Rajasthan News

Turkish delegation demands declaring Ajmer and Konya twin cities

by RajasthanDirect
Oct 22, 2013

A Turkish delegation currently participating in the Sufi festival of the SAARC nations here urged the Indian government to clear a proposal of declaring Ajmer and Konya as twin or sister cities to promote Sufi teachings and cultural exchange.

Turkish town Konya has a Sufi shrine of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi which is a century older than Ajmer Dargah and but a twin-city tag would have lot of advantages for both cities, the delegates said.

The Embassy of Turkey had sent the proposal in June 2013 to the ministry of external affairs stating the merits of a twin-city relationship between Konya and Ajmer due to their spiritual importance. Reacting to the proposal, the Central Europe division of the ministry had directed the proposal to the state government for consideration.

“People of Turkey are eager to see the name of a street or place after Ajmer shrine in Konya and vice-versa. Ajmer and Konya are historically, culturally and spiritually important destinations for believers in Tariqat (shrines),” said Sheika Cemalnur Sargut, a prominent Sufi scholar of Turkey.

She was the key speaker on the first day the SAARC event and spoke on Tasavvuf (Sufism). The Sufi delegation offered prayers at Ajmer and expressed their desire to meet the tourism minister but fail to reach out due to election code of conduct.

The delegation said both Konya and Ajmer have lot of similarities being centres of Sufi pilgrimage. Both Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and Mevlana Rumi came from the same region called Khurasan (partly in Afghanistan and Iran now).

Spiritual tourism between two nations that has increased in recent years and the growing interest is exemplified by the opening of Chisthiya Khangah (prayer seat) in Istanbul. Scholars Rafai Sufi order are also translating books of Ajmer shrine in Turkish language.

Ekrem Ahmet, a prominent Sufi performer said the agreement between two nations will foster tourism, encourage research work, promote students and cultural exchange, and propagate Sufi values in the two countries.

src: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Turkish-delegation-urges-govt-to-declare-Ajmer-Konya-as-twin-cities/articleshow/24505900.cms

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