KONYA, Turkey – Prince Charles and his wife visited the mausoleum of one of Islam's greatest mystic poets Monday and watched the traditional whirling dance of his followers, the dervishes.
The heir to the British throne and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are on a four-day tour of historic sites in Turkey.
In Konya, central Turkey, they visited the mausoleum of the 13th-century poet Mavlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, who is considered to be the father of Sufism — the mystical form of Islam that preaches tolerance and love.
The two looked at handwritten books and costumes as well as verses of the Quran painted on the ceiling.
Charles and Camilla later watched dervishes whirl in a traditional trancelike meditation, called sema, one palm turned up toward heaven, the other turned down toward earth.
In a speech after the sema ceremony, the prince said: "What better place then here near the resting place of (al-Rumi) to rededicate ourselves to the purpose of reacquiring an understanding heart and a rebalance of the East and West in ourselves."