Konya prepared to host thousands in Mevlana ceremonies

11th, 2014
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Konya prepared to host thousands in Mevlana ceremonies

Konya is expecting an influx of more than 50,000 local and foreign visitors to the city to help celebrate the 736th anniversary of the death of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi. Though these ceremonies previously took place on Dec. 1-17, this year’s ceremonies will be shortened to 10 days and run on Dec. 7-17.

 

The Konya Governor’s Office, the Konya Municipality and Selçuk University’s Rector’s Office held a joint press conference to inform the public about the activities surrounding the upcoming Mevlana ceremonies. Speaking at the Dedeman Hotel, Konya Governor Aydın Nezih Doğan said this year’s program would be enriched by both Mesnevi lessons and various exhibits. Governor Doğan also noted that book lovers who attend activities surrounding the Mevlana ceremonies would be treated to seeing and hearing writers Elif Şafak and Ahmet Ümit, whose recent works dealt with the subject of Mevlana. Doğan then called on all Konya residents to help support these ceremonies for Mevlana, which operate on an international level and are the most important cultural program carried out by the city.

Konya Mayor Tahir Akyürek spoke about how the ceremonies had turned into an international cultural festival that promoted the city to the world, while also noting that the efforts of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu — who is originally from Konya himself — had meant that this year many international statesmen would be attending the ceremonies. To this end, Mayor Akyürek said he expects around 50,000 guests to come to Konya for this year’s festivities.

In response to a question about foreign state-level representation in Konya for the Mevlana ceremonies, Governor Doğan noted that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs was dealing with this aspect of the program and though there was no clear information on exactly who would be coming, preparations were continuing without interruption.

Speaking after Governor Doğan and Mayor Akyürek, Konya Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Mustafa Çıpan provided information about the general flow of the ceremonies and program, noting that this year’s festivities will open with a Sufi music concert featuring well-known artist Ahmet Özhan. Çıpan also said that every day of the 10-day festivities will feature different Mesnevi lessons and sema (whirling dervish) shows.

Çıpan also noted that the Mevlana Culture Center will hold exhibitions of foreign and local artists’ pictures, photographs, calligraphy, ceramics and other works of art as part of the Mevlana festival. Other noted parts of the December program will include a female chorus singing Sufi music, a Western mystic music concert, two screenings of documentaries based on Mevlana, poetry readings and an international symposium on Şems-i Tebrizi.

As part of preparations for Konya’s upcoming December Mevlana-related festivities, posters in Turkish, English and Farsi have been prepared by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and sent to the appropriate points abroad for further promotion of the events. In addition, the Konya Directorate of Culture has prepared a series of Web sites aimed at promoting the festival. Çıpan noted that all those interested can obtain further information and details about the program from www.konyakultur.gov.tr.

Resource: Today’s Zaman

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