The Ortakoy Mosque is situated on the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square in the Beşiktaş District, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus. The mosque was built on the order of Abdulmecid (1839-1861), the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, and was constructed by the Nigoğos Balyan in 1853. It was during the same century that the mosque rose to a higher level of importance on the European side of Istanbul. It is also known as “Great Mecidiye Mosque” and is one of the most beautiful samples of the Baroque architecture in Istanbul.
Previously, there was a little mosque built by Mahmut Ağa, the son-in law of the Vizier Ibrahim Paşa, on the former site of the mosque. The little mosque built in 1721 but was destroyed during the revolt of Patrona Halil in 1730. The current mosque, which was erected in its place, was greatly damaged during the earthquake of 1894, and the spire of the minaret needed to be rearranged. When it was understood that the building was in danger of collapsing in 1960, ground reinforcement efforts were carried out. After the conflagration in 1984, it was completely restored and reattained its previous magnificence.
It is composed of a Harim (sanctum sanctorum) and a Hünkar Kasrı (sultan’s summer palace). The Harim section is composed of a square-shaped main chamber with an edge length of 12.25m, and the middle chamber which passses through the main chamber. The ceiling of the Harim section consists of a dome construction covered with pink mosaics and the dome was placed on the main wall. The mosque has two minarets with a single sherefe (minaret balcony) each, the niche is made of mosaic and white marble, and the pulpit is a marble craftsmanship covered with porphyry. The two-storey house, with its elliptical stairs at the northern entrance, is called Hunkar Kasrı.
The Ortakoy Mosque, built in the 19th century, has reached our times as the main component onlooking the Bosphorus.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL