Mevlevi Tekke

Mevlevi Tekke

The building to the South of the Kyrenia Gate was constructed towards the end of the 16th century by Arap Ahmet Pasha after the conquest of the island by the Ottomans. The commander of the conquering army, Lala Mustafa Pasha, Arap Ahmet Pasha, and the first Kadı and Mufti of the island were members of the Mevlevi order (order of dervishes founded by Mevlana Celaladdin Rumi, called also the "whirling dervishes"). Inside the building, there are tombs and a semahane (dervish meeting-house for religious music and whirling).

Until Ataturk banned the lodges in 1920, it served as a Mevlevi Lodge; its last sheikh ? or head of the order ? died in 1954. At the entrance to the lodge there is a headdress, a panel and a fountain. Sixteen Mevlevi sheiks are buried in the six tombs in the building. The building which constitutes a different aesthetic sight in the city centre is now used as a museum of ethnography.

Location: Nicosia