The dervish cells are arranged around the courtyard on the western facade of the convent. They appear on the exterior as a row of cupolaed sections, each with its own chimney. These cells, the lodge of the dervishes (plan 15-16), were built by Murad III in 1584. They originally opened into the courtyard via a cloister-like portico, called as glazed hall. In 1927, when the convent was converted into a museum, the dividing walls between all but a few cells were demolished to turn the lodge into a display hall.
The first cell is arranged as the sheyh's chamber- the post-nisin, or encumbent sheyh of the lodge would have lived in such a room. A dervish is shown reading the Mesnevi in one of the adjacent cells, while in another stands a whirling dervish.
In the hall leading to these cells are miniatures related to Mevlana, his geneological tree and paintings and drawings related to the order.
The converted lodge to the west and north of the courtyard contains the rug collection. This includes pile rugs and fragments from Konya and other regions of Anatolia. At the entrance we see a rug woven in the form of the Konya newspaper of 1900 to advertise a rug and kilim exhibition mounted in Konya during that year. Rugs of the Konya region, including Seljuk rugs from Beysehir and Ladik and Karaman rugs of the Ottoman period are hung on one wall, opposite which are to be seen Usak rugs of extremely fine quality and Caucasian rugs dating from the 15 to 18 th centuries. Other rugs on display are Ottoman period pile rugs from the carpet-weaving centres of Bergama, Mucur, Kirsehir, Kula and Gordes, dating to the 16-19 th centuries. The carpet collection of the Mevlana Museum is particularly notable for the large number of fine qualtiy rugs and seccades from the most important weaving centres of Anatolia and especially for their variety and uniqueness. The glazed hall, also part of the lodge, contains the textile collection. Most of the exhibits are textiles and garments presented to the convent as endowments by the Ottoman sultans and notables, to be laid across the tomb of Mevlana and his followers. Among the textiles shown are bi-piled Bursa velvets -catma- woven with gilt and silver thread, brocades, and watered silks woven in Istanbul and Bilecik, embroidered silk, and baize and felt appliqued prayer-rugs.
Two of the dervish cells contain the library of the convent, originally two private collections, the Mehmet Onder and Abdulbaki Golpinarli collections, their original owners both the authors of several works on Mevlana. Costumes and Bukhara weaves from various parts of Anatolia could be seen in this hall.
To the south of the dervish cells, at the entrance to the courtyard are the convent kitchens -dergah matbah. The kitchens were restored and extended in 1584 by order of Murad III. The most recent restorations were completed in 1867. This was not only the place where the meals for the convent were prepared, but also the training ground for potential novices, where aspirants to the order carried out 1001 days of trial by service. The pelt of the water -carrier , where aspirants remained seated during the first three days of their service, observing the kitchen activities, was placed on a high bench immediately to the right of the entrance to the kitchen, which also contains large hearths, a raised section where the dervish-elect practised whirling by placing his foot on a nail in the floor (these nails can still be seen there), the refectory table and various kitchen artefacts. Above the kitchen is the dormitory of the kitchen staff. There is also a cellar below. The kitchen played an important part in the training of a dervish. The Mevlevi matbah has produced a great many mystics of renown, including well-known poets, calligraphists, composers, musicians and interpreters of the Mesnevi.
The hall on the south face of the courtyard contains inscriptions dating to the Ottoman period. Among them are inscription plaques in both verse and prose from buildings in and around Konya many of which have since been destroyed. Some of the most important are the inscriptions of the tomb of Turgutoglu Pir Huseyin Bey (1431), the cistern of blessed water (1499), the bedestan (1538), the dervish cells (1584), Yusuf Aga Medrese (1797), the inscription dating to the restoration of the Green Dome (1836) and of the madrasa of Sultan Veled (1888).
Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Mevlana and the Mevlana Museum".
You can purchase "Mevlana and the Mevlana Museum" book and other Turkey related books from Explore Turkey Bookstore.