For all of the Whirling Dervish ceremony options in Cappadocia, click here.
Motif whirling dervish cappadocia
Have you ever had a ‘’mountain-top” experience?

I’m not quite sure where the phrase originated.

Maybe from the Bible where Abraham went to offer his son on the mountain and encountered God.

Or maybe where Moses went to Mount Sinai where God gave him the Ten Commandments.

Could it be Jesus giving a sermon on the Mount of Olives?

Wherever the saying came from, I know my “mountain-top” experiences have always had something to do with an encounter with God.

On a hilltop overlooking Avanos the Whirling Dervishes perform their worship service at the beautiful Motif Culture Center.

Manager Özgür Kürükçü helped me understand how the Dervishes came to Cappadocia.”The dance became popular among tourists. And tourists were coming to Cappadocia but there were no Dervishes. So in 2002 we brought the Dervishes to Cappadocia.”

Whirling dervish cappadocia kTLindSAyThe Dervish dance originated in Konya under the teachings of Mevlana (Rumi). As tourists became more and more fascinated with this religious ritual, it began to change from a worship experience to a tourist attraction.

However, as with the Saruhan Dervishes, the Dervishes at Motif Kültür Merkezi are performing as an act of worship. “We don’t serve food or alcohol. We don’t even allow picture taking” Özgür said in contrast to the Turkish Night shows that feature a 10 minute Dervish exhibition that is performed by dancers not a part of the Dervish order. In other words, the dancers at Motif are not in it for the money.

Thinking that Dervishes, like concert performers, or theater artists, drew energy from the crowd, I asked Özgür if it wasn’t hard for the dancers when there were just a few audience members. “You know it’s not like that at all. We’ve had blind people come, who can’t even see what’s going on, and they leave crying. The energy the dancers give off is amazing.”

I asked if there was anything Özgür would like to say to our readers to which he responded, “Don’t believe everything you hear from the media. You need to see Cappadocia. This is an incredibly hospitable place and you will feel like you’re in your own home.”

If you would like to experience a Turkish “mountain top” experience I recommend you take a night of your visit to Cappadocia and visit the Motif Culture Center to see a Whirling Dervish ceremony.

***Özgür has generously offered our readers a price of 15 euro instead of the standard 25 euro***

Dervish photo courtesy of KT Lindsay at this link: http://bit.ly/1KmaJsp

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Duke Dillard moved to Turkey with his wife and 6 children in 2007. He got an MBA at Bilkent University in Ankara, where they had their 7th child. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. We love Cappadocia and Cappadocians and want to help visitors make the most of their time here. You can connect with Duke on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or link circles on Google+. Click here to read more about Duke and his family.