Saturday, March 18, 2017


Sultantepe, Üsküdar - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'50.6"N 29°01'44.4"E / 41.030722, 29.029000

 photo sultantepe_lodge107.jpg


The lodge, also known as Hacı Hoca Tekkesi, is located across from the large grove in Sultantepe. Abdullah Paşa who was the governor of Maraş, built this lodge and invited Sheikh Abdullah Efendi from Samarkand to come here. People from Bukhara and candidates for the pilgrimage, joining the "Sürre Alayı" in Üsküdar to go to Mekka, were accomodated in this dervish lodge of the Nakşibendi order.

One of the most important historical sites of the neighborhood is the Özbekler Tekkesi (Uzbeks' Dervish Lodge), first built in the 1750s for pilgrims from Central Asia, possibly on the place where such pilgrims traditionally pitched their tents. The tekke was run by the Naqshbandi order and was rebuilt in 1844. A part of the building still serves as a convent for whirling Mevlevî dervishes.

The Ozbekler Tekkesi, a dervish monastery, is located on a steep hill in the neighbourhood of Uskudar. The monastery belongs to an Uzbek Nakshibendi Sufi order. Today, the tekke is in the hands of Ethem Ozbek, the grandson of the last Sheykh of the order. The tekke was established by Hezarfen Seyh Ibrahim Efendi, the man responsible for bringing the art of calligraphy to Turkey from Uzbekistan.

In the past, Uzbeks on their way to the Haj would first come to Istanbul to pay their respects to the Caliph, that is, the Sultan who would give them symbolic permission to set out on their pilgrimage. Sultan Mustafa III presented the tekke in Sultantepe to the Nakshi Sheykh in recognition of this service.

When İbrahim Edhem Efendi, the most famous sheikh of the lodge, gave a handmade candlestick to the first secretary of the Sultan Abdülhamid had the lodge restored and built a workshop for handicrafts next to it. İbrahim Edhem Efendi trained talented young people in carpentry and iron-work here.

During the War of Independence, the lodge also acted as a secret logistic center that forwarded guns, ammunition and volunteers from İstanbul to Anatolia. İsmet İnönü, the poet Mehmet Akif, Halide Edip Adıvar and many more people stayed overnight in this lodge before setting out to Anatolia. It played a role in the Turkish War of Independence as a refuge and meeting place for members of the resistance, communications center, hospital, and weapons depot.

To the northeast of the lodge is the tekke's cemetery, which holds the graves of the tekke's shaykhs and others associated with the tekke. Among those buried there are Münir Ertegün, Nesuhi Ertegün, and Ahmet Ertegün. At the entrance to the cemetery is the tomb of Ali Rıza Efendi, about whom nothing is known except that he died at age 15. There is a graveyard that belongs to the lodge. To the left of the lodge there are ruins of foundations that date back to Byzantium.


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