Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nezih Uzel: Swirling Dervish-Sapanca-Adapazari

Nezih Uzel: Swirling Dervish-Sapanca-Adapazari

Numan Gulsah has suggested paying a visti to the home of Mr. Nezih Uzel at Sapanca. Nezih Uzel was a retired journalist and also a well-known Mevlevi, whichwas know by Westerners as “Whirling Dervish”.

I have known him nearly 8 or 10 years ago at an event of local celebration. Later years we have met again and again however this time it would be longer time for our close chat with this valuable person at his enclave.

He was spending his retired years at his SOHO as a journalist veteran surrounded with many older or new published books. The walls were decorated with many diffeent pictures and posters but one striking poster was showing Whirling Dervish.

Nezih Uzel [[Mudanya, Bursa-Turkey, 1938-]]: He is a Turkish journalist, writer & musician. His father, Mehmet Muhlis was from Hocazadeler Family from Shumnu [Шумен: Shumen, Bulgaria], who was veteran of Canakkale War [Gallipoli] & Doctor graduated in 1915 from Haydarpasha Tibbiye-i Shahane and Gulhane Military Hospital.
His mother Ihsan Hacer, daughter of Huseyin Husnu Efendi, main teacher & trainer of Fatih Madreseh and imam of the Sari Gazi Mosque, who was born in Filibe [Local tongue: Hulube, Пловдив: Plovdiv, Bulgaria].
He moved to Istanbul in 1949 with his family. He was graduated in 1957 from the Galatasaray High School [Ottoman: Sarayi Enderun-u Hümayunu: Galata Palace Imperial School and later the Galatasaray Mekteb-i Sultanisi: Galatasaray School of the Sultans, French: Lycée de Galatasaray].
As he lived in Istanbul, met with the last and most powerful representatives of the old culture; Professor in Ordinary, Doctor Suheyl Unver, headman of Kudumzen [player of the most fundamental rhythm instrument in classical Turkish Music] Sadettin Heper, headman of Neyzen [player of Persian: ین; Arabic: ينا; Turkish: ney; also nai, nye, nay, gagri tuiduk, or karghy tuiduk] Halil Can, teachers of Calligraphy, the calligraphers Necmettin Okyay, Halim Yazici, Bekir Pekten. He stepped in the Mevlevi Culture through Sheik Abdulbaki Efendi, who was son of the last sheik Yenikapi Mevlevihane [Mevlevi lodge] and the researcher and scientists Resuhi Baykara, Abdulbaki Golpinarli and Mithat Bahari Beytur.
He served for 15 years to Sheik Necmettin Ozbekkangay, who was the last sheik of old Uzbek Dergah [shrine of a Sufi saint] located in Uskudar [Scutari], Istanbul. He started to journalism with the promotion of Mevlevi [Whirling Dervish or Mevlevi Dancer] Refi Cevat Ulunay, who was the renowned columnist during his times. He reached and recognized with many columnists and writers of his period, such as Refik Halit Karay, Falih Rifki Atay, Resat Ekrem Kocu, and Yasar Kemal & Haldun Taner.
In abroad, he recognized and worked with Raymond Cartier, the editor of French magazine Match, Roger Garaudy, Mme. Carrer d'Encausse, Edward Said and Anna Marie Schimmel. He translated those people’s books into Turkish. He served as correspondent, columnist and research journalist for various domestic and foreign newspapers.
In 1966, he served as Kudumzen for Istanbul Municipality Conservatory Executive Committee managed by Munir Nurettin Selcuk and at Istanbul Radio. His 25 books on Islam, history, culture and art-related were published and, 28 records, CDs and Cassette containing the Sufi music, were released for sale.
He established Istanbul Sema Group In Istanbul in 1981 by Semazenbasi [headman of Whirling Dancer] Ahmet Bican Kasaboglu in the framework of older Galata Mevlevihane currently Divan Literature Museum. This group organized in-country and western countries more than 100 concerts and sema shows.
It realized Sema Show for the first time, in the former Uskudar Mevlevihane, which was affiliated to Turkish Republic Galata Mevlevihane and Foundation Administration. This group assumed the perform of Music and Sema events of Konya International Revival of Mevlana, upon the invitation of the Konya Municipality in 1987.
That same year, the Group performed the first Sema ceremony in Kutahya Mevlevihane ever since it was established in 1925. The Group opened the Cairo Mevlevihane into service, which was restored and repaired by Prof. Guiseppe Fanfoni in 1998.
The Group took into their agenda the Crete, Hania, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Tripoli Mevlevihanes. The Istanbul Sema Group trained nearly 30 Semazen [Whirling Dancer] within 18 years in Istanbul. This group was source point for inspiration of Association of Mevlana in Paris and Rumi Society in London and Nefes Dernekleri [Breathing Associations] in Finland.
Currently, he has been serving as freelance journalist for two local national newspapers and three magazines, in abroad, kept as freelance journalist, writer and cultural organizer for foreign newspapers. Uzel was never got married.

Turkish Sufi Music Instruments:
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