Thursday, 07 December 2023

Konya's Whirling Dervish Breathes Life into Felt

Celalettin Berberoğlu, who is 56 years old and lives in Konya, has placed sema (the Sufi dance), which he encountered at the age of 6, at the center of his life. Berberoğlu, who distilled elements from Mevlevism and made them a part of his life, continues the felt art he started at a young age.



Celalettin Berberoğlu, who encountered sema at the age of 6 in Konya and placed it at the center of his life, continues the felt art he started at a young age. Berberoğlu, who describes felt-making as a labor-intensive but enjoyable craft, shared his life story.



Celalettin Berberoğlu said, "I was born in Konya in 1967. I have been in this profession for many years. I started it with passion, and I have been doing it for a long time. I haven't taken weekends off for 25 years; I work continuously. Since I do what I love, it doesn't feel like work to me."



Berberoğlu, who described felt-making as a labor-intensive but enjoyable craft, said, "It requires both mental focus and physical strength. I come to the shop early in the morning. If there are no orders, I identify the shortages and produce accordingly. During a part of the day, I have a dyeing workshop where I dye wool. That's where I enjoy myself the most because it's like therapy for me. In my workshop, I produce nearly 50 different products, including lampshades, curtains, shawls, hats, bags, Sufi order stones, and Mevlevi coins, which we offer for sale."



Berberoğlu said, "Based on the advice of my friends, I turned my life experiences into a book. We titled the book 'Mystic Liar.' It's been two years since it was published, and it has been translated into Bulgarian and Italian. Currently, it's also being translated into English. Felt can actually be divided into two categories: classic felt and modern felt. Classic felt is, in a way, a necessity. Felt is one of the first textile products that humanity discovered. It was widely used in Central Asia, North Africa, and Northern Europe. However, since the Turks were a nomadic society, they used felt more extensively."