Dances of Universal Peace Caravan – The Art of Life. Includes the Middle East Dance Leader Training Camp

Turkey, 11-23 September 2023

The Art of lıfe EL ARTE DE LA VIDA
L’ART DE VIVRE Yaşam Sanatı

In your light, I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,
But sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.
Mevlana Rumi

As the path unfolds, we invite you to join us in a mystical journey. The caravan is a service project of the Beyond Initiative whose purpose is to support the emerging circles of Dances of Universal Peace in the Middle East. We try to create the best experience for all of us but also we would like to inform you that this is a friendly invitation to support this process and is not intended as a professional package of a tourist agency. Your participation makes it possible to give grants and assistance to the DUP leaders in training from the region.
The caravan and camp schedule is:
September 11-12: Istanbul (Sacred and historic sites) September 13-17: Yalova (Middle East Training Camp) September 18-20: Cappadocia Region (Nature and Magic) September 20-23: Konya (Local Sufis, Rumi)

We strongly recommend arriving at least 2 or 3 days earlier (on the 8th or 9th) because Istanbul is such a magical city with so many places and adventures available. In the Caravan we will take you to special visits, but a few days of tourism are recommended. We will provide later on, a list of things you can do and the name of our group accommodation (in case you want to stay there when you arrive).


September 11-12 Istanbul:

Visiting sacred shrines, mosques and churches. Experiencing the amazing historical sites and enchanted bazaars. Boat ride on the Bosphorus. Enjoy delicious Turkish food and sweets. Dance circles.

September 13-17 Yalova:
Boat ride from Istanbul to Yalova. Training Camp begins on the 13th afternoon and finishes at noon of the 17th, leaving a free afternoon to rest and/or to enjoy at the natural hot springs of Yalova. In addition to the DUP training for emergent leaders of Middle Eastern countries, we will have different workshops including Whirling, Anatolian Dances, Middle Eastern Music performances, “Sufi Poetry” and Meshk with local teachers and facilitators. Everyone is welcome to participate in the Camp, regardless of your experience or no experience with Dances of Universal Peace.

September 18-20 Cappadocia:
Leaving Yalova to begin our journey by bus to visit the Dargah of Sultan Haçi Bektash Veli, who is considered by the local mystics to be the doorway into the mysteries and wisdom of Rumi.

Later on the 18th we will arrive in Cappadocia to explore and witness the surreal landscapes of sculpted rocks and old sacred churches built into the geological formations enjoying walks and magical scenery. We will have the chance to watch amazing sunrises with hot air balloons. If you wish to experience a balloon ride, you can book it with the hotel but it is not included in the caravan activity.

September 20-23 Konya:
On the 20th we reach our final destination: Konya. Among so many things to experience in Konya, we will be visiting the Dargah of Shams Tabriz, following the tradition of getting permission from Shams when entering Konya.

We will connect with Rumi while visiting his Tomb and Sanctuary, Sohbet(open conversation) with his successors, visit the local Sufi Lodges and also enjoy the “Mystic Music Festival” which commemorates the life of Djelaluddin Rumi (dates are not announced yet). We will also attend Sema ceremonies and experience traditional Sufi Cuisine. On September 23rd the Caravan officially ends. For those who want to stay in Konya to spend more time and visit other places of interest, there will be information provided.

General Price of Caravan 2023: 900 EUR

What is included:
● All accommodations and most of the meals.
● Transportation to all of the organized activities, sites and transfers.

● Entrance tickets to places and guidance. One ticket to the Mystic Music Festival. (In case the dates coincide with our visit to Konya)
● Teachings, workshops, visits to local teachers, etc.

What is not included:
●Two lunches during the 2 free times at midday (one in Istanbul, one in Konya) and snacks for boat and bus ride.
●Plane tickets to arrive in Istanbul or transport after Konya.

●Any type of insurance.

●Honoraries of any of the DUP teachers. Donations will be welcome.
● Private rooms in Hotels. (Generally our rooms are for 4 people occupancy.)

● Hot Air Balloon Ride or extra activities in Cappadocia.

The $900 EUR price is intended to make this caravan accessible to younger generations of dancers and leaders, as well as participants from countries with less robust economies. There is a possibility of joining and paying an extra registration fee to have more comfort and privacy in accommodation. Private rooms for couples will be an extra $200 EUR per person and individual bedrooms will be an extra $400 EUR.
The private rooms will only be provided based on availability.

To reserve your space on the DUP Turkey Caravan 2023 please write to: Places are limited. The deadline for applying is July 31st, nevertheless, registration will close when the maximum number of participants is reached.

What to bring?
September is late summer in Turkiye, so the advice is to bring summer clothes (comfortable shoes/sandals, shorts, hat, swimwear and light clothes), but also a jacket and warmer clothes for cold nights. A scarf to enter mosques is necessary.
It can be helpful to bring socks for whirling, a small blanket or sleeping bag.

We recommend before booking your flights to Türkiye to double check with us about your place on the Caravan and all the possible extra activities you can do in the country.
For those who wish to participate in the Conference of Birds gathering, a retreat festival created in order to acknowledge and share the Sufi knowledge, healing music and spiritual practices; the dates are 4-10th of September 2023 in Fethiye. In that case please consider the arrangement to arrive in Istanbul by 11th of September for the start of our Caravan. Please access detailed information at
We hope to dance together with you soon in the Land of Sufis. 2023 Camp & Caravan Team
Lakshmi (Coordinating Mentor)
Sinan, Sheri & Ari (Local Hosts)