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MEVLEVİ TEKKE MUSEUM

 

The Tekke was built on a wide plot donated by Emine Hatun at the beginning of the 18th century. It is of regularly dressed stone, close to the Kyrenia Gate in Nicosia. In the course of time many of the essential elements of this building, whose purpose was similar to that of a monastery, have been lost. 

The original complex consisted of the meeting house (for religious music and whirling), the shrine, rooms for members of the sect, a kitchen and guest rooms; but only the meeting house and part of the shrine remain. It has undergone repairs in 1934, 1962 and 1967, and in 1963 it became the Nicosia Turkish Ethnographic Museum. On the left side of the entrance door to the Lodge there is a fountain still in use. In the niche formed by the pointed arch there is an illegible inscription, a water spout and a square through. From a door with a segmental arch near the fountain and bearing the inscription Ya Hazreti Mevlana (o hail the Prophet Mevlana) you enter into a yard. Turning right and right again, you come to the door of the square meeting-house. It is divided into two halves by arches which spring from two central shafts and which span the interior in both directions. The first half, nearest the door, is a rectangular space, the second half extends from the central shafts southwards where there is a mihrab and also the Dervish dancing floor and a wooden balcony to the north-the gallery from whence the music necessary to the ceremony was played. The gallery is reached by a wooden stair in the north-west corner. The oval dancing floor is at a level two steps lower than the rest, and surrounded by a wooden balustrade. The mihrab is a simple one of stucco and with a painted design of olive wreaths. In the centre of the largest wreath is written "We joined to chant prayers for you." The entrance to the shrines is through a door on the south wall of the meeting house, at the side of the mihrab. Four steps lead up to this long and narrow set of rooms where the tombs are laid out at right angles to the axis of Kyrenia (Girne) Avenue  outside. There are six domes over the shrines and a vault. The flat-arched windows on the east and west walls are glazed on the inside and barred on the outside. The last shrine has a segmental arched door opening onto the street. In these Shrines which are connected to each other by archways, there are sixteen sarcophagi of members of the Mevlevi sect. Although the identity of most is unknown, that of six has been ascertained. The first grave after the entrance from the meeting house belongs to Selim Dede from Damascus, who was Sheikh of the Lodge  from 1934-54; the second belongs to Ahmet Pasha, a professional soldier who is said to have given land to the religious house; the third belongs to a Cypriot Sheikh,  Celaleddin Effendi; The tenth To Arap Abdullah Effendi; the sixteenth to the calligrapher  Sheikh Fevzi Dede lived in the 19th century, he was a local sheikh and was buried here with his wife. On exhibit in the museum at the present time are grave stones of the Ottoman period, court records, Mevlevi costumes and musical instruments, carpets, imperial edicts, pictures and various ethnographic objects.