The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- In
a recent claim by the Anatolian News Agency published in the Turkish daily Hürriyet,
Hamid Baqaee the director of Iranian Cultural and Heritage Organisation (ICHTO)
and the Islamic Republic’s vice president called the renowned 13th
century Persian mystic Poet, Rumi, a ‘Turkish intellectual’. The news has
angered the Iranians and created further tensions between the Iranians and the
was in Turkey for the opening of Iranian Heritage Cultural Week organised
by the Iranian Culture and Tourism Institute and the Istanbul Metropolitan
Municipality, which started Wednesday February 17th at Sultanahmet Square.
Hürriyet news bulletin dated February 17 reads: “The
grave of Turkish intellectual Rumi in the Central Anatolian province of Konya
shows the value of relations between Turkey and Iran, too.”
Heritage (Mirās-e Āriyā) website, belongs to ICHTO has issued a statement
rejecting the Hürriyet claim and called it a fabrication.
seems the entry in the report was falsified by the Anatolian News Agency and
propagated by Hürriyet. There is no reason for Baqaee to state Rumi was Turkish
and for that to somehow validate relations between Turkey and Iran. Baqaee must
of have mentioned that the Persian poet Rumi is buried in nowadays Turkey and is
thus another reason for good relations the between two neighbours.
is not the first time Turkey has laid claim on other nations’ cultural
achievements and historical figures. In the early 1900 the newly created Turkish
state claimed the Indo-European Hittites were the ancient Turks – and when
they were faced with the furious Germans, they switched to the Sumerians. In recent years they have laid
claims on number of Iranian historical figures such as Rumi, Nezami, the Parthian
dynasty, and even the ancient Iranian prophet, Zoroaster.
ad-Dīn Moammad Mowlana (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273) was born in the
North-eastern Iranian Greater Khorasan and died in Konya, nowadays Turkey. Konya
was a Persian speaking city of the Greco-Persian origin prior to the
Turkification of the province sometimes around 14th century.
to the historical accounts, when the Mongols invaded Iranian provinces in
Central Asia sometime between 1215 and 1220, Rumi’s family set out westwards.
On the road to the western Greater Iran, Rumi encountered one of the most famous
mystic Persian poets, 'Attar, in the Iranian city of Neyshabur (Nishapur).
'Attar immediately recognised Rumi's spiritual eminence. He saw the father
walking ahead of the son and said, "Here comes a sea followed by an
ocean." He gave the young Rumi his Asrār-Nāma, a book about the
entanglement of the soul in the material world. This meeting had a deep impact
on the eighteen-year-old Rumi and later on became the inspiration for his works.
Copyright © 1998-2015 The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS)