Architecht Sinan

If you ever travel to Turkey you may have heard about Süleymaniye Mosque, Selimiye Mosque, Topkapı Palace etc. I wanted to inform you about Mimar Sinan who built those beautiful places.  

Mimar Sinan was born in Kayseri as an Armenian or Rum. During the reign of Yavuz Sultan Selim, he came to Istanbul as a gathering. He worked in the construction of fountains and tombs alongside the important masters of his period. In 1517, he joined Egypt expedition. During the Sultan Süleyman, he was recruited to the Janissary Corps. In 1521, he went to Belgrade and in 1522 he became a soldier who served on the border by being on the Rhodes expedition. He went to several wars and expeditions. when he was on the expedition he trained himself with the different architectural structures which he observed. In Moldova, he built a bridge on a river in 13 days. That’s why he caught Sultan Süleyman’s attention. The same year he became to chief architect. 

His first work as a chief architect was Şehzade Mehmed Mosque in İstanbul he defines as his apprenticeship work. After that, he built Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Üsküdar. Also, he tried new features in his buildings with Şehzade Mosque he made a dome supported by four half-domes then he thought if he decrease dome count, inside of the mosque could be more comfortable and spacious. So he tried it with Mihrimah Mosque. Between 1550-1557, he built the Süleymaniye Mosque, which he called his journeyman’s work. 

The greatest work of Mimar Sinan is the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, which he built at the age of 86 in 1575 and presented as his masterpiece. Some researchers say that Mimar Sinan added meanings to his work, such as the huge 32 meter diameter dome that marks the 32 fards of Islam, and the 4 sermons that tell about 4 sects. Also, he has taken all known and necessary precautions against earthquakes. One of his precaution is used base mortar because of it earthquake waves are neutralized by absorption. Another precaution is in order to consolidate the ground, he compacted the soil with piles and built abutment walls.  

In 1588, Mimar Sinan has passed away. He was buried in the simple tomb he built next to the Süleymaniye Mosque.  

Mimar Sinan fit 81 mosques, 51 small mosques, 55 schools, 26 darülkurra, 17 tombs, 3 hospitals, 5 waterways, 8 bridges, 20 caravanserais, 36 palaces and many works in his 98-year life. In addition, Selimiye Mosque in Edirne is on the World Cultural Heritage list.  


Ömer Faruk Koşer

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