lyrics and notes is Mawlawi Ceremonies Lyrics Majmua, prepared by Sheikh Galip at the end of the 18th century and later restored by İsmail Dede Efendi as it was damaged. The fact that it was prepared by a master, Sheikh Galip and then edited by another master, İsmail Dede Efendi makes the majmua a unique resource in its field. There is only one copy of the majmua and this manuscript is still present in the personal collection of Nasır Abdülbaki Baykara. This important manuscript, along with its transcription, original text, translations of the poems in it, and a comprehensive text analysis, was published for the first time as a part of this project. Another important work that has been studied within the framework of the project is by one of the important figures in the history of art and Mawlawiyah, Neyzen Emin Dede’s Mawlawi Ceremonies Majmua in Hampartsoum notes used in the Ottoman period. Within the scope of the project, the Hampartsoum notes in the majmua in the Süleymaniye Manuscripts Library Collection were converted into the notes used today. The transcriptions of the lyrics in the majmua created an archive and it was presented to the benefit of artists and researchers.