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Ankara Mosques

Aslanhane – Ahi Şerafettin Mosque
 Untitled Document

Many people think of Ankara is the capital where the political heart beats. However, closer inspection reveals a city nestled with important Seljuk and Ottoman works. Even the mosques remaining from 14th and 15th centuries which are not considered architectural masterpieces are worth a visit. Some are planned asymmetrically due to the land and street. Wooden columns supporting the ceilings have Roman period column heads and bases. Most mosques and mescits (small mosques) of the Beylikler period have lost their main characteristics through years of renovations. Mosques are always open to visitors and you are expected to take your shoes off and women should cover heir heads with a scarf. When you visit the mosques around Ulus you may see houses with traces of old Ankara architecture. Some of these historical houses have been converted to restaurants.

Ahi Elvan Camii (Ahi Elvan Mosque)
One of the oldest mosques in the city built on a sloping rock in 1382 with a simple façade. It is located in the quarter of Koyunpazarı.. Sultan Mehmed I had the mosque restored in 1413. Its finely carved walnut mimber (pulpit) reflects the characteristics of the Seljuk wood tradition. Twelve wooden columns built in an irregular space support the wooden ceiling. These columns belong to the Roman and Byzantine periods. The shutters are being exhibited at Etnografya Museum.

Alaaddin Camii (Alaaddin Mosque)
This mosque has a simple appearance and is inside the Citadel walls on Aktaş Street. The inscription on the mimber (pulpit), a masterpiece of engraved walnut tree, records that the Seljuk ruler, Mesut, built the mosque in 1178. However the mosque has lost its characteristics and identity due to the restorations made by the Ottoman Sultans in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Aslanhane - Ahi Şerafettin Camii (Aslanhane – Ahi Şerafettin Mosque)
This mosque, near the Citadel in Ulucanlar Street was built in 1290. It is one of the most beautiful mosques of the Seljuk period with a flat inner ceiling, mihrap (prayer niche) of Seljuk tiles, and an unusual, double colonnade of wooden columns. Some of the stones used in the construction of the mosque were collected from the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine period. The white marble crown door and the minaret rising on the north east intrigue to its façade Ahi Şerafettin founder of the mosque lies in a Selcuk tomb opposite the mosque itself. The mosque is called “Aslanhane” (Lion house), named after the lion statue of antiquity buried on the wall of this tomb.

Cenab-ı Ahmed Paşa Camii (Cenab-ı Ahmet Paşa Mosque)
This is the largest Ottoman mosque in Ankara built by Cenab-ı Ahmed Paşa (head governor of Ankara) in the 16th century. The rough details of this mosque belong to the students of the famous architect Sinan. It was restored in the 19th century and appropriately called Yeni Camii (New Mosque). It is agood example of a single domed mosque of Ottoman architecture. The mimber (pulpit) and mihrap (prayer niche) are of white marble. Its walls are made of cut stone of very fine workmanship.

Hacı Bayram Camii (Hacı Bayram Mosque)
Located at Ulus next to the Augustus temple. It was originally built in 1427-28 with the commencement of Hacı Bayram-ı Veli, a Sufi poet and composer of hymns and founder of Bayrami sect. The mosque was restored by the famous architect Mimar Sinan in the 16th century and by one of the grandsons of Hacı Bayram-i Veli in 1714.Today it shows the characteristics of late 17th and 18th century mosques. It has two-gallery minarets with a square shaped base. However the entrance sections are from later additions. The walls are made of bricks with green pieces throughout. Today it is used for civil and official ceremonies and frequently visited by newly-weds. The Hacı Bayram Mausoleum is next to the mihrab (prayer niche) wall of the mosque. This is one of the best examples of 15th century mausoleums in the city. The wooden entrance doors are being exhibited at Etnografya Museum.

Karacabey Camii (Karacabey Mosque)
Karacabey, one of the commanders of Sultan Murad II had this mosque built in 1440 at Hacettepe. The design belongs to architect Ebubekiroğlu Ahmed and was constructed in the style of Bursa Mosques. There are geometric figures carved into the granite and wooden parts of the entrance gate. Karacabey's tomb is also in the courtyard of the mosque.

Kocatepe Camii (Kocatepe Mosque )
This is the newest mosque, of grand proportigns built in classical Ottoman design. It resembles the Selimiye Mosque (the masterpiece of Architect Sinan in Edirne) with its four minarets and the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet) of İstanbul with the central dome and its half domes. It is visible from almost every corner of town. The construction started in 1967 and was completed in 1987. It has a great complex, complete with car park, supermarket and conference hall constructed in modern design but in harmony with the classic style.

Zincirli Camii (Zincirli Mosque)
It is located in Ulus near Hacıbayram and was built in 1685. From a signboard it is understood that Ankara Governor Hurşit Pasa made the initial restoration from 1879-1880. The upper parts of the mosque are made of bricks while the lower parts are made of Ankara stone. All interior ornaments are the artwork of Nakkaş (engraver) Mustafa.

Ağaçayak Camii (Ağaçayak Mosque)
This 18th century mosque is located in Ulus. Since it is supported by many wooden columns it is called “Ağaçayak” (Wooden foot). The ceiling embroidery above the mihrap (prayer niche) is of geometric figures.

Çiçekçioğlu Camii (Çiçekcioğlu Mosque)
A late 17th century mosque at Ulus. Handwritten prayers are on the inscription over the entrance door. Since the mihrap (prayer niche) and the ceiling are embellished by flower motives the mosque is called Çiçekcioğlu (Son of Florist)

Direkli Camii (Direkli Mosque)
The name Direkli (with columns) comes from the five columns supporting the mosque. The walls of this 14th century mosque are built from Ankara stone and the mihrap (prayer niche) is embroidered with geometric figures.

Hacı Ayvaz Camii (Hacı Ayvaz Mosque)
An early 15th century mosque built at Koyunpazarı, Ulus. Some Suras (verses) from The Koran are written on the stone walls. The minaret was added after the restoration in 1963.

Kurşunlu Camii (Kurşunlu Mosque)
The mosque is located on Anafartalar Avenue in Ulus. It was built in the 16th century and has the markings of Ottoman architecture. The walls are of stone and the interior is embellished by geometric figures.

Mukaddem Camii (Mukaddem Mosque)
Mukaddem Mosque was built by Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror in 1450. It does not have a minaret though an inscription is over the entrance door. The ceiling reflects examples of perfect wood work

Ankara Mosques
Circumcision (Sünnet)
Istanbul Mosques
Turkish Coffee
Kirkpinar Oil-Wrestling
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Religious Colors
Islam in Turkey
Istanbul's Holy Places
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Rakı and Meyhane
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A Little Turkish Fun

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