Why Turkey’s president was among thousands in Konya paying homage to Rumi

Source: The Washington Post

 Nestled in Turkey’s Anatolian heartland, Konya is both an economic boomtown and a bastion of conservatism — a modern Turkish city with deep Islamic roots.

It is also the birthplace of the Mevlevi Order and its whirling dervishes, a symbol of mystical Islam. And each year, the city swells with pilgrims paying homage to Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th-century Konya scholar who brought Islamic mysticism into the mainstream.

On corners dotted with historic mosques and in teahouses across the city, Rumi’s followers gather here every December on the anniversary of his death. They sing, visit his tomb and watch the hypnotic whirling of robe-clad dervishes, representing man’s spiritual ascent to the divine.

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