MAIN RELIGIOUS SECTS IN OTTOMAN EMPIRE
As soon as Turkish troops accepted islam as the main faith in 8th centuries AD during the Umayyads. They were also acquainted with sufism as well. The first sufism center of Turks was in Khorasan and the first sufi was Hodja Ahmet Yesevi. The first sufis were called as Khorasan dervishes and they have made a great effort & huge impact of islamization of Anatolia as well as becoming a Turkish land. According to the famous legend, The sheikh Hodja Ahmet Yesevi has ordered to 40000 darwishes to go Anatolia as called “ Diyar- Rum “ to conquer not only the land but also the hearts. The sufis from Khorasan, Bukhara, Merv and Samarkand have been sent to Anatolia and they have been settled down all over the land. When the Khoran sufis began settling down in Anatolia, there was a big chaos & damage because of Mongol attacks so Khorasan dervishes have been the remedy of public troubles and they have been able to raise moral awaraness on. Some students of Sheikh Ahmet Yesevi have been able to set up new sects during their missionary work throughout Anatolia between 12th and 13th centuries such as Rıfai, Kadiri, Mawlavi, Baktashi, Ahi, Nakşibendi, Halveti , Zeyni and etc. Some of them have been loved and adopted by the local inhabitants under the infulence of mystic leaders such as Ahi Evran in Kırsehir, Mevlana in Konya, Hacı Bektash in Sulucahoyuk and Saban-ı Veli in Kastamonu. These mystic leaders also have been insprired the establihement of four major sects throughtout Anatolia later. Their caliphs-students- have been able to set up systematic rules so Ahi, Baktashi, Mawlavi and Halvati sects have been arised and spread quickly among the Seljuk Turks. Konya, Kırşehir, Kastamonu and Sulucahoyuk towns became the centers of enlightment both in rulers and ordinary people. For instance, Seljuk Sultans invited Rumi to be settled down in Konya and have given him a madrasah to educaate & enlighten the inhabitants of Konya. Ahi Evran was the contemporary of Rumi and he was also the leader of all artisans & craftsmen who have made a big guild in 13th century AD as the biggest NGO in that time. The lodges of major sects have become not only the educational institutues but also hospitals where the sick people cured, charity foundations where the poor was fed & cared and arts centers where the fine arts taught. The sects in 13th cenntury AD were divided into two main schools of thought. The first one was based on Konya Mavlavi tradition which has been spread out poeple from the palace & high-class using Persian language. Most of the admnistrators and Seljuk sultans have joined to Mawlavi sect. The second school of thought was based on Yesevilik origin called as Ahilik which has been more popular among the ordinary people & members of guilds using in Turkish language. Ahilik has kept traditional rules brought from Khorasan and even central Asia where it was the first origins of the whole Turkish tribes, lived in nomadic way, practised in spoken language as to comminicate with local people and it was spread in ordinary class. When the Ottoman empire was founded, Ahi sect was the main one becuase of Sheikh Edebalı who was the father-in law of Otman beg. Sheikh Edebali was considered as the spirutal founder of Ottoman empire due to his influence for giving moral advice to Osman beg. Therefore Ottoman empire was founded by the great effort of Sheikh Edebali and Osman beg was an Ahi lover. During the establishment of the Ottoman empire, Ahi, Baktashi, Bayrami, Mawlavi and Halvati sects were the major ones and Ottoman sultans kept eqaul distences between the sects and the state. Ottoman sultans encouraged the sheihks to open new lodges & centers for providing spaces & appropriation but they always inspected where they spent the Money and their incomes as legal or illegal so the respect between the state and religious orders has been preserved for a long time. On the other hand, Baktashi sect became the offical sect as soon as the Janissary army was established in 1362 AD so Baktashi sect has been preserved by military power till Janissary army was abolished in 1826 AD but the Ottoman sultans have been able to keep the balance between Baktashi and the other sects. During the conquest of Balcan countries, Baktashi and the other sects have been made a great effort by enlighting the local inhabitants as to become muslim especially in Albenia, Crotia, Macedonia and Bosnia. The Sufis have opened the lodges, hospitals, schools, art center and foundation to help the local people as well as the immigrants settling down the conquered lands &countries so Ottoman rulers used the lodges of the sects as the strategic & logistic center of the state. When Istanbul was conquered, the other sects from all over the islamic world, began emigrating & opening branch offices in the new capital therefore between the 15th and 17th centuries AD hundred of sects have been arisen on three continents having millions of members&lovers. Some major sects were also divided into some branches by sufis such as Halvati and Ottoman empire became the paradise of sects & lodges with great power of money & members. As the empire began expanding and the welfare system was developed , some sects began being spread among the different classes such as Mawlavi, Sunbuli, Celveti and etc. The ruling class became Sunbuli or Celveti, the admnistrators & artists became Mawlavi and the military class especially Janissaries & poor became Baktashi. Mawlavi sect became the second main sect after Baktashi and 5 big Asitanes were opened in Istanbul where the great musicians, artists, poets and writer were trained. As the janissary army was spoilt our in declining period, they escaped from war, refused fighting and began robbing the people so Baktashi sect was fell into disfavor and lost its income sources & popularity in public eye. In 1836 AD Baktashi sect was banned by sultan Mahmut II just after the janiassary army was removed, its leaders &sheiks were either executed or exiled, its lodges were closed or given to Naksibendi lovers by the state. All the sects were banned in 1924 after Turkish republic was proclaimed. Sects have made a great contribution to the Ottoman soceity as the centers of intellectual, art and enlightment for centuries especially in the beginning of the establishment and development. When Ottoman state was promoted from a small state to a big empire, they kept their situations and main misions altough hundreds of new sects were arisen after Istanbul coquest. They have educated & trained all kinds of Ottoman classes in three contients and their lodges & centers have been the best fine art academies & musical conservatories for ages. The best composers, the most talented calligraphers, the most famous novelists & writers and the excellent artisans have been educated & trained in Baktashi, Mawlavi, Sunbuli and Celveti sects or its branç offices but they have been the centers of rebels, thieves, drunks, pirate, punk and military deserters duing the declining period of the empire. The sheiksh have been inherited from father to son and has been bought and sold so they have been spoiled out. It would not have been impossible to remove the Janissary army if the inhabitants of Istanbul had not helped to the Ottoman state so people have been avoided attending the sects. Major sects which can be seen on Ottoman gravestones are MAWLAVI-BAKTASHI-SUNBULI-HALVATI AND KADIRI.