Life and Ahi Community


     After the Turks had arrived in Anatolia, a different formation emerged in the Denizli culture from the XI Century together with the settling of the immigrants.  Due to the concentration of Byzantine societies in the cities, the effect of Turkmens who are representatives of the Turkish-Islamic culture was limited to the rural area.  When the locals Anatolian Seljuks are dominant Turkish culture also spreads regularly.

     Gazi Erenler known as the Horasan erenleri among the people became a model person with his behavior and directed the Turkmen.  During the period of Beyliks Denizli region also intensified the process of Turkization.  This process gained momentum especially during the time of İnanç Bay and sects such as Mevlevi and Bektashism spread through Ahi.  In Denizli, the Ottomans had found an entirely Turkified city so they did not need to change their social and cultural structure.

The economic and social crises that emerged after the middle of the XVI Century initiated the first changes in Denizli's social structure.  The disruption of the grooming regime hindered agricultural activities, and famine caused the local people to migrate.  Some of the students of the madrasa school and the rural youth were engaged in activities such as discipline and rebellion, and some of them joined pirates on the Aegean coast.  At the beginning of the XVII century, the social experience of the Denizli region had returned to normal with the relative ordering.

According to the information given by Evliya Çelebi who visited Denizli in 1671-1672, life was going on the regular flow.  Ahilik was also influential in this period.  Evliya Çelebi also describes the Ahi Sinan and Ahi Duman tekkes which Ibn al-Batuta spoke in the Middle Ages.

However, Ahilik changed in the process of Westernization.  The venues have been transformed into neighborhood and village rooms and places where the wealthy people welcome the guests.  Also, the rooms where zeybekers and young people gathered were widespread in this period.  These sites became places where young people gathered and enjoyed.  Denizli was a small Anatolian city based on agriculture and weaving.

Denizli was also the town view in the first years of the republic.  The people provided their living from farming and weaving.  Even if the tekkes were closed, the sects maintained their power.  Modern schools took the place of the Medreses the dress code changed, and the frame of the modern Turkish nation was created.  The Turkish Quarters and the People's Houses have been leading the society to a new way of life and culture has become increasingly widespread.  Studies on Turkish language, history, culture, and education were drawing a course by reshaping social life of the society.

With the economic revival in rural areas in the 1950s changes in the structure of society continued.  It has been a development from an agricultural society to industrial society.  With the increase of transportation opportunities big cities especially the ones established with İzmir brought new dimensions to the social life.  The migration started in this period was accelerated.

With the widespread use of mass media and the influence of workers abroad changes in traditional culture and social life has gained considerable proportions.  The breakthrough and investment of Denizli people in the direction of industrialization especially weaving and trade has become an indispensable part of its current life, and the trend is ongoing.

Despite the fact that Pamukkale University was founded in 1992 the effects on social cultural and educational fields have begun to be seen.  Conservatory and open air theater which is pioneered by the municipality hosts visual arts events as well as conferences and symposiums.  Traditional festivals are also widespread in the city center and districts.


Founded in XIII century, Ahilik rooted in Anatolia in the XIII Century are a professional religious and good Turkish artisan association founded by historical and socio-economic necessities.  Ahi establishments aimed to protect the environmental and social character and to regulate producer and consumer relations and relations in the best way.

The Ahilik organization founded by Ahi Evran is one of the primary sources for today's small and medium-sized enterprises.  Ahi organizations have been practicing guiding principles in the Turkish economy for centuries such as standard production standard price social security employee-employer relations in-service training.  Thanks to the ahilik organization, small and medium-sized businesses like silver gold works shoe making hand weaving molding copperwork and kitchen utensils making were protected

Tradesmen and artisans who entered the Ahi organization saw military training and training separately from professional religious and moral education, and when they were needed, they were fighting with the enemy by joining the wars.

If we summarize the factors that prepared the emergence of Ahilik organization in Anatolia, we can list them as follows.
To easily find job for a lot of artisans from many big and civilized Turkish cities in Asia
To compete with native Byzantine craftsmen
To protect the quality of the goods they have made
Adjusting production according to need
To place artistic morality in artisans
To make the Turkish people independent economically
To help all those who need it
To fight alongside the state's armed forces in the foreign attacks to be made to the country
To create public excitement in Turkishness consciousness art on the ground in literature in music traditions and customs.

     The full name of Ahi Evran is Sheikh Nasirüddin Ebu'l-Hakayik Mahmud Bin Ahmet and is known as Ahi Evran in Anatolia.  He was born in 1171 (566).