City Of Saints
Evliya means a Muslim saint. Evliyas, who have believed only in God, given people what was given to them by God, have always been the protectives of human’s soul. There have been so many evliyas of Istanbul that its residents have always had safe haven. Laleli Baba, a shoe-repairer has been one of the important evliyas of Istanbul. He was carrying a tulip at the front pocket of his coat which was decorated with tulip motives, that’s why he was called as ‘dad with tulip’ (Laleli Baba). He was thought to be non-religious since he had sat across the mosque all day long but never went into mosque to pray. Even the sultan’s mother heard about his bad fame. She came to scold him. He welcomed her with a huge sincere smile and asked her to close her eyes. When she opened her eyes later, she saw that she was praying in white dress in Kaaba with him. She said to him ‘you are a real slave of God’ and she understood that nothing was as it seemed. Laleli Baba got famous… When Sultan Mustafa III got sick, Laleli Baba cured him by praying. The sultan named his new mosque after him to show his gratitude, later the whole town was called as Laleli after him. Today, his tomb is always visited by people who are looking for hope, cure, and peace.