“There is no need to discriminate between religions. Religions cause disputes among people. In fact, all religions aim to provide peace and brotherhood on earth” says Bektashi Veli in his opus…

He who comes with patience and God,
Stands by our side.
He who works with morality and wisdom and passes us,
And stands our side’. Yunus emre says

See all people as equals,
See the humble as heroes


Area: 6.570 km²

Population: 253.239 (2000)

Kırşehir city, which is a scene for various civilizations for thousands of years is not only drawing attention with various historical pieces of art, underground cities, but also with its rich thermal sources, Seyfe Lake (Bird Paradise) like natural beauties.

An ancient city, with a history starting with the Hittites, situated in the Central Anatolian Region, is Kirsehir, 181 km from Ankara. In the middle ages, it was famous as the center of the Ahi Brotherhood, which is a Moslem sect based on discrete ideals that have moral and spiritual effects on Anatolian society.

 The founding father of the brotherhood was Ahi Evran, who lived and died here. The mosque and tomb carrying his name are constructed side by side, and are among the many fine buildings of Kirsehir. The Cacabey Mosque of 1272, which was previously used as an astronomical observatory. Kirsehir is an attractive city also with its natural beauties, like long rivers and greenery. The Hirfanli Dam Lake is an outstanding place with a beautiful view, and opportunities for fishing. The thermal springs of Avci, Terme, Karakurt and Bulamacli are examples of both historical sites and fine resting spots. These spa centers possess effectively curative waters, and are worth a visit by the those suffering from various illnesses. On Lake Seyfe 167 kinds of water birds have been spotted, and the sighting of 320,000 flamingos, is well worth a mention.

Kırşehir, formerly Macissus (also spelled Mocissus and Mokissus) and Justinianopolis, is a city in Turkey It is the capital district of the Kırşehir Province According to 2000 census, population of the district is 115,078 of which 88,105 live in the city of Kırşehir

The history of Kırşehir dates back to the Hittites The Romans called the city Macissus, and after the city was rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-565), it was renamed Justinianopolis This name was retained until the end of Byzantine rule The Turks took the city in 1071 and bestowed the current name In Turkish, "Kır Şehri" means "Steppe City" It became the chief town of a sanjak in the Ottoman vilayet of Angora, which possessed 8000 inhabitants, most of them Muslims

In the 19th century, Kırşehir was attached to the sanjak of Ankara In the year 1921, Kırşehir was made capital of its own province Kemal Atatürk visited the city in 1921 and 1931 Kırşehir was once known as "Parnassos" or "Mikissos" During the period of the Hittites, the basin of Kırşehir was known as the country of "Ahiyuva" This basin also took the name Cappadocia at the time of the Romans and Byzantines

It became a province in 1924 On 30 May 1954, it was accepted as a district of Nevşehir Later, the towns of Kırşehir were divided between Ankara, Yozgat and Nevşehir In 1957, Kırşehir became a province again

Haci Bektasi Veli

Haji Bektashi Veli, united the Christian residents of Anatolia and Turkoman migrants with their educational and developmental activities and played an important role in the formation of cultural unity and central authority in Anatolia. Some holy men migrated to Anatolia, settled on mountains and empty crossroads and opened dervish lodges there. These institutions settled on empty land gradually became centers for culture, development and religious thought. In this manner, religious congregations spread everywhere, rules of morals, good breeding, attitudes and beliefs reached a high standard, knowledge and science were both produced and spread in these centers. The administration encouraged such holy men to settle in villages, and their educational activities gave them some privileges. As a result, even in the most desolate places in Anatolia, dervish lodges emerged, and with the effect of the education they provided, a common cultural structure began to form.

Haji Bektashi Veli was one of those figures who came to Anatolia from Khorasan with this purpose in mind. He was born in Nishabur, Khorasan in 1248, spent his childhood in Khorasan, and was trained in philosophy and social and positive sciences at Hodja Ahmed Yesevi’s school. After traveling to Iran, Iraq and Arabia, Haji Bektash settled in Sulucukarahoyuk in 1275/80.

At that time, Anatolia was under Mongol occupation, there was a severe social and economic crisis and fighting for political power. In that difficult climate, Haji Bektashi Veli settled in Sulucakarahoyuk, developed his philosophy and began to teach his students. His tolerance and human love based philosophy reached many people, and were taken up by them in the important center of Christianity of Cappadocia.

Any road that doesn’t follow science, ends in darkness,
Give education to women,
Control on your tongue, hands and waist,
The greatest book to read is man himself,
Honesty is the door of a friend,
Being a teacher is to give, not to take,
The universe is for man, and man for the universe,
Science illuminates the paths of truth,
We travel in the way of science, comprehension and human love,
Clean where you’ve settled and deserve the money you’ve made,
Let’s be one, be big and energetic,
Don’t hurt anyone, even though you’ve been hurt,
Don’t ask anyone for anything that would be difficult for you to do,
Don’t blame any nation or individual,
Blessed are those who illuminate the darkness of thought,
Keep on searching, and you’ll find,
The beauty of the face consists of the words you speak,
Don’t forget that even your enemy is human,
The biggest God-given miracle is work,
In the language of friendly conversation, you can’t discriminate between man and woman,
Everything God has created is in order,
To us, there’s no difference between man and woman,
If you think there is, you’re mistaken.

His thoughts are based on human love and human existence. This vision is similar to the 1948 Charter on Human Rights. His thoughts were also shared by M. Kemal Atatürk 600 years later, and the Turkish Republic was built on the principles of secularism, democracy and respect for human rights. His thoughts are still alive and still lighten the way for many people.

It’s not the trivet but the fire gives the heat,
The miracle is not in the crown but in the khirkah (woolen garment worn by a dervish)
Whatever you’re searching for, search in yourself,
It’s neither in Jerusalem, Mecca nor in the Hadj.

“There is no need to discriminate between religions. Religions cause disputes among people. In fact, all religions aim to provide peace and brotherhood on earth” says Bektashi Veli in his opus “Velayetname”. Bektashism, which originates from Haji Bektashi Veli’s ideas, aims to comprehend the unity of “Universe, God and Man” based on human love. Man is ornamented with divine characteristics. The first step to success is to know yourself and love yourself because man harbors divine qualities within himself, and the man who loves himself also loves God. This quatrain explains Bektashism’s understanding of love in the clearest way:

Students hew stone,
They hew and present it to their master,
In every inch of the stone,
They call God to mind.

Man is independent. His duty is to behave modestly and to feed, refine, mature and fill his spirit with love of God. Bodies are only tools for the main purpose. So discriminating between men and women or classifying people according to their social status or race is a huge mistake. Man or woman, all of mankind is equal. Haji Bektashi Veli’s views are still alive today and celebrated with excitement every year on the 15-17th August in the Haji Bektash region of the province of Nevsehir.


Another institution that contributes to Anatolian culture unity is ahilik. (rules, manners, attitudes of people sharing same profession) Ahi, who came to Anatolia with the Yesevi dervishes, preferred cities to rural areas because they had professions. Ahilik (being an Ahi), is not only a professional organization but also a sacred institution with its own rules, traditions, conformities and secrets. Ahi Evran Veli was a holy man from Khorasan, like Haji Bektashi Veli, who united Anatolian Ahis and made them an organized force. Ahi Evran’s wife, Sister Fatima (known as Woman Mother) set up the first woman’s organization in the world, “Baciyan-i Rum”. Ahis gathered in Ankara and Kirsehir under the sheik of Evran in the 13th century and spread to all Seljuk cities. Ahis played an important role in the formation of the Ottoman state, and to some researchers they even counted Osman Gazi, who founded the Ottoman state, his son Orhan Gazi and Sultan Murad I among their numbers.

Equality between members is the first Ahi rule. All members are brothers. On the other hand, the institution has many internal rules, and beginners have great respect for their elders. To become a member, one must be invited by an Ahi and people with bad reputations or who have dubious jobs can never be accepted. For example, murderers, people who kill animals (butchers) or people who have committed adultery are not allowed to be members. As with Bektashism, becoming a member is celebrated with a special ritual. In this ritual, the Ahi candidate wears a special belt (Sed) and members instruct him to treat everyone equally and honestly. Absolute affiliation and eternal obedience is expected from all members. Atheists and religious fanatics are not allowed to join. As with Bektashism, the Ahi goes through many stages in which he learns patience, purification of the soul, loyalty, friendship and tolerance.

In addition to these qualifications mentioned above, there are six important principles:

Open your hand (be generous to everyone),
Share your food,
Open the door of your house when somebody needs shelter,
Close your eyes (don’t be led astray by the artificial beauties of the world),
Control your waist (Don’t be a victim of your sexual impulses),
Control your tongue.

He who comes with patience and God,
Stands by our side.
He who works with morality and wisdom and passes us,
And stands our side.

There are many degrees in Ahism. In these, the student learns professional skills, Sufism and religion, reading and writing, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, music, mathematics and the Constitution of Ahi “Futuvvetname” .

The nine degrees of the Ahi are:

Young fellow
Experienced Apprentice
Grand Sheik

Although the Ahi institution has now weakened, it is still officially celebrated every year on the second Monday in October.


According to the inscription over the crown gate; the Cacabey Astronomy Medresse, which is located in the center of Kırşehir, was built in H. 671 / C.1272-1273 by Kırşehir Governor Nureddin Cibril Bin Cacabey during the period of Anatolia Seljuk Sultan Kılıç Arslan’s son, II. Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev. The building was used as observatory during that time.

There is a crown gate on the north facade of medresse, which is used as the entrance and reflects the special features of the Seljuk’s period.

On the northeast of the building there is the dome of Cacabey that is constructed adjacent to the medresse and on the southwest of the building there is a minaret.
The characteristics of Cacabey Astronomy Medresse are columns on the facades and corners. There are total three columns which show ignition and launch states of a rocket.

During the XIII. century the used rocket designs in this building are important indicators of the harmony between the function and architecture. The medresse was completely made of stone and rubble stones and the minaret was made of glazed brick.

The decoration of the Crown Gate for which two colourful stones were used has an important place in the Anatolian Seljuk's Decoration Art.

There are two circular shapes representing the sun and moon on the Crown Gate and on the right and left side.

“Besmele” and a part of (from Koran) Nahl sura’s 90. verse is written on a one-line inscription on the top of the entrance arch. Under this there is another inscription on which 18. and 19. verses of (from Koran) Âl-i İmran sura are written.

Another inscription, which is placed between this writing band and the gate arch as two lines and a text is added to the right side corner of it, is an order call telling about abolishing some taxes.

The niches at the both side of the entrance have an entirety with the portal.

Cacabey Astronomy Medresse, which is in the group of closed courtyard medresse among Anatolia Seljuk’s Period Medresses, is composed of two rectangular shaped liwans whose shapes are close to a square.

From the portal on the north; there is an entrance to the entry liwan and then to the courtyard.

There is a well in the middle of the courtyard and there is a light lantern on it. It is thought that this well was built as an observation well to observe the stars.

The main liwan is situated in the south of the courtyard. There are two columns on the right and left side of the main liwan. And these columns are shaped by putting the cone and globe over and over.

There aren't any samples of this column preparation in the Anatolian– Turk Art.


There is a strong challenge inherent in any attempt to describe a great and influential personality like Yunus Emre in a condensed form such as this. We will, therefore only make an attempt to give an introduction to the man and his philosophy which will tempt you into further reading. Wherever possible we will allow Yunus to speak for himself.

Mystic is what they call me,
Hate is my only enemy;
I harbor a grudge against none,
To me the whole wide world is one.

Yunus Emre was a great folk poet, a sufi (Islamic mystic), a troubadour and a very influential philosopher who had an effect on the Turkish outlook on life that has stayed alive and vital for 700 years. Above all, and in an age of religious repression, he was a humanist who’s love for God was integral to his love for humanity. His abhorrence for conflict and his dismissive attitude to riches and material assets have been echoed through the ages, not least in the ’flower power’ era of the 1960s and 70s.

I am not here on erth for strife
Love is the mission of my life.

Yunus Emre was more concerned with the reason for living than with the details of how life should be lived. Essentially he thought that people should live modest lives filled with love and friendship, aspiring towards spiritual purity and an indivisible unity with God. He despised the pursuit of fame and riches because none of these could mean anything after death.

Death is a recurring theme in his poetry but without morbid overtones. He wants us to accept that death is inevitable, so that we don’t squander our time on earth, but also to realize that death is not the end of the road. For each of us death will demonstrate the futility both of pursuing riches and of filling life with hatred, war and grudges. Our only worthwhile legacy is the product of a life filled with friendship and love.

Firm hands will lose their grip one day
And tonques that talk will soon decay:
The wealth you loved and stored away
Will go to some inheritor

Yunus Emre was the epitome of tolerance in a world dominated, from East and West, by fanaticism and by the idea that human beings are born in sin and have to spend their lives trying to rise above their base natures.

See all people as equals,
See the humble as heroes.

According to the traditional outlook the only path to redemption is a difficult one, narrow and dangerous, and can only be negotiated with the help of qualified guides, the leaders of organized religions. Most religions, moreover, insist that their path is the only possible route to heaven and that the followers of other paths, no matter how well intentioned, are destined for the other place. Yunus Emre rejected this single path approach.

For those who trully love God and his ways
All the people of the world are brothers.

We regard no one's religion as contrary to ours,
True love is born when all faiths are united as a whole.

True faith is in the head, not in the headgear.

His beliefs were rooted in religion, and he was undeniably an Islamic sufi, but his philosophy was independent and he taught that every belief and every idea, religious or otherwise, that leads to the creator is sacred.

You better seek God right in your own heart
He is neither in the Holy Land nor in Mecca

Yunus Emre’s idea of God (the 'Friend' of his poetry) is that God is everywhere and within each of us. The love of humanity and the love of God are therefore indivisible.

We love the created
For the Creator's sake

In his poems Yunus Emre shows himself to be a humane, sensitive and modest person firmly grounded. His poems were, and remain, great because he uses language beautifully but simply, his images are rich but extremely clear. Yunus Emre wrote in Turkish and his words can be read today in the original with very little difficulty. That is one reason why his influence has remained so strong, his work is accessible to ordinary people, appreciated and kept alive by them. His hymns are still being sung, and his words quoted, by thousands of people in Turkey today while his popularity is growing world wide.

Come, let us all be friends for once
Let us make life easy on us,

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