1 THE COFFEEHOUSES IN EARLY MODERN ISTANBUL: PUBLIC SPACE, SOCIABILITY AND SURVEILLANCE Ahmet YAŞAR BOĞAZİÇİ UNIVERSITY 2003
2 i The Coffeehouses in Early Modern Istanbul: Public Space, Sociability and Surveillance Thesis submitted to the Institute for Graduate Studies in Social Sciences in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History by Ahmet Yaşar BA in History, 2000, Boğaziçi University BA in Sociology, 2000, Boğaziçi University Boğaziçi University 2003
3 The thesis of Ahmet Yaşar is approved by: Assis. Prof. Selma Akyazıcı Özkoçak (Committee Chairperson) Prof. Dr. Edhem Eldem Dr. Yavuz Selim Karakışla September 2003
4 iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In the course of research and writing of this thesis, I received invaluable help and encouragement from friends, colleagues and family. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Assis. Prof. Selma Akyazıcı Özkoçak, whose guidance and critical advice, as my thesis advisor, greatly contributed to the making of this study. I would like to express my special thanks to Prof. Dr. Edhem Eldem and Dr. Yavuz Selim Karakışla for their valuable criticism and for their kindly accepting to be a member of the committee. I owe a special debt to Prof. Dr. Mehmet İpşirli for his encouragements and helps in reading the archival texts. Above all, I wish to express my gratitude for all the people who help me by word and deed. Lastly, I am indebted to my family for their unending support and encouraging me to study. Lastly, but certainly not least, I would like to thank to my wife, Fatma Tunç-Yaşar, who helped me immeasurably with her love, suggestion and encouragement, and kept me going at the most desperate moments. The mistakes that exist in this thesis are my responsibility alone, and only I hope that they are funny and not fundamental.
5 iv ABSTRACT The Coffeehouses in Early Modern Istanbul: Public Space, Sociability and Surveillance by Ahmet Yaşar This thesis aims at examining the urban experience in a manner of the use of public space and the surveillance over it within the context of early modern Istanbul. Particularly, it focuses on the coffeehouse as a new public space in urban scene and as a site for the theatrical forms of sociability, and also as a confrontation zone between the authority and subjects. It argues that the coffeehouse created a viable public domain for adult-male, by its heterogeneous clientele, theatrical types of expression, political lampooning, and popular political discourse.
6 v KISA ÖZET Erken Modern İstanbul da Kahvehaneler: Kamusal Mekan, Toplumsallık ve Gözetim Ahmet Yaşar Bu tez, erken modern dönem Istanbul unda kamusal mekanın kullanımı ve bu mekan üzerindeki gözetim mekanizmaları bağlamında şehir tecrübesini incelemeyi amaçlamaktadır. Bilhassa, yeni bir kamusal mekan, teatral toplumsallık tarzları için bir mahal ve otorite ve yönetilenler arasında bir karşılaşma alanı olarak kahvehane üzerinde yoğunlaşmaktadır. Heterojen müşterileriyle, teatral ifade tarzlarıyla, siyasi hicivleriyle ve popüler siyasi söylemleriyle kahvehanenin, erkekler için yaşanılabilir bir kamusal alan meydana getirdiğini ileri sürmektedir.
7 vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page...i Approval...ii Acknowledgements...iii Abstract...iv Kısa Özet...v Table of Contents...vi List of Illustrations...vii Introduction...1 I. The Coffeehouse: A New Public Space Introduction of Coffee and Coffeehouses to Istanbul Spatial and Social Topography of Coffeehouses The Coffeehouse at Neighborhood Level The Coffeehouse and Similar Institutions...37 a. Taverns...39 b. Boza-houses...43 c. Public Baths...46 d. Mosques Conclusion...52 II. The Coffeehouse: A Novel Place for Sociability The Social Composition of Coffeehouse Owners and Clientele The Public Spirit of Coffeehouse Sociability The Theatrical Forms of Leisure Activities Conclusion...87
8 vii III. The Coffeehouse: A Public Sphere for Surveillance The Perception of Coffee and Coffeehouses The Coffeehouse as a Scapegoat of Crises The Coffeehouse as a Reservoir of State Talk The Exercise of State Power over Coffeehouses Conclusion Conclusion Bibliography Appendices...126
9 viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Table I.I: Frequency of Shopkeepers in Eyüp...25 Table I.II: Lists of coffee shopkeepers and esnaf in the quarters of Tophane-i Amire...27 Figure I.I: Depiction of a coffeehouse on the hills of Tophane-i Amire...29 Figure I.II: Interior of a Turkish Caffinet...30 Figure I.III: Coffee Kiosque, on the Port...31 Table I.III: Distribution of taverns according to locations in intramural Istanbul and Bilad-ı Selase...41 Figure I.IV. Demographic distribution of religious communities in Istanbul...42 Table I.IV: The staff of Public Baths around Eyüp...48 Figure II.I: A Miniature depicting inside the coffeehouse..55 Figure II.II: Portable Coffee Stall...57 Table II.I: Distribution of the Titles of Coffeehouse Shopkeepers around Eyüp Table II.II: Distribution of the Titles of Herbalists dealing with coffee trade in İstanbul...62 Table II.III: Occupational Distribution of Coffeehouse Clientele...71
10 1 Introduction This thesis examines the milieu of the coffeehouse in early modern İstanbul with particular focus on the use of public space and the control mechanism over it. Its concern is the coffeehouse as a viable public space for the İstanbul populace (only for adult-male) and as a milieu for the discourse of moral regulation exercised by the political power. Since its introduction, the coffeehouse had been an important public site in shaping the everyday experiences and practices of populace. Although there was a multiplicity of public spaces in İstanbul public realm, ranging from taverns and boza-houses to public baths and mosques, the coffeehouses set other public spaces apart in terms of their effectiveness in becoming an innovative social institution in the urban setting and opening up to a wide variety of clientele of both high and low social statuses. In this study, the word public space has a representational meaning, related to its social function. Through its collective character, public space makes possible such particular forms of exchange between individuals and groups. At a different scale, it can also be the space of surveillance, that of the relationship between the authorities and the subjects. In other words, I am thinking of space, as distinct from place, 1 as an ongoing process, a creation of significations and practices in the course of people s 1 For the distinction between space and place, see Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. by Steven F. Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984).
11 2 everyday life, rather than a pre-established frame and essentialist view in itself. The other important concept regarding the coffeehouse is public sphere, that developed by Habermas in his influential early book, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. By public sphere, Habermas means specifically a space created for the people s public use of their reason, 2 developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Western Europe along with the rise of modern state. It is a bourgeois public sphere, accompanied by a rational-critical discourse, that grew in coffeehouses and other public places. That is, this public sphere is realm independent from the central power of the state and therefore perhaps, a kind of civil society. Habermas s thesis of the rational and unitary public sphere is less with the spaces of the public arena and more with the discursive manners associated with it. The challengers of this thesis insist that the public sphere is not only an arena for the formation of discursive opinions, but it has many more characteristics. Philip Ariés perceives the public realm that emerged in the new social institutions like coffeehouses as a polymorphous sociability. 3 According to him, a new social and public life revolving around conversation and reading was developed through these new social settings. 2 Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trans. by Thomas Burger with the assistance of Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989), p Philip Ariés, Introduction, in Roger Chartier (ed.), A History of Private Life: Passions of the Renaissance, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1989), pp. 3-4.
12 3 Accordingly Richard Sennett s approach to the public domain as a form of sociability and his conceptualization of Man as Actor 4 provide more insight for this study. He insists on the need to link the study of the public domain to an analysis of sociality. The sociability aspect of public spaces may be related with carnivalesque expressions in the public domain. Such an understanding the sociability features of public domain tries to include the people from different social strata, including the non-educated. In order to give coherence to my study, the best means would be to start from field observations and not from any conceptual a priori. Within the context of Ottoman society, I aim to examine a public space, the coffeehouse used by the populace collectively. I will attempt to investigate, on the one hand, the position of such kind of space in its urban setting and its functions in the various arenas of city inhabitants everyday practices. On the other hand, I will try to situate such a space in a confrontation zone between the ruling authorities and the ruled. This thesis represents an attempt, by way of a coffeehouse study, to address systematically a set of important, yet inadequately explored issues in Ottoman Studies. For the last two decades, there has been an increasingly emerging interest, both popular and academic, in the coffeehouse. The popular interest, not surprisingly, might have resulted, by and large, from a recent nostalgic appeal to the past. There are lots of popular books on the bookstore 4 Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man, (London: Faber and Faber, 1977).
13 4 shelves or many pieces of writings in semi-academic and popular magazines about coffee and coffeehouses, but most of them are repetitive and based on anecdotal evidence. 5 In academic fields, more recent intellectual currents reveal heightened concern with issues like public space, 6 public sphere, 7 public expression, 8 the use and perception of power. 9 This trend has been accompanied by a renewed interest on public gathering spaces like the coffeehouse and tavern, especially among social and cultural historians. Yet, such a trend did not produce much more valuable works within the context of the Ottoman coffeehouses, there are just a few preliminary works. Most probably the first scholarly work is Coffee and Coffeehouses, The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval 5 The İstanbul coffeehouse has important place in this new trend, Taha Toros, Kahvenin Öyküsü (İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1998); Elias Petropoulos, Yunanistan'da Türk Kahvesi, trans. by Herkül Millas (İstanbul: Iletişim Yayınları, 1995); Burçak Evren, Eski İstanbul'da Kahvehaneler (İstanbul: Milliyet Yayınları, 1996); Namık Açıkgöz, Kahvename, (Akçağ Yayınları: İstanbul, 1999); M. Cengiz Yıldız, Türk Kültür Tarihinde Kahve ve Kahvehane, Türkler 10, (Ankara: Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, 2002), pp ; Akif Erdoğdu, Osmanlı Kıbrısı nda Kahve ve Kahvehaneler ( ), Türkler 10, (Ankara: Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, 2002), pp In addition to these, there was also like those works, Süheyl A. Ünver, Türkiye de Kahve ve Kahvehaneler, Türk Etnografa Dergisi, vol. 5, 1962, pp ; Salah Birsel, Kahveler Kitabı (İstanbul: Koza Yayınları, 1975); Reşat Ekrem Koçu, İstanbul Kahvehaneleri, Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu Belleteni, no: 69, 1947.; Ebüziyya Tevfik, Kahvehaneler, Mecmua-i Ebüziyya, no: 129, pp , no: 130, pp , no: 131, pp , 1914; Reşat Ekrem Koçu, Osmanlı Tarihinde Yasaklar: Kahve Yasağı (İstanbul: Saka Matbaası, 1950). 6 Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. by D. Nicholson Smith, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991) 7 Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trans. by Thomas Burger with the assistance of Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989). 8 Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man, (London: Faber and Faber, 1977). 9 Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, , (ed.) Colin Gordon (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980).
14 5 Near East by Ralph S. Hattox, 10 that recounts the coffee drinking in the Near East and sheds light on the development of public life during the glory days of the Ottoman Empire. However, he did not attempt to put down all the details, just for the appearance of coffee drinking and the controversy around it was treated. What the book lacks is the larger framework for the diffusion of coffeehouses and using few primary sources, in particular no Ottoman archival documents. However, it is just a beginning in coffeehouse studies. The other study is a recent collection of articles relating to the Middle Eastern coffeehouses; in particular, the articles of Saraçgil 11 and Georgean 12 are about İstanbul coffeehouses. The former is a critical evaluation of the introduction of coffee and coffeehouses to İstanbul, the latter concerns a general panorama of nineteenth century İstanbul coffeehouses. Perhaps the most valuable study was prepared by Cengiz Kırlı, who attempted to conduct a study on the context of İstanbul coffeehouses in the late eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth centuries. 13 By using a wide range of archival documents, he traces the struggles, negotiations, and dialogues that shaped and transformed state and society 10 Ralph S. Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouses, The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East. (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1996). 11 Ayşe Saraçgil, Kahve nin İstanbul a Girişi: 16. ve 17. Yüzyıllar, in Helene-Desmet Gregoire and François Geoergeon (eds), Doğuda Kahve ve Kahvehaneler. trans. by Meltem Atik and Esra Özdoğan. (İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayinları, 1999). 12 François Georgeon, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nun Son Döneminde İstanbul Kahvehaneleri, in Heıene-Desmet Gregoire and François Geoergeon (eds), Doğuda Kahve ve Kahvehaneler. Trans. by Meltem Atik and Esra Özdağan. (İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayinları, 1999). 13 Cengiz Kırlı, The Struggle Over Space: Coffeehouses of Ottoman İstanbul, , Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, (State University of New York at Binghamton, 2000)
15 6 relations in the nineteenth century Ottoman Empire. Namely, this Ph.D. dissertation is the first comprehensive work done by a historian on such public space in the period of nineteenth century. This work demonstrates that by conducting a coffeehouse case, one can trace the dynamics of the larger society. Another significant contribution to Ottoman coffeehouse studies came from sociology, a study by Uğur Kömeçoğlu whose Ph.D. dissertation is mainly about the Islamic coffeehouses that emerged in the İstanbul public realm in the last decade. 14 Particularly its first two chapters that situated the coffeehouse within the historical and sociological context are of foremost importance. However, like most of the other sociological accounts of past happenings, he uses repetitive and anecdotal evidence, but evaluates them with a good command of intellectual mind and tools. Such an overview of the studies on coffeehouses shows that two time periods, the period of the introduction of coffee and coffeehouses to İstanbul in the mid-sixteenth century; and the nineteenth century has been extensively emphasized; but in particular the early modern İstanbul coffeehouse has rarely been attempted before. As subject matter, such issues -the coffee controversy, the relations between state and society, and the general information concerning coffeehouses- has been treated, but the coffeehouse as a public space has hardly ever been highlighted. Departing 14 Uğur Kömeçoğlu, Historical and Sociological Approach to Public Space: The Case of Islamic Coffeehouses in Turkey, Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, (Bogazici University, 2001)
16 7 from the existing academic and popular literature, this thesis aims at examining the coffeehouse as a milieu for the urban experience of city inhabitants within the context of early modern İstanbul. Particularly focusing on the coffeehouse as a new public space in urban spatial setting and as a venue for the popular forms of sociability, and also as a confrontation zone between the authorities and their subjects, I will attempt to analyze the coffeehouse as a multi-dimensional space. The bulk of material needed to address the issues raised in this thesis is drawn from both archival sources and secondary literature. The archival documents were accumulated from the catalogues in the Prime Ministry Archives, such as Cevdet-Zaptiye, Hatt-ı Hümayun, Başmuhasebe Defterleri etc. First of all, I use the unusual registers among Başmuhasebe Defterleri from the late eighteenth century, providing some fruitful information to locate the coffeehouses within the context of the spatial and social topography of İstanbul. These archival sources that I came across by chance during my research in Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi are esnaf registers from the late eighteenth century. One particular register is about the muster roll of esnaf and social bonds among esnaf in various locations around Eyüp and its surroundings. 15 It contains information on the types of shops, names and titles, resident places and origins of shopkeepers and employees. These documents allow not only to construct the spatial topography of such spaces but also to contribute to 15 BOA, Başmuhasebe DBŞM (12 Ca 1209 / 5 December 1794).
17 8 our seeing the coffeehouse owners and staff. In a same way, the archival documents like Mühimme Defterleri and Cevdet- Zaptiye, are particularly important for understanding the exercising of power over the coffeehouses by the authorities. While they generally offer a normative picture, their careful examination reveals actual acts in public spaces. When one looks at such documents, he or she most probably says, They are talking about the same things with similar clichés. For instance, I gathered approximately ten documents from Cevdet- Zaptiye catalogue about the coffeehouse closure; at first glance, the same cliché, kendinin te dîb ve emsâlini terhîb zımmında 16 or ibreten li l-ğayr, 17 was used in most cases, but a detailed examination shows the state policy over coffeehouses. In addition to these, I use published Şeriyye Sicilleri and Ahkam Defterleri to see the sociability dimension of public space, and how people perceived and used these spaces. In addition to the archival documents, the Ottoman chronicles and the accounts of contemporary travellers are also used in this thesis. In spite of the monolithic and repetitive features of chronicles, and the orientalising aspects of travelers account, they contain very vivid observations especially on the experiences in the public spaces of early modern İstanbul. This thesis consists of three chapters, each one dealing with a particular aspect of the issues concerned and at the 16 BOA, Cevdet Zaptiye 3665 (20-30 Cemaziyel Evvel 1123 / 6-16 July 1711) 17 BOA, Cevdet Zaptiye 774, (1207 / 1792)
18 9 same time leading a conclusion. The first chapter, after looking at the introduction of coffee and coffeehouses to İstanbul, will attempt to situate the coffeehouse within the context of İstanbul s spatial and social topography and compare it with the other public spaces that shaped the Ottoman urban scene, such as public baths, mosques, bozahouses, taverns, which met social and cultural needs of the city inhabitants. It is argued that the coffeehouse as a new public space was introduced into the İstanbul public realm in the middle of the sixteenth century and by dramatically increasing its number in the following years, it became the central element of İstanbul urban life by way of rearranging spatial topography and transmogrifying the existing patterns of social interaction. The second chapter, by depicting the general silhouette from inside the coffeehouse and the profile of coffeehouse owners and their clientele, will examine the coffeehouse as a viable public space for the adult-male, in which many leisure activities, such as theatrical performances; shadow theatre (Karagöz), story-teller (Meddah) and literary actions took place. It is argued that, by the carnivalesque forms of public expression, the coffeehouse brought in a novel place for popular forms of sociability and created a public milieu as a social space for the adult-male. The third chapter, after touching on the perception of coffee and coffeehouses by ruling elites, will look at the principle of ruler-ship that perceives the coffeehouse as a threat to social order and public morality in the early modern
19 10 period. In a society where the printed materials including magazines, periodicals, and newspapers circulating news were absent, the coffeehouses acting as the reservoirs of popular political rumor, called devlet sohbeti became a target of contention of the authorities. In this vein, I attempt to examine the coffeehouse as a zone of interaction and mediation between state and society, and the exercise of state power over coffeehouses. From the archival documents, it can be possible to trace the changing policy from wholesale coffeehouse closings in the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century to the exemplary punishment in the eighteenth century. Steeping myself in these archival documents and contemporary accounts, benefiting from the secondary literature and striving to get a feel for the place and time can achieve only a closer understanding of the coffeehouse milieu in early modern İstanbul, but not a wholly faithful and final account of it.
20 11 CHAPTER I THE COFFEEHOUSE: A NEW PUBLIC SPACE In this chapter, by taking into account the considerable impact of the coffeehouse as a social institution in the Ottoman daily and public life, I will focus on the introduction of coffee and coffeehouses to İstanbul in the mid-sixteenth century, and its contribution to the urban spatial organization and to the urban experience of city inhabitants in the early modern period. 1. The Introduction of Coffee and Coffeehouses to İstanbul From the sixteenth century onwards, coffee as a drinking habit was essentially one of the distinguishing elements of the Ottoman lands. Since its emerging place, Ethiopia 1 and earlier spreading regions, -Yemen, Egypt and Hejaz- were the domains of Ottoman Empire; coffee-consumption first became far-reaching within the Ottoman territories. How was this ordinary drink introduced from the periphery to the center of the empire, 2 and did it begin to be consumed in public milieu and spread out immediately? 1 The origin of coffee as a beverage goes back to the mid-fifteenth century in the Islamic lands. However the discovery occurred, the fact remains that the coffee plant was born in Africa in an Ethiopian region (Kaffa). From there it spread to Yemen, Arabia and Egypt, where it developed enormously, and entered popular daily life. C. V. Arendok, Kahwa, Encyclopedia of Islam, 2 nd edition, vol.4, p. 449; Ralph S. Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouses, The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East. (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1996). 2 For the modernization paradigm, all the innovations prevail from center, Istanbul to the local areas. However, the case of coffee as a substance that prevails from periphery to the center had a different character.
21 12 The information about the origin of coffee in İstanbul came down to us through seventeenth century chroniclers. According to a well-known chronicler from seventeenth century, Katip Çelebi, coffee came to Asia Minor by sea, about 950/1543, 3 a decade before the appearance of the coffeehouse. For another seventeenth century chronicler, Peçevi, the coffee introduced to the Ottoman capital in 962/ However, some evidences show that coffee was known in İstanbul and consumed among the Sufi orders and elites in the palace before the appearance of public coffeehouses. 5 One Ebussuud s fetva that is undated, but from its content, probably before the 1550s, shows that coffee was introduced to İstanbul in a peaceful manner during the reign of the Süleyman I. Question: What does the Great Mufti think about the consumption of coffee that is expanding in Arab countries, especially in Mecca and Medine? Is its use licit or illicit? Answer: Those who are afraid of God do not drink coffee like debauches and drunkards, but for their health and well-being. There is no obstacle for those who drink it with the latter intention. 6 The question aimed to inquire into the consumption of coffee in Mecca and Medine rather than its consumption in a public 3 Katip Çelebi, Balance of Truth, ed. G. L. Lewis (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1957), p İbrahim Peçevi, Tarih-i Peçevi, vol. I. (İstanbul, / ), p Ayşe Saraçgil, Kahve nin İstanbul a Girişi: 16. ve 17. Yüzyıllar, in Helene-Desmet Gregoire and François Geoergeon (eds), Doğuda Kahve ve Kahvehaneler. trans. by Meltem Atik and Esra Özdoğan, (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayinları, 1999), p. 30.
22 13 setting. In addition, it signifies that coffee was already known in certain domain of the Ottoman capital. The consumption of coffee among the upper crust and palace might have become prevalent by the Kanuni s own tolerance. As a matter of fact, during the reign of Kanuni, there appointed a kahve kethüdası (kahvecibaşı) in the palace who was responsible for serving coffee to the padişah in appointed times such as after the mid-morning and dinner, and for serving coffee and sweet to the greats during the rikap resimleri. 7 The mobile elements of the society, traveling dervishes, hajjis and traders played crucial role in the introduction of coffee to İstanbul and the spreading of coffee within the Ottoman domain in the sixteenth century. 8 Mendicant dervishes, who used coffee for its stimulating effects during the nocturnal hours of their religious exercises, had played a significant role in cultural communications between İstanbul and the peripheral regions due to their mobile life style. Especially Kadiri and Rifai sects, who were not restricted to their orders, had influential links with the Hejaz and Egypt. Also the Halveti, Nakşi and Mevlevi dervishes were the key 6 İbid., p. 31. (I will come back to this point in the third chapter.) 7 Mehmet Zeki Pakalın, Kahvecibaşı, Osmanlı Tarih Deyimleri ve Terimleri Sözlüğü, cilt II, (İstanbul: M.E.B. Devlet Kitapları, 1971), p İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devleti nin Saray Teşkilatı, (Ankara, TTK Yayınları, 1984), pp For the mobile elements of society, see Suraiya Faroqhi, Osmanlı Kültürü ve Gündelik Yaşam: Ortaçağ'dan Yirminci Yüzyıla, trans. by Elif Kılıç (İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1997), pp
23 14 driving forces of a cultural circulation through a broad region extending from Egypt to the Balkans. 9 In fact, from the very beginning, coffee s use is associated with the Sufi circles for piety. Among Sufi circles, coffee was praised as a dispeller of sleep and aid to devotional exercises. 10 It was consumed in a ceremony in which the sheikh after reciting the name of God passed the cup to the person sitting next to him; the cup was then passed on among those present in the circle of zikr. Turning the coffee around denoted the mystical unity and the solidarity of the brotherhood. The coffee was circulated with the recitation of the word of ya Kafi in a hundred and sixteen times: This usage is based on apart from the similarity in sound between kahwa and kawi- the fact that the numerical value of khwi, i,e., 116, is the same as that of kwy, ie., kawi, strong, one of the names of Allah. 11 In this way, the coffee was connected with the quality of sanctity in the cosmos of mysticism. As a matter of fact, the detection of coffee in folk legend has been associated with the mystical figures around Sufi orders. One popular legend attributes the original detection of drink to the founder of Şazeli order, Ebu l-hasan Ali eş-şazeli. He became the patron saint of the coffeedealers guild, 12 so the phrase Ya Hazret-i Şeyh Şazeli was 9 Ekrem Işın, A Social History of Coffee and Coffeehouses, in Selahattin Özpalabıyıklar (ed.), Coffee, Pleasures Hidden in A Bean. (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2001), p Arendok, p Arendok, p They were protected by Shaikh Shadhili, who was girded by Weisul-karani with the Prophet's leave, Evliya Çelebi, Günümüz
24 15 placed in the shops of coffee-dealers and in the lodges of various orders. 13 In the same way, coffee was also significant for the heterodox Bektaşi circles, most of whose members were composed of Janissary corps. Twelve posts were specified around the Bektaşi Square where the members acted their ceremonies. The seventh post signifying the post of Sheikh eş- Şazeli is assigned to the kahveci. 14 Yet, before the 1550s, there were no coffeehouses in İstanbul; the beverage was not consumed in public. At that period of time, coffee drinking had become widespread among the members of Halvetiyye, which took root in the administrative circles of empire and took over an important role in a sense of politics. The coffee was consumed in the course of halvet meaning withdrawing into seclusion, that is one of the common characteristics of this order. 15 In this process, the coffee provides mental excitement to a Sufi and keeps him awake. Halvetiyye was not only one order that included coffee consumption in their rituals; the prevalent orders among people adopted this beverage situated at the margin. Traveling dervishes, particularly Kalenderiler, that made a strong and lasting stand against centralized systems and the cultural and Türkçesiyle Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnâmesi: İstanbul, ed. by Seyit Ali Kahraman, Yücel Dağlı, (İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2003), p Arendok, p Saraçgil, p B. G. Martin, A Short History of the Khalvati Order of Dervishes, Scholars, Saints and Sufis: Muslim Religious Institutions in the Middle East since 1500, ed. by N.R. Keddie, (Berkeley, London: University of California Press, 1972), p. 288.
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