THE BEKTASHI GRAVESTONES IN THE ELMALI-ABDAL MUSA LODGE


Karacag A.

TURK KULTURU VE HACI BEKTAS VELI-ARASTIRMA DERGISI, vol.57, no.57, pp.99-130, 2011 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 57 Issue: 57
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Journal Name: TURK KULTURU VE HACI BEKTAS VELI-ARASTIRMA DERGISI
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.99-130
  • Keywords: Abdal Musa, Ottoman Gravestones, Bektashi Gravestones, the village of Tekke, Elmali
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

This study analyzes the Bektashi graves and gravestones of the Elmali-Abdal Musa Lodge which belong to the Ottoman period. This analysis is made from the viewpoint of art history. The study tries to identify the place of these elements in the Turkish gravestones by drawing the site plan indicating the current situation, by producing photographic documentation and by discussing the gravestone typologies and their ornamental features. Totally there are 150 graves in the lodge. Fourty of them, which carry inscriptions, belong to the Ottoman period. The other graves do not have inscriptions so their possessors are unknown. These unidentified graves are restored into a single type during a process of renewal. Two graves, on the other hand, have reached today in their entire original layout. Among the identified 40 graves, 38 of them belong to males while 2 belong to females. One of the gravestones dates back from the 17(th) century (1699 A.D.) while the others date to the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries. Almost all of the gravestones that we have analyzed belong to people performing various duties inside the Bektashi Lodge. The inscriptions on the gravestones give significant information on the identity, profession and status of these people. At least some of the people who had worked here between 1699-1919 can be identified through the inscriptions. 23 gravestones carry no information about profession / status while the other 15 belong to 3 keepers (turbedar), sheikhs (postnisin), 2 cooks, 1 nakib (a kind of sheikh specialized on the descendents of the Prophet) and 1 khalif. Between 1699-1919, besides 11 grandfathers (dede), 6 fathers (baba) and 8 dervishes, there are also 3 gravestones which inform about the homelands. The inscriptions do not include family names. The most frequently observed male names are Mehmed-Muhammed, Ali and Huseyin. This study aims to determine the place of the above mentioned gravestones within the Ottoman period gravestones with respect to form and ornamentation. Another objective is to contribute to the research on the Alevi-Bektashi sects by unfolding the gravestone inscriptions as unique documents..