Contemporary Mevleviye in Turkey from the perspective of new religious movements: “New Mevlevis” of İstanbul and Konya

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2018

Thesis Language: English

Student: Hande Gür

Supervisor: BESİM CAN ZIRH


Mevleviye as a religious order is established in Anatolia after the passing of Rumi in the 13th century. Thenceforth, Mevleviye has been a great influence in the spiritual lives of people. However, until today, it experienced many changes. The closure of dervish lodges in 1925, return of the religion to the public sphere in 1950s, and the emergence of new religious movements in 1970s and 1980s in Turkey may be listed among the factors behind Mevleviye’s transition from a religious order to the individualistic spiritual path of today. This thesis benefited from the literature of new religious movements to be able to understand the “newness” of contemporary Mevleviye. As a part of this ethnographic study, throughout 2017, I interviewed, ate, prayed and even lived with my informants who I address as “new Mevlevis”. And this is their story.