Transmitting of the Yesevi Tradition by Haci Bektas-i Veli to Anatolia according to the Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname
Keywords:Evliya Çelebi, Ahmed Yesevi, Hacı Bektaş Veli, Anatolia
In the 13th century, the Seljuk sultans in Anatolia realized the power of the Sufism. They knew that Sufism was the way to reach the highest and lowest levels of society. The Turkmens who came to Anatolia due to the Mongol invasion caused Sufis and dervishes belonging to various movements to come to this region. Dervishes, who created a new living area for themselves in the region of the domination of a young and dynamic state, turned Anatolia into a centre where the idea of Sufism began to spread rapidly due to the Seljuk sultans’ policy against them.
Among the groups that migrated into Anatolia through Khorasan, Khwarazm Azerbaijan, there were many Sufis, scholars and craftsmen. This group led them to enter a new formation aspect of the socio-cultural life of the 13th century’s Anatolia. Ahmed-i Yesevi is an important name in the formation of the Anatolian tradition. As well as Ahmet Yesevi, the influence of many spiritual leaders, such as Mevlana, Şems, Haci Bektaş-i Veli, is great in the Anatolian tradition. Sufi traditions emerged and gained an important place in society owing to these important Sufi scholars. These and similar spiritual leaders, who were related to different segments of the Anatolian people, have tried to influence human nature with the methods they have applied by aiming to include in social life the principles of the Prophet. In his Seyahatname, Evliya Çelebi frequently uses the name of Ahmed-i Yesevi in the form of “Ceddimiz Türk-i Türkan Hoca Ahmed Yesevi Hazretleri”, and states in his work that he is a descendant of him. Evliya Çelebi has included information about the Ahmed-i Yesevi tradition in his Seyahatname that can shed light on the present. Our study tries to reveal, with the sources from this time period, how the relationship between Ahmed-i Yesevi and Haci Bektaş Veli affected the Anatolian Sufi life according to the Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname.
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