KARABAS-I VELI LODGE AND ITS GRAVESTONES
Karabas- Wali is one of the famous sheiks in Islamic world who lived in 17th century and is one of the founder of Karabaşiyye branch of Halvetiyye sect. He was born in 1611 and his title was Karabaş-because of he wore a black turban in lodge. Another nickmane is Wali that he had shown a lot of miracles in his life. The Karabas-ı Wali Lodge is located Başçı İbrahim district in Osmangazi town of greater Bursa and it is one of the most visited lodges by sufis. The lodge was built in 1550 AD by Yakup Chalabi, one of the lovers of great sheikh and it used to contained a semahane where the religious rituals performed, a big charity kitchen where free food delivered to the poor, darwish cells, a madrasah, a lodge master’s house, a small mosque, a small hospital , a few fountains in the courtyard and surrounded by a big garden where the darwishes used to grow vegetables and fruits for the lodge. It was a small graveyard next to the lodge where the sheiks, masters, darwishes, lovers and high officials of Hudavendigar state such as viziers, pashas and calligraphers were buried.
Karabaş-ı Wali Sect Kulliye was destroyed several times by the earthquakes and it was shortened after 1918 due to big migration from Balcan countries. In 1925 Bursa began developing as to be one of the most industrial center of the region so Karabaş-ı Wali sect buildings were removed and the sect centers & darwish lodges were banned by law. This sect center was used by different foundations and the large building semahane became the sports center where physical exercises were made by young athletes. The remaining buildings from Kulliye were transferred to Bursa Metropolitan Municipality in the year 2000 and kulliye was restored in between 2002 and 2005. It has been used as a cultural center where Sufi Sema rituals are performed. The Karabaş-ı Wali Lodge has a rectangular shape and Semahane has a big hall. The engravings are one of the best examples of 16th century on the dome and pendants. The wood carvings and painted engraving in black on the domes contains some verses from holy Koran and hadiths of prophet Mohammed ( peace be upon him ). It covers an area of 1720 square meters where the whirling darwishes perform rituals once a week. It has been known as Mawlavi Sufi Lodge Center in Bursa city since it was restored in 2005.
The small graveyards of Karabaş-ı Wali Lodge both tells us the history of the sect & kulliye and gives a lot of information about buried people of different periods. We have some information of the founder Yakup Chalabi from his gravestone. The gravestones also reflect the architectural forms, historical facts and the cultural aspects of different time periods from 16th to early 20th centuries. Most of the gravestones in the yard have a special features called Eşrefiyye with sect crown and masters of the lodge can be seperated by looking at them at once. The main gravestones which are worth visiting in Karabaş-ı Wali Lodge graveyards are ; Hacı Pir-i bin Yakub Chalabi’s gravestone, sect founder, dated in 1550 and Sheikh Mehmet Effendi’s gravestone, master of the sect, dated 1570. Sheik Hacı Emin Effendi’s gravestone, master of the sect, dated in1878 is a striking one which grabs the visitors by its Eşreffiye crown with seven peices wrapped vertically. Sheikh Suleyman Vehbi Effendi's gravestone, the master of the sect and the calligrapher, dated in 1878 is another good example worth seeing. Most of the sect masters’ gravestones have seven sectional crown sect headstones wrapped vertically. One of the main features of Karabaş-ı Wali Lodge graveyards used to have immigrants graves from Athens until the Peleponnese cemetery was established. The female gravestones numbered with 5, 17 and 21 are the best example of Hotoz headgears with flowers & jewellery items.