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Sokullu Mehmed Paşa Complex

The Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Complex is located in the neighborhood of Kadirga on Suterazisi Street of the Eminönü District, of the bank of Şehit Mehmed Paşa. Esmahan Sultan, a wife of Sokullu Mehmed Paşa, ordered its construction in 1571. It was built in the name of the Sokullu Mehmed Paşa, a prominent Grand Vizier in the Ottoman period. The complex is composed of a mosque, a madrasa (theological school attached to a mosque), and a tekke (dervish lodge).

It was built on an inclined slope, where the Aya Anastasia Church had already been placed during the Byzantine period. The architecture of the complex is Sinan the Architecture,  who marked to the Ottoman Architecture. Prayer hall of the complex’s mosque, 15.30x18.80 m, is placed on six pier foundation and capped by a hexagonal dome with a diameter of 13 m.   

The decorative niche (mihrab) with its prismatic shape and pulpit are the finest example of marble workmanship of the time. Especially, the tile wainscot of the pulpit’s cone and providing glazed tiles on the both side of the niche have added an orginal pleasure to visual integrity. There are totally more than 90 windows in the mosque and these are usually concentrating on lateral facade and pulley. In addition, there is one other characteristic of the mosque that the four small parts of  Hacer-i Esved ( the holy black stone located at the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba) were placed on the niche and under the entrance platform, and the two other parts were placed on the door of the pulpit and its cone. On the minaret of the mosque with a single sherefe (minaret balcony), which was built from cut stone, vertical lines exist that the Sinan the Architecture had already used in his works. 

There is a madrasa of the complex that has 16 rooms and a classroom that the ceiling was composed of a dome in the inner court of the mosque. In the middle of the court, there is a fountain integrated with the court, which has also artistic value.

Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL


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