Risale I Kudsiyye Tercumesi Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu 49 ☑

Risale I Kudsiyye Tercumesi Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu 49 ☑

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Risale I Kudsiyye Tercumesi Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu 49

He has revealed that he is a descendant of the great Ottoman ruler Murat III (ca. 1562-1595) who went on to be the leader of the Ottoman Empire.3 He has also identified himself with the leader Murat V (ca. 1565-1604), the great sultan who founded the first order of Nasreddin Hoca and established himself in the Naqshbandiya confraternity. He has referred to all the sultans of the Ottoman house of Osman as Nasreddin Hoca. Cuppeli Ahmet has clearly laid out the historical roots of his own brotherhood. Ustaosmanoglu claims that they are mostly descended from the Ismailaga.

The last meeting of Mahmut Efendi was held in the immediate aftermath of the failed military coup attempt of July 15, 2016. At the time, he was sixty-nine years old and had been ill for a long time. After his death, members of the ismailaga community held a procession in his memory in the city center of Gaziantep. The head of the sohbet community, Sabri Ibrahim, announced that the celebration could continue with the blessing of Mahmut Efendi, but that the imam of the Kızılbaşı branch, Ali İzzet Bacaksız, would preside instead.

When I was working on this study in the mid-1990s, the traditionalist cemaat of Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu had attracted growing interest in the Western countries. The group, which had first grown around the non-dogmatist sheikh Davut Zaydan in the mid-1980s, is still living in the traditionalist cities of Urganci, Uskudar, Eyup, Beykoz, and Eyup and has an active presence in many other cities and villages. In the period of rising radicalization, community leaders and leaders of the press described this cemaat as the main opponent of the moderate cemaat of the FP and of the mainstream Islamic press and military apparatuses. In 1994, the then Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Foundation (MTAF) sent a delegation to the community of Eyup to investigate this cemaat. The delegation reported that this group was characterized by «orthodoxy and an outlook that could lead to separatism».1 The division between the moderate and the radical factions of the Nakgibendi order began much earlier. The outbreak of conflict between the two factions in 1989 was publicly marked by the arrest of the prominent sheikh Cemal Terzi, who was accused of links to the extreme Fatkh (Party for a Just Society, FF). The arrest of certain members of the cemaat in 1994 is also indicative of the conflict. The Fatkh is centered in the southeastern Black Sea region, and a member of the cemaat arrested in 1994 was a former FF member. Members of the cemaat prevented any media coverage of the conflict. Efendi says that according to their understanding of Islamic law, community members are not allowed to use the media and are therefore compelled to take their complaints to the «religious courts». The conflict intensified in the early years of the 21st century when the Turkish Supreme Judicial Council (Yargi) started to investigate the community. The proceedings against the members of the ismailaga community had been initiated by the ministry of the interior, and on 9 April 2003 the term of imprisonment was set at 10 years. The Supreme Judicial Council had declared the community’s leader, the new preacher Cemal Terzi (1953-) and over 30 other people guilty of membership of an illegal organization. The decision has been contested in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).1

Unlike the iskenderpaga community, the cemaat has not been able to organize an international network of support. The reason for this is the resistance that the cemaat itself has encountered from certain Western thinkers who criticize its intellectual and cultural conservatism.11 This can be seen by comparing the opinions expressed by Perwass in the early 1980s about the iskenderpaga cemaat and Tariq Ramadan’s opionions on the Oflus today. In Perwass’ book, for example, in which Ramadan is a relatively minor contributor, there is considerable praise for the iskenderpaga cemaat of Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu. Even at a later date it was to Güler who, in the pages of the magazine Milliyet, wrote that the iskenderpaga cemaat, a form of ulama
Around the house of Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu are the graves of other prominent sheikhs of the cemaat. Their relatives, who cannot get permission to pay their respects to the dead, make pilgrimages to the mosque, as opposed to the mehteras of the graves of ordinary sheikhs. According to tradition, the cemaat was founded by Ebuishak ismail Efendi in the seventeenth century. The site of the community is located to the south of Beyazit Square (Devlet Paşa Meydanı). There is a small adjoining mosque with a minaret called Hacizade Kilise and two important shrines within the cemaat are the Selamlik and Uccahane Prophet Efendi. Two other famous aisemes are the Ebuishak Efendi mosque in the Fatih district and the Hasan Aga mosque in Asikli. The Hasan Aga mosque was built during the medieval era of Turkey as a part of the walls of the great city of Bursa, and is well-known for its particularly complicated shape, consisting of nine aisemes (minarets).