How glad for those who shed light into the darkness of thought.
Haci Bektas-i Veli
Haci Bektas-i Veli
Love and affection flow through our ever-burning heart,
Nightingales rejoice and roses bloom in our yard,
Hatred and fury are washed and away forever,
Linos and gazelles become friends in the serenity of our love.
Haci Bektas-i Veli
Monument of Bards, Cilehane
Painting of Haci Bektas-i Veli
Kirkbudak Candelabrum, Pirevi, Third (Hazret) Courtyard
Clock, Hall of the Kirklar, Pirevi
Entrance of Kirklar Pirevi
Dom of the Haci Bektas-i Veli
words, written by Haci Bektas-i Veli, the famous Turkish-Islamic mystic,
philosopher, and dervish from Khorasan, echo delicately in our ears as
we enter the dervishes' convent. The lines, fraught with meaning, impart
peace and love to our souls and transport us to worlds completely
different from our own. The stamp of Haci Bektas-i Veli's imprint upon
Turkish, Islamic, and world history is deep and unmatched. Let us,
therefore, attempt to become acquainted with and develop a sense for his
world, filled as it is with love for humanity and for the universe,
never forgetting that this is the path of love, the path of peace, the
path of knowledge, the path of belief. In Khorasan's city of Nishabur,
most likely in the years between 1243 and 1248, a son was born to Seyyid
Ibrahim Sani and his wife Hatern Hatun, the daughter of Sheik Ahmet. His
mother's compassion and his father's love for equality and humanity were
the foundations upon which his upbringing was based and such sentiments
informed and enriched his boyhood years. His studies under the tutelage
of Hoca Ahmet Yesevi of Turkestan equipped him with a knowledge of
positive scielices and in the school of his illustrious
philosopher-mentor, he studied mathematics and physics along with
literature and philosophy. Under Sheik Lokman Perende, one of Ahmet
Yesevi's successors, he studied mysticism. From the works of the poet
Omar Khayyam, Feridettin Attar, and Sheik Numan he took his inspiration.
Khorasan possessed a vast cultural heritage that had nourished many a
scholar and philosopher. Haci Bektas-i Veli completed his studies in
Khorasan, acquiring from them a broad and genial view of the world.
His education encouraged this young Islamic mystic to become
better acquainted with humanity, and Haci Bektas-i Veli began to seek
the fire of infinite love within himself. Becoming a well-known Sufi, he
set out from Khorasan to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. Leaving Mecca, he
traveled to Syria and then continued his journeys in Persia, Iraq, and
Arabia. During these years, Anatolia was in a state of severe political
and economic disarray. Haci Bektas-i Veli was affected by this situation
and came to Anatolia with the idea of restoring fragmented Turkish
unity, and took part in the effort to make the peninsula a Turkish and
Alevi, Alevilik, Cemevi
Alevi, Alevilik, Cemevi
length, Haci Bektas-i Veli reached Sulucakarahoyuk, the historical and
cultural center of the Kirsehir Akhis located in the heart of the
Cappadocia region. Forty kilometers from Kirsehir, this is the town and
county of the Nevsehir province, known today as Hacibektas.
Even before Haci Bektas-i Veli's arrival, the town and region
that he had chosen to make his home had had a rich and varied past. The
first human settlement in the area is as early as Neolithic times, and
the Hattis, Hittites, Mushkis
(a name used by Assyrians for those who came from the west), the
successors of Alexander the Great, Phrygians, Galatians, Romans,
Byzantines, and Turks have all successively dwelt in this historical
area and left their own, permanent traces upon it. The Turkish-Islamic
mystic decided to settle down in this place that had made a deep
impression on him some time between 1275 and 1280. After the Muslim
philosopher took up residence at Sulucakarah6yijk, Hacim Koy, a small
nearby hamlet of some seven hearths, began to grow and develop. In
Anatolia, these were the years when the Mongol invaders were advancing
and extending their control everywhere, years of political and economic
crises unattended by rulers who wasted their energies fighting with each
other over doomed and worth- less thrones. It is in the context of such
adversities and chaos that Haci Bektas-i Veli developed his philosophy
and decided to establish his own great haven of knowledge. Pupils
flocked to him and the wisdom that he imparted to them was based on four
fundamental tenets to be achieved in a sequence of steps:
of God: A person attains true maturity and peace only through the
love of God. They cannot be achieved in any other way.
on substance rather than on the superficial: Deep wisdom and the
knowledge of things related to God are special favors granted by God to
those whom He chooses. God never looks at the external manifestations of
the things you do but rather at your intentions when you do them.
and unity among people: The goods of this world gain a person
nothing. The only two things that illuminate one's way are divine and
human love. Those who reach the world of the hereafter realize this fact
once they've arrived there, but those of this world have no
understanding of what will be valuable in the next. The highest
attainable degree is the one achieved by a loving heart.
power of sanctity: One should cease to seek God in this place or
that. if a person believes that he has achieved sufficient maturity and
if he trusts the power of his vision, he should stop gazing around like
an absent-minded astrologer viewing the heavens. What is being sought is
not up but within, buried beneath a person's external appearance.
As may be seen from these stages of Haci Bektas-i Veli's instruction, this is a philosophical system based upon the principles of tolerance and love of humanity. Cappadocia, which was a major center of Christianity, was rather deeply influenced by this thinker's philosophy.
principles and elements of Haci Bektas-i Veli's philosophy and life
became the foundation on which the Bektashi dervish order developed.
Bektashism was based on four tenets or "doors": the Door of
the Shariah (Religious Law), the Door of Mysticism, the Door
of Truth, and the Door of Spiritual Knowledge. In their
Ceremony of Confession, Bektashis vowed to be responsible "for
their hands" (the things they do), "for their loins"
(their desires), and "for their tongues" (what they
say). This vow was a powerful and meaningful expression of the belief
that one's should be channeled towards love and respect. Love of God and
love of man lie at the foundation of Haci Bektas-i Veli's philosophy. In
this philosophy, the mystic examined the universe that the Creator had
created. Rules that nature had determined millions of years ago were
just as applicable as ever in an infinity in which courtesy and savagery
embraced. Since it came into being, humanity has been the greatest
observer of a perfect order. In this world, there is a securely anchored
chain of rule and order. Haci Bektas-i Veli was deeply influenced by the
perfection, harmony, and order that he observed in the universe.
all such questioning, the substance of Haci Bektas-i Veli's philosophy
converges upon a single point: the spirit that ensures the integrity of
the body always inclines towards love in its harmony with nature,
and because of this tendency, achieving divine truth through love
becomes inevitable. Love of God, of the universe, and of
humanity is, thus, the essence of his philosophy and in his dictum
"The end of the road that does not pass through knowledge is
darkness" he also provided the underpinning for his philosophy.
in his view, the world has been entrusted into the hands of human
beings, all of whom are brothers.
its heart, the philosophy of Haci Bektas-i Veli incorporates the same
substance as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
Bektas-i Veli's contributions to achieving unity among the Turks of
Anatolia were crucially important. Expressing himself in the language of
the common folk in order to make himself understood to as wide an
audience as possible, he was instrumental in ensuring that the core of
the Turkish language would survive. Henceforth Turkish, and not Arabic
or Persian, became the language of scholarship and instruction and the
language of ritual and court. Turkish folk tunes became composed songs
and were sung in Turkish accompanied by traditional Turkish instruments.
His efforts to protect Turkish language and culture from alien
influences continued until Haci Bektas-i Veli's dying breath. The
unifying and exalting principles that he incorporated into his teachings
became principles, which devoid of any bigotry or fanaticism were
perfectly suited to the times.
and find. Do not hurt even if you are hurt yourself.
•Educate your women. Control your deeds, tongue, and desires.
you seek, look for it in yourself. The adept are both pure and
first step of a talent is modesty. A person's perfection lies in the
beauty of what he says.
no nation or person. Do not impose on someone that which is too
burdensome for him to bear.
end of the road that does not pass through knowledge is darkness. How
glad for those who shed light into the darkness of thought.
Prophets and saints are God's gift to humanity.
words, which best sum up the philosophy of Haci Bektas-i Veli, are of
vital importance to the whole world. Haci Bektas-I Veli believed that
men and women should take part in daily life and worship together. One
of the best examples of this belief, one that survives even today, is in
the ritual dancing in which men and women worship God together with
music and with bodily movements matching that music. This ritual is one
of the fundamental forms of worship whereby it is possible to turn to
and reach God. Feelings well up sincerely through bodily movements
without any conscious concern for aesthetic considerations and
beautifully manifest themselves. This ritual is a living cultural
heritage handed down from generation to generation for centuries.
Bektas-i Veli took a great interest in the fine arts and regarded them
with compassion. The things that he taught in his convent were not empty
words to remain in the classroom, but instead were to be applied to
one's life. He was the author of a number of works that made great
contributions to the scholarship and philosophy of the
Turkish-Islamic world. Of these, Velayetname, an
autobiographical account of his teachings and thoughts, is regarded as
his most important work.
teachings and philosophy of life of Haci Bektas-i Veli, holy man from
Khorasan, enveloped all of Anatolia like a strong and loving embrace.
The common-folk had an enormous love and respect for this famous mystic,
who called upon all believers to come together and join in the worship
of God. He was present at the ceremonies held when Orhan, the second in
the line of Ottoman sultans, ascended the throne. As a young man, Orhan
had been deeply influenced by the great mystic's teachings. Paying a
visit to the mystic's convent, he asked Haci Bektas-i Veli for his
blessing upon a new military corps that he had founded. Under the
Ottomans, the disunity of the Anatolian Turks was brought to an end and
Haci Bektas-i Veli's pioneering efforts in the areas of religion,
language, art, and social services played a key role in achieving this
Just as we are unsure about the date of this great mystic's birth, the date of his death is uncertain as well, but he probably met his Maker in 1337. He was buried in a tomb located amidst a clutch of buildings in Hacibektas county that now serve as the Haci Bektas-i Veli Museum. The tomb building has seven doors, each one of which is somewhat larger than the one before it. This is said to symbolize maturity and humility. The layout and design of the tomb comply with Sufi (mystic) philosophy. The burial crypt is located seven meters below the floor level. The body is interred in a triple sarcophagus consisting of a waterproof.
Pirevi, Museum of Haci Bektas-i Veli
Balim Sultan Tomb and the cemetry
Ucler Fountain, First (Nadar) Courtyard
Fountain with a lion, Second (Dergah) Courtyard
Second (Dergah) Courtyard
Calligraphy, Hall of the Kirklar, Pirevi
Haci Bektas-i Veli Museum
Ucler (Threes) Gate and Tekke Mosque
Semah in the Second (Dergah) Courtyard
|Museum Of Haci
Haci Bektas-i Veli complex was opened to visitors as a museum on 16 August
1964 after restoration work undertaken by the General Directorate of Pious
Foundations. The complex reflects architectural elements ranging from the
13th to the 19th century. The complex consist of three main
sections, each built around a courtyard:the First or Nadar Courtyard, the
Second or Dergah Courtyard, and the Third or Hazret Courtyard.
FIRST COURTYARD, which used to be called the Nadar Courtyard, is
entered through the monumental Catal (Fork) Gate on the southern side.
Immediately to the right of the entrance is the Ucler fountain, decorated
with a seal-of-Solomon motif that was donated by Fatma Nuriye, the wife of
Grand Vizier Halil Pasha in 1902, when the convent was headed by Feyzullah
Dedebaba. Originally this courtyard contained a number of
service-structures such as a stable, a bakery, a bath, a latrine, a
guesthouse, and a laundry, none of which have survived.
SECOND COURTYARD, which used to be called the Dergah Courtyard, is
entered through the Ucler (Threes) Gate with its triangular pediment and
pointed arch. Unlike its predecessor, most of this courtyard's structures
have survived. Starting from the right, there are a fountain, the quarters
of the head of the refectory, a refectory, and the convent's mosque; in
the center is a pool and on the left, a guest-house, a meeting-hall, a
larder, and the quarters of the convent's leader.
statue of a lion on this fountain (the name means "Fountain with a
Lion") is carved in Alexandrine marble in the style of Classical
Egyptian art. It was donated to the convent in 1875 by Fatma Hanim, a
descendent of the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Kavalali Mehmet Ali Pasha.
The fountain in which the statue was set to 1554 and was donated in the
name of Malkoc Bali Bey, a governor of Silistre.
Baba Kosku ,
means "refectory" and in the convent's protocol, the head (baba)
of the refectory ranked second in importance only to the dedebaba, the
head of the convent. Today the structure serves as the museum's
to an inscription, this refectory was erected in 1560 and is another
donation in the name of Malkoc Bali Bey. On display are the famous huge
black cauldron, smaller cauldrons, and other kitchen utensils.
mosque was built in 1834 by Sultan Mahmud II. Despite its late date, the
mosque is in a very conservative style. From the inside one can see that
it is roofed with a dome; but outside, the dome is concealed by a low
conical cap sheathed with lead. The rather stubby minaret is not original;
it is the result of restoration work.
pool, located directly opposite to the entrance, has an inscription
indicating that it was built in 19o6-1908 by Nazli Hatun, the wife of H.
Mat Pasha, the governor of Beirut. The southern facade has a triangular
pediment surmounted by a twelve-lobed Huseyni crown. An ancient column
capital in the Corinthian order was used to support the fountain's jets.
guesthouse ("mihman" means "guest") was where visitors
were put up when the convent was active. Today it is used as the museum's
convent's meetinghouse or auditorium was one of its most important units,
for it is where all the important ceremonies such as admission, promotion,
etc were held. According to the inscription, it was originally constructed
in 1367 by Sultan Murad I but it has undergone much rebuilding and
restoration since. The construction technique employed in the ceiling of
the main hall is particularly interesting. On display here are hides
symbolizing the twelve stages of the order, calligraphic plates, the
Bektashi throne, musical instruments, paintings, old black-and-white
photographs, seals, and a variety of objects of an ethnographic nature.
two-storied building had a dual function. The ground floor was the
convent's larder and was where food and other supplies were stored. The
upper story served as the residence of the convent's leader. Today, the
building is used as a depot for the library.
also used to be called the Hazret Courtyard. It is entered through the
green-paneled Altilar (Sixes) Gate, which is surmounted by a low arch. One
corner of the courtyard is laid out as a small museum commemorating
Ataturk's visit; other elements include Pirevi, the Tomb of Balim Sultan,
and a cemetery.
is a small museum located immediately to the right of the entrance. It
commemorates Mustafa Kemal Pasha's visit to the convent on 22 December
1919 after the Sivas Congress.
Standing directly opposite to the entrance is Pirevi, the House of the Founder,being a complex of structures to which additions were made between the 13th and 16th centuries. On the left and right of the entrance are the graves of the babas (literally "fathers", sheiks) and dedes ("grandfathers", senior sheiks) who served at the convent. The elaborate marble portal, called Akkapi, leads into the central hall (Orta Medhal), which is decorated with painting. At the right is the Cilehane (the Cell of the Ordeal, also known as Kizilcahalvet or "Fiery Furnace"). This is the core of the convent for it is where novices underwent their ordeals before admission to the order. A rather modest-looking doorway leads into Kirklar Meydani, the Hall of the Forty, with its wooden ceiling and painted wall decorations. The famous Kirkbudak (Forty Branches) candelabrum may be of Indian origin and was probably a gift to the convent. Also on display are a chapter from the Quran in the handwriting of Caliph Ali, a silk carpet presented by the Shah of Iran, banners, sets of cups, the original silver door of the Haci Bektas-i Veli tomb, a few weapons, and various objects of an ethnographic nature that are associated with the culture and practices of the Bektashis. The graves of the Khorasan dervishes stand on the eastern side of this hall and those of the (Celebis (Mevlevi leaders) are located to the west. A modestly sized hut decorative marble door (known also as Gokesik, "Heavenly") leads into the Abode of the Founder, which is to say the Tomb of Haci Bektas-i Veli. The building is constructed in the Seljuk style of architecture and its domes and walls are decorated with paintings. The tall sarcophagus is draped in green cloths. From outside, the tomb appears to be roofed with a tall, conical cap sheathed in lead. The Tomb of Guvenc Abdal (abdal being a rank in the dervish order) contains the graves of Guvenc, his wife Dunya Guzeli, and their servants. The tomb is roofed with a vault whose decorations are not original.
the right side of the courtyard is another funeral structure in the Seljuk
style of architecture, this one roofed with a pyramidal cap. A novice in
the Bektashi convent in Dimetoka, Balim Sultan later joined this convent
and performed a number of important services on behalf of the Bektashi
order. For that reason, he is referred to among Bektashis as Pir-i Sani or
the Second Founder. In addition to the grave of Balim Sultan, this tomb
also contains the grave of Kalender Shah. The tomb itself was built in
1519, three years after Balim Sultan's death, by Sheiksuvar Ali Bey, the
head of the Dulkadiroglu clan and one of Selim I's military commanders.
The interior of the dome and the walls of the tomb are decorated with
paintings. On display are a candelabrum, the original door, and a number
of calligraphic plates. The venerable-looking black mulberry tree (Morus
nigra) before the tomb is a "wishing tree": According to an old
tradition, those who came to pray at the tomb bound a strip of cloth to a
branch of this tree in the belief that their prayers would be granted.
cemetery immediately next to the Tomb of Balim Sultan is the resting-place
of dervishes who served at the convent. The different styles of headgear
surmounting the tombstones indicate the particular sect to which the
occupant of the grave belonged and all are unique examples of
PLACES OF INTEREST
Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography
museum is located in the center of town about a hundred meters west of the
Haci Bektas-i Veli Museum. On display are archaeological finds discovered
during systematic excavations conducted at Sulucakarah6ybk in 1967-1976.
The museum is rather important because all the finds are from the
Sulucakara mound. It is open every day except Monday.
was the house of Kadincik Ana, a woman mentioned in Velayetname and a
personage of some importance among Bektashis. It is closed to the public
but permission to visit it can be obtained from the directorate of the
Efendi, the occupant of this tomb, died in 1603 but little is known about
him. The tomb's dome and walls are decorated with paintings. The building
is typical of the style of Seljuk-period tomb architecture.
is a cave located on Mt Arafat three kilometers east of town, which,
according to some, was used by Haci Bekta@-i Veli as an ordeal cell. A
local popular belief holds a person who passes through the hole in the
rock will be purged of his sins. Also on the hill are a sacred spring, the
Hact Bektas-i Veli, Yunus Emre, and Ozanlar (Bards) monuments, and a
theater seating 5,000 people.
site is located near Civril village about five kilometers north of town.
The five huge rocks (Bestaslar means "Five Rocks") are
geologically unusual and there is a legend told about them that is related
in detail in Velayetname.
Ataturk House is where Mustafa Kemal Pasha stayed during his visit here on
22-23 December 1919. Originally constructed in the 19th century, the
building is to be opened to the public as a museum after it has been
and Hanbagi are enticingly lovely recreational areas for picnics.
Hacibektas county is a part of the province of Nevsehir, a tourism
paradise in its own right. Located in the heart of ancient Cappadocia,
Nevsehir is an open-air museum thanks to such not-to-be-missed sites as Uchisar,
Avanos, Goreme, Urgup, Zelve, Derinkuyu,
Gulsehir, and Kozakli.
you look in Nevsehir and its counties you will find history, nature, and
local culture intimately intermingled. Churches that were important in the
history of Christianity, underground cities, and fantastic valleys and
fairy chimneys that are wonders of nature will keep you entranced as you
explore them. Hikes through the Cappadocia region will give you a chance
to become familiar with it. Trips made hundreds of meters off the ground
in colorful hot-air balloons over this magical region are an experience
you will never forget. Beneath a cerulean sky, the white clouds seem close
enough to touch. Below, you may observe fairy chimneys with pigeons
fluttering around them, mysterious valleys linked to one another, and rock
and cliffs worked into sinuous, and fantastic shapes by the elements.
Cappadocia is an art gallery in which Mother Nature has displayed all her
talents and holds visitors spellbound in her thrall.
just one of the many alluring elements of a trip to Nevsehir is the breathtaking array of local handicrafts whose venerable traditions are kept alive and whose products are to be found on display everywhere. Pottery-making is quite an advanced craft in Nevsehir and one comes across an amazing variety of forms such as vases, dishes, bowls, mugs, in which artists have immortalized the calm and fury of their souls with the skill of their hands. The ancient art of carpet weaving is vigorously alive with its traditional motifs, vibrant colors, and time-honored techniques. Nev§ehir is also an ancient center of viticulture and winemaking. Its local wines have a distinctive and unmistakable bouquet and flavor that seem to capture the spirit of the countryside. Naturally made, fermented, and aged by means of traditional methods, the wines produced from the grapes of Nevsehir's vineyards are popular with local and foreign tourists and are often served up in locally-made pottery carafes and cups. ...
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