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Choreographies of Shared Sacred SitesReligion, Politics, and Conflict Resolution$
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Elazar Barkan and Karen Barkey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169943

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169943.001.0001

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Secularizing the Unsecularizable

Secularizing the Unsecularizable

A Comparative Study of the Haci Bektaş and Mevlana Museums in Turkey

(p.336) 10 Secularizing the Unsecularizable
Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites

Rabia Harmanşah

Tuğba Tanyeri-Erdemir

Robert M. Hayden

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents a comparative study of the Turkish shrine complexes of Hacı Bektaş Veli in Hacıbektaş and Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi in Konya. Both sites were major focal points of so-called heterodox or Sufi practices during the Ottoman period, both were closed by the early Republican government in 1925, and both were later reopened as museums. It is argued that the transformation of the Hacı Bektaş and Mevlana sites into museums actually manifests several forms of control by the state. In certain ways the state protects and preserves the complexes, but in others it limits and even prohibits the ritual use of the shrines by non-Sunni Muslims while subtly facilitating Sunni practices within them.

Keywords:   Turkey, museums, sacred sites, secularism, religious sites, Sunni, Sufi

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