At the center of this complex is a semahane (whirling dervish hall), that dates all the way back to 1491. It is the oldest of the six whirling dervish complexes in the city, and was converted into a museum in 1946. The museum includes exhibits on dervish clothing, history, and culture. An interesting fact is that during the early years of Turkey's republic, the dervishes were banned, as they were often associated with ultraconservative religious politics. As such, their presence in Istanbul declined, and only a handful of functioning dervish halls remain in the city - and inthis complex is one of them.