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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Whirling Dervishes, Mevlevihane, turkey, video feature, photo feature,

The Dance of the Whirling Dervishes (Mevlevihane)

To view more photos and videos of the Mevlevihane, visit the Galata Mevlevihanesi and Hz. Mevlana Türbesi location pages as well as the #Mevlevihanesi and #WhirlingDervish hashtags.

For visitors to Turkey, a glimpse of the Whirling Dervishes or "Mevlevihane" is a must for any sightseeing list. The Dervishes, whose name means ”those who have chosen the road of suffering,” begin each dance by greeting their master then removing a black coat, a symbol of the earthly world, to reveal a white dress that symbolizes purity or "safa." They start to whirl like the planets around the Sun, raising their right hands to the heavens and pointing their left hands to the earthly world.

The best place to witness the Whirling Dervishes is in the city of Konya, at the tomb of Sufi poet Celalatin Rumi who is said to have invented whirling when he first spun himself into trance there in the 13th century. In Istanbul, the Galata Mevlevihanesi is the most famous Mevlevi Whirling Dervish hall. Performances are held there every Sunday evening.

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current events, turkey,

Turkish Protests Documented through Instagram

On May 31, three days after demonstrators set up camp in Istanbul’s Gezi Park to protest the development of a new shopping mall, police dispersed the crowd with water cannons and tear gas, setting off the most significant wave of protests in Turkey’s recent history.

Tapping into deeper cultural divisions and discontent, demonstrations have spread throughout Turkey, where protestors and bystanders alike have been documenting the skirmishes through Instagram.

View more photos from Istanbul by visiting locations pages for Gezi Park, İstiklal Caddesi and Kazancı Yokuşu. See photos from Ankara by visiting the Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi and Kuğulu Park location pages.

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Cappadocia, hot air balloons, Location Feature, turkey,

Location Feature: The Hot Air Balloons of Cappadocia

View more photos of hot air balloons and fairy chimneys by visiting the Cappadocia location page.

In the middle of Turkey sits Cappadocia, a region defined as much by its iconic “fairy chimneys" as by its long and colorful history.

These days, visitors from around the world make the trek to this region to catch a bird’s-eye view of the unique and spectacular scenery. Each morning, 90 balloons lift more than 1,500 passengers high above the landscape, providing one of the best Instagram opportunities the world has to offer.