Gaziantep Mevlevi Culture and Foundation Works Museum
Gaziantep Mevlevihanesi, which has a history of approximately 400 years and is one of the close to a hundred Mevlevihanes all over the Ottoman lands, was converted into a museum in 2007 after various construction periods. There are many historical sources about the Antep Mevlevi Lodge, which was built in 1638. The most important of them are three foundations and two inscriptions. The foundations of the Mevlevihane; Mustafa Ağa bin Yusuf Foundation, Emine Hatun Foundation, and Mehmet Munip Efendi Foundation, 1904, which are related to its establishment.
The most monumental unit of the Mevlevihane is these structures, one of which has three floors and the other two, and which constitute the museum today. The buildings were converted into Istiklal Primary School, which served for about 30 years as one of the primary schools of Gaziantep in the Republican Period. The school moved to its newly constructed building in the Şehreküstü District in 1964. Many people over a certain age in Gaziantep graduated from Istiklal Primary School. These people bring their memories with them when they visit the museum and share them with other visitors. In this sense, the museum also carries the characteristic of being the memory of Gaziantep in the Republican era.
After this date, it was restored in 2006 to function as a museum by Gaziantep Regional Directorate of Foundations, after various functions such as Health Center, bookbinder, mosque lodging, and Şahinbey District Mufti, and opened as Gaziantep Mevlevi Lodge Foundation Museum on 07.05.2007. The buildings that make up the museum are in the plan type "settled on both sides of the courtyard" in Gaziantep's traditional residential architecture. The three-story main building has an interior staircase, a feature that is less common. Rows of low-arched windows and bird decorations above them dominate the facade. The two-story building in the north has a portico. Carpet and Rug Halls are located on the upper floor of the building. Gaziantep Mevlevihanesi Foundation Museum presents the wealth of Anatolian culture, symbolized by colors, patterns, and motifs, through a modest selection of carpets and rugs collection belonging to the General Directorate of Foundations. The boards with information about motifs and their meanings bring together the repertoire of motifs with information. The stairs of the main building, which is located across the courtyard - a little steep, a little narrow - that contain the traces of life, accompanied by Sufi music, carry the visitors to the upper floor, which is the greeting room. In the exhibition arrangement of the halls in this building, the interiors of the windows are used as showcases in accordance with the architectural structure of the museum. Apart from the animations related to the Mevlevi culture that fill the place, calligraphy plates on the walls and oil lamps, candle holders, and altar candlesticks are exhibited in the showcases. Mihrab candlesticks constitute the majority of this working group, which has an important place in Turkish Metal Art.
The museum is one of the important stops on the historical environment route starting from the castle. On the panels on the walls, the photographs of the Foundation Works, which have made significant contributions to Gaziantep's historical silhouette and which have been restored and brought back to the city, also indicate the next stop for the visitors.