Hurriyet claims Baqaee called the Persian Mystic poet Rumi a ‘Turk’
Bust of Persian mystic poet, Molavi (Rumi)
Iran under Persianate dynasty of Ilkhamids
LONDON, (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 regime.
Baqaee 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.
The 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.”
Aryan Heritage (Mirās-e Āriyā) website, belongs to ICHTO has issued a statement rejecting the Hürriyet claim and called it a fabrication.
It seems the entry in the report was distorted 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 between the two neighbours.
This 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.
Jalāl 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.
According 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.