Since 1273, followers of the legendary spiritual poet and philosopher Rumi have whirled in Konya, Turkey as a form of remembering God. While music guides these men, this isn’t dance in the sense we understand it anymore than preaching is acting.

Image captured through my Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6) on a Canon 7D hand held. Post processed in PS4 using OnOne by PerfectPhoto to create a light- textured background.


dervish, whirling dervish, konya, turkey

Aging… Um…. Maturing. Still wondering what I’ll be when I grow up.

View Full Profile


  • Barbara  Brown
    Barbara Brown5 months ago

    What a wonderful image Ted. This is something I wish I had been able to see when I was in Turkey. But time did not allow. A wonderful capture, composition and sense of motion.

  • It was over 5 hours by van to Konya Barbara. An interesting ride by the way through much of Turkey’s ag lands. I’ve got to browse through the out-the-window shots. We had a sort of grey… very slightly rainy day for the ride so the colors are way muted along the roadside. Which probably is why those many images have not leapt out at me. Glad we have Turkey to share. Your images of that captivating country are wonderful.

    – Ted Byrne

  • annacuypers
    annacuypers5 months ago

    Superbe work Ted, love the motion, xxx

  • Thank you Anna. I’ve got to do a triptych of these men. The range in age from, I’d guess, their sixties down to youths of about ten or eleven. And each brings a subtle personality to his whirls as their faces assume a trance-like quality. They generally move with their eyes shut, yet they have a choreography that keeps them separate and allows them to move in a large coiner-clockwise circle about the auditorium floor each arriving at the same ultimate destination. It is eery.

    – Ted Byrne

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz475 months ago

    Reaping the whirlwind…. Fantastic image, Ted.

  • While there is a theatrical quality to the evening (it lasts about two hours) which is reinforced by the theatrical lighting way above the dervishes… there is also a solemnity to the actions of the individuals. It is one of those unforgettable life moments.

    – Ted Byrne

  • Shulie1
    Shulie15 months ago

    Beautiful, Ted – I love watching them. They seem to go into an altered state of mind.

  • Yes… they are definitely entranced as they whirl Shulie, seemingly eyes closed yet aware of precisely where they are relative to the very large circle that they traverse and to one another. There is much experience here, even among the youngest who, as I"ve written above, seem to be pre-teen.

    – Ted Byrne

  • Larry Butterworth
    Larry Butterworth5 months ago

    Great image Ted, get the feel of spinning and staying centered at the same time

  • They whirl quite quickly, and they simultaneously traverse a very large circle, never interfering with one another and yet arriving at a fixed ending point… While seeming trance-like, eyes closed.

    – Ted Byrne

  • ChasSinklier
    ChasSinklier5 months ago

    So true Ted – these guys are worshipers sharing with those around them – caught the flavor – just add the music – spinning themselves into another realm – - – U R the Master at being there and then sharing the meat with us – thanks Ted ~:0) VivaChas Hot Rod Art!

  • They whirl and, as I’ve written above, circle a large floor in a circular open-air auditorium Chas. They move through spot-lit circles whose gels are shifted among various primary colors. There is a band playing at one end a music that seems to come from the thirteenth century. It’s simultaneously familiar in its melodies, yet strange. The experience is eery.

    – Ted Byrne

  • Keith Reesor
    Keith Reesor5 months ago

    Fantastic Ted!! :)

  • Thanks Keith. These men are, as you’ve written… fantastic in a very literal sense.

    – Ted Byrne

  • © Jolie  Buchanan
    © Jolie Buchanan4 months ago


  • THANK YOU JOLIE! I am totally flattered. The artists the group attracts are in many ways inspirational to me, thanks for including me among many of the most interesting.

    – Ted Byrne

  • Tammera
    Tammera4 months ago

  • Thanks Tammera… These men whirl trance-like while moving in a great arc across the floor to the music. They rarely if ever seem to open their eyes yet all end at the same spot and never collide. There is a mystical feel all about their performance. It’s good of you to find the image resonating.

    – Ted Byrne

  • billfox256
    billfox2564 months ago

    A fantastic creation that is excellently done!!!! Bill

  • Thank you Bill… As I’ve written to Tammera below, the man whirls in the center of a large audience who babble to one another, laugh, and rarely seem to speak in hushed tones. The dervish is deaf and blind to all of that as he whirls in circles within a larger circle he makes about the circular floor.

    – Ted Byrne

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait