If you have ever took a walk down the Avenue of Ambassadors to the Kozija ćuprija, and then turned around towards the city following the road that leads to transit, you must have notices an unusual mausoleum – turbeh. People are used to the presence of turbehs around Bosnia and Herzegovina, but rare are those who wonder how these turbehs ended there or who the people buried there are.
The origin of martyrs’ cemeteries in BiH is usually traced back to the period of Ottoman Empire’s conquest of Bosnia. This turbeh, located at a place known as Šehova Korija, is about one kilometer away from the former Isa-Bey’s Tekke, in eastern direction.
When approaching the turbeh, it seems like an ordinary tomb. However, when you get close, you will notice two characteristic tombstones with turbans. The tombstones have no inscriptions.
Haso Popara, the librarian on the head of the Fund of Manuscripts in the Gazi Husrev-Bey’s Library, said that he knows whose tombs these are, and that data on these tombs are available in the library. A book by the former professor conservator in the Institute for Protection of Monuments of Culture in BiH, a writer, translator and prominent cultural worker Mehmed Mujezinović, titled “Islamic Epigraphy of Bosnia and Herzegovina” states that these are tombs of two dervishes of the Mevlevi order, Sultan Ahmet and Abdul Mahmut.
“On the way from Bentbaša towards Kozija ćuprija, above Šehova Korija, on one knap on the left bank of Miljacka, two pairs of characteristic tombs are present, with specific dervish turbans, without epitaphs. Only the headstones on both tombs are preserved and have the same dimensions (height 80 centimeters and base 23×23 centimeters). They are of the same shape, with turbans of the Mevlevi order. Foundations of the turbeh can be discerned under the grass around the tombs,” Mujezinović wrote.
Further in the book, Mujezinović stated that one of these dervishes wrote a piece on Persian language, and the Sarajevo poet Sebletija, who was writing in Turkish, in one of his works created around 1662 mentions the turbeh of two dervishes for which he said was located above Šehova korija. Sebletija was also the first to mention the names of those dervishes.
A historian Velid Jerlagić confirmed that it is being assumed that the mentioned dervishes are buried in the turbeh.
“It is not known whether the turbeh had another construction except for the carved stone blocks which were used for bordering the tomb itself,” Jerlagić said.
Jerlagić also explained that the current turbeh has been placed recently, that in this way certain individuals fenced and protected the turbeh. Furthermore, Jerlagić said that the credit for the only data available on this turbeh goes to Mehmed Mujezinović, who worked hard on finding documents in which this Mevlevi turbeh was mentioned, and then translating them.
And when you stand next to this turbeh, the city opens to you – a stunning view of the city walls, the White Fortress. You imagine the old times and believe that things happened this way, and such a legacy is a statement that the past was indeed as you believe it was.