More than 600 years the brotherhood of the Mevlevi determined the spiritual life in the ottoman empire. The mission of the sufism gave birth to wellknown poets, musicians, theologians and politicians. Orient travellers noticed the Mevlevis mainly because of their “Sema“, the ritual whirling dance. The brotherhood of the “Whirling Dervishes“ became the worldwide symbol for oriental mystizism.
The roots of this religious-philosophical school are going back to one of the world’s finest poets, the mystic Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi. Born Afghanistan, he lived in Istanbuland died 1273 in Konya/ Turkey. Still today the teke in the neighbourhood of Galata in Istanbul, is one of the sacred places of the Mevlevi brotherhood since the 13. Century, is existing and one of the meeting places of GALATA MEVLEVI ENSEMBLE. The tomb of Mevlana Celaleddin-I Rumi in Konya is one of the most prestigious pilgrim places of the sufi world.
Only after the death of Rumi the brotherhood of the Mevlevis was formed during centuries in the todays exitisting way: the whirling dance became the important aspect in the life of all Mevlevi members and the world famous symbol of sufi traditions within oriental cultures.
In 1922 the Mevlevi brotherhood was forbidden by the laizistic Atatürk governement, but continued working as secret society until the 1980th.
Since that the GALATA MEVLEVI ENSEMBLE recieved a lot of encouragement and positive reception by young musiciens and dancers. They are performing regulary in the in Istanbul and they are touring - for limited periods abroad - under spiritual and artistic leadership of Sheik Nail Kesova. They keep the important music tradition and the spiritual dance ritual alive.
In 2008 the Mevlevi Ceremony “Sema” had been inscripted on the UNESCO list of Representative Intangible Cultural Hertitage of Humanity.