Reflections of the Doctrine of Hoca Ahmet Yesevi in Turkish Music Culture

CANBAY A., Nacakci Z.

BILIG, no.80, pp.43-73, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 80
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.43-73


Hoca Ahmet Yesevi, with a significant place in Turkish religion, faith and sufi experience, provided significant contributions to the spread and adoption of Islam in Anatolia since the twelfth century. Followers and those inspired by Ahmet Yesevi are accepted as dervishes called the Horasan Erenler and/or Alperen who were dynamic elements moving from Central Asia toward the west and formed a tradition of religion-sufism due to Yesevi's influence. At the same time, they also played a unifying-cohesive role between individuals and the public in Anatolia through poetry, music and chants in the dervish-sufi tradition. Based on deep meaning and tolerance this understanding formed a new trend on the Central Asia-Anatolia belief map, reflecting intellectual inspiration from material to meaning, external to internal, religious rules to observation, intertwined with Islamic injunctions about humanity, morals and tolerance in poetry, chants, idioms and Alevi chants. This study will investigate the musical elements, ceremonies and rituals within the currently continuing Anatolian dervish-sufi tradition for principles systemized in Ahmet Yesevi's Turkistan, to evaluate their reflections in Turkish music culture.