Following the Kyrenia Gate the main road directs you immediately on southwards into the heart of the old city. To your left a tiny way, placed in an army camp built in the shadow of the walls, is the Martyr's Museum, devoted to the battles of 1974 and the configuration of North Cyprus. Although several labels have been translated into English, the museum's compilation, including as it does of rifles and oil paintings, will be of little curiosity to the standard foreigner.
It is, nonetheless, worth returning to the main road and the Monastery of the Whirling Dervishes, the mystic command of Islam founded by Mevlana, a Persian-Turkish poet of the 13th century. It is the single monastery of its type on the island, and your eye will be wedged by its low-rise domes immediately to your left following the roundabout just inside the Kyrenia Gate. Street parking outside is apparently retained for visitors to the museum.
The early 17th-century structure was in use as the dervishes' monastery until the 1920s, when Ataturk banned them along with other monastic orders in his determination to formulate Turkey a secular state. The Turkish Cypriots went after Ataturk's principles and closed the "tekke". The remained dervishes now have their control centre in Aleppo, Syria. Although much of the original complex was destroyed, the meeting room and part of the shrine were renovated in 1963 and reopened as a museum of dervish belongings.
Entering all the way through the arch from Girne Caddesi, you pass through a yard edged by headstones leaning against the whitewashed walls. The ticket stand is straight ahead; opposite is the entry of the meeting room. The wooden floor is the original one on which the dervishes danced, and at on end stairs lead up to the attractive wooden gallery where the long-robed musicians played their eerie trance-inducing music, which is regularly playing in the background when you visit, adding some much-needed atmosphere to the display. H V Morton expressed the scene accordingly: "The dancers are dressed in long, high-waisted, pleated gowns that fall to the ground. They have tall brown felt cones on their heads. Each one, as he starts to turn, stretches his right arm straight up, the palm held up to the roof, as the left arm is held laboriously down with the palm towards the earth. The head is to some extent disposed to the right shoulder... The dance represents the uprising of the spheres, and the hands represent the greeting of a blessing from above, and its allowance to the earth below."
On the walls you'll find a helpful rundown of the history and beliefs of the order. In one corner is the kitchen and dining area, while leading off from another is the galleried mausoleum of the 16 tombs of the Mevleve "shaikhs", row upon row, as if in mirrors continually duplicated. Only six of these tombs have been certainly identified. Above them are the domes so obvious from the street.