Yenikapı Mevlevihane & Museum

December 8th, 2009  |  This Post Is Published in Cultural & Museums, Historical Landmark


Yenikapı Mevlevihane

Yenikapı Mevlevihanesi, is the second dervish lodge the Mevlevi Tariqat brought into existence to follow the Galata Mevlevîhanesi in Istanbul.

The Yenikapı Mevlevihane, a convent founded by the same order outside the city walls on the inner side of the city, is known for the musicians, composers and poets it produced throughout its history. One of the last sultans, Mehmed Reşad V (1909-1918), himself belonged to the Mevlevi order and he had certain additions to this important convent built, including a circular mosque in the Turkish neo-classical style. This large complex of buildings, which should have been carefully preserved, was subjected to ignorant misuse by persons who did not appreciate its value and finally on 3 September 1961 the beautiful and ornate semahane, in which the rituals took place, was burnt down and the most important part of the complex destroyed.

This Mevlevîhane located in the Merkezefendi Mahallesi area, leads those large scaled complexes the tariqat acknowledges as “Âsitâne”.
Both for the vastness of the land it rests and for the diversity of the buildings in its body, it is accepted to be the most comprehensive Mevlevî complex in Istanbul.
This Yenikapı Mevlevîhanesi was built about a hundred years after the Galata Mevlevîhanesi in 1598 by Janissary Chief Khalif Malkoç Mehmet Efendi.


In early 20th century anti-Abdulhamid freedom thoughts were speedily spread among the dervishes.  As a result of this the lodge suffered a major damage by a suspected fire in its stables in 1906.  After having remained so for five years, they began to restore the lodge by the enthroning of Sultan Reşad, who was a Mevlevî himself.
The semahâne (where Mevlevî dervishes perform their whirling dances), şerbethane (sherbet) and the turbeh of the Mevlevîhane which was turned into a student hostel in the first years of the Republic, were completely lost by a fire in 1961.
The timber complex, which was caused to be built by Sultan Reşad and consisting of a masjit, matbah, selamlık (men’s section in a building, opposite for hareem) and dervish cells also suffered from a fire in 1997 and it is also waiting to be restored.

Map & Directions

Address: Mevlevihane Caddesi
Merkez Efendi Mahallesi, Zeytinburnu
34015 Istanbul

Please note! Yenikapı Mevlevihanesi is not at Yenikapı, which is on Sahil Yolu. Instead, it is at Merkez Efendi mahallesi, which is on E-5 motorway and outside the ancient walls (surlar) at Topkapı.

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