The whirling dance or Sufi whirling that is proverbially associated with Dervishes, is the practice of the Order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sema. The Sema is only one of the many Sufi ceremonies performed to try to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana). The name Mevlevi comes from the Persian poet, Rumi (born in Balkh, modern day Afghanistan), whose shrine is in Turkey and who was a Dervish himself. This practice, though not intended as entertainment, has become a tourist attraction in Turkey.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii) is a historical mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.
It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction.
A person taking a Turkish bath first relaxes in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.
The hamams in the Ottoman culture started out as structural elements serving as annexes to mosques. However they quickly evolved into institutions unto themselves and eventually, with the works of the Ottoman architect Sinan, into monumental structural complexes, the finest example being the "Çemberlitaş Hamamı" in Istanbul, built in 1584. Seen in this photograph.
View of the Ottoman Neo-Baroque style Mosque on the Bosphorus, as seen from the Ortaköy pier square.
Ortaköy has had an important place in the daily life of the city during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. In the 16th century, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent encouraged the Turks to move to Ortaköy and live there, which marked the beginning of the Turkish presence in the neighbourhood. One of the oldest buildings in Ortaköy is the Turkish Bath built by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in 1556.
Only in Istanbul would the construction of the "New" Mosque have been finished in 1663 (it was inaugurated in 1665). The mosque is visible from the Galata Bridge were this couple is standing, and is only dwarfed by the Süleymaniye Mosque on the horizon.
A hookah, also known as a waterpipe is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled and filtered by passing through water. The tobacco smoked is referred to as narghile or sheesha in the United States and Canada. Originally from India,hookah has gained popularity, especially in the Middle East and is gaining popularity in North America, South America, Europe and Australia.
Here men can be seen smoking in a cafe in the popular area of Tophane, Istanbul, 2009
In the Arab world, people smoke narghile as part of their culture and traditions. Social smoking is done with a single or double hose, and sometimes even more numerous such as a triple or quadruple hose in the forms of parties or small get-togethers. When the smoker is finished, either the hose is placed back on the table signifying that it is available, or it is handed from one user to the next, folded back on itself so that the mouthpiece is not pointing at the recipient.
Here men can be seen smoking in the popular area of Tophane.