Feb 14, 2017

Alevi Religious Ceremony, Architecture, and Practice

Episode 299


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In this episode, we approach the religious architecture of the Alevis, to examine how practice shapes architectural space and how socioeconomic change transforms such spaces. Many of our episodes on Ottoman History Podcast have focused on how monumental architecture, such as mosques and other buildings of religious significance, are tied to political transformation and expressions of political power and ideology. Taking a different perspective, our guest, Angela Andersen, researches the history and development of Alevi architectural forms in Turkey and abroad. Historically, Alevi religious practice and cem ceremonies took place in homes and other multi-purpose buildings, which could be configured as ad hoc meeting places for local communities during the communal cem ceremony. But with Alevi urban migration to cities in Turkey, Germany, and elsewhere, the creation of a "permanent address" for Alevis has emerged in the form of community centers providing a number of services, including designated rooms or halls for the cem. In this episode, we trace the genealogy of the modern cemevi to older contexts of Alevi religious practice and consider the role played by the cemevi in Turkey's new political landscape.

This episode is part of a series entitled "The Visual Past."

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Contributor Bios

Angela Andersen focuses on the inter- and intra-religious interactions that take place via architecture in the Islamic world, in both the historical and contemporary contexts. Her current research engages the role and meaning of architecture for the Alevi minority, and the diversity of Islamic spaces for worship and practice.
Chris Gratien holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University's Department of History and is currently an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. His research focuses on the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. He is currently preparing a monograph about the environmental history of the Cilicia region from the 1850s until the 1950s.
Shireen Hamza is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses broadly on the history of science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages, and more specifically on the history of women's health.

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7/2/16
Neo-Ottoman Architecture and the Transnational Mosque

Credits


Episode No. 299
Release Date: 14 February 2017
Recording Location: Harvard University
Audio editing by Chris Gratien
Music: from archive.org - Katibim (Uskudar'a Gider iken) - Safiye Ayla; Istanbul'dan Ayva Gelir Nar Gelir - Azize Tozem and Sari Recep
Vinyl recording of "Hazin Hazin Ağlar Gönül" by Ali Ekber Çiçek digitized by Chris Gratien
Special thanks to Kara Güneş for permission to use the composition "Istanbul"
Images and bibliography courtesy of Angela Andersen



Images

Pir Sultan Abdal holding the stringed instrument of the lute family, known as the saz or bağlama, Diyarbakir Büyükşehir Belediyesi Pir Sultan Abdal Cem Ve Kültür Evi, Diyarbakir, by Angela Andersen
Zakir (person in the liturgical role of hymnist during the Cem ceremony), Yenibosna CEM Vakfı, Yenibosna, by Angela Andersen
Ceremonial Cem space with central meydan, Garip Dede Türbesi Koruma Onarma ve Yaşatma Derneği (Garip Dede Cemevi), Küçükçekmece, by Angela Andersen 
Pir Salman burial and gathering place, Salman Dede, by Angela Andersen
Karacaahmet Cem Ve Kültür Evi, Istanbul, by Angela Andersen
Kırlangıç tavan (“swallowtail” lantern roof), Hacı Bektaş Veli Müzesi (Tekkesi), Hacı Bektaş, by Angela Andersen
Kerpiç (adobe) home of rural Alevi family, Karamahmut, by Angela Andersen
Cemevi interior with posters of Ali and Hacı Bektaş Veli, Adalar Cemevi, Adalar Cemevi Vakfı, Burgazada,  Princes’ Islands, by Angela Andersen  
Erikli Baba Kültür Derneği ve Cem Evi, Istanbul, by Angela Andersen
CEM Vakfı Sivas Şubesi Ali Baba Cemevi, Sivas, by Angela Andersen

Select Bibliography

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