Modernism: Paris and Berlin

In the West-oriented educational setting of the 1920s, as part of the Ministry of Education’s initiative to send successful students abroad to help them gain […]

Architectural Details of Şişli Mosque

İstanbul Research Institute presents the exhibition “An Ottoman Building in the Early Republican Era: The Şişli Mosque” with a selection from Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Photography Collection. The exhibition focuses on the first monumental religious building of the Republican era of İstanbul through selected photographs and documents.

During the years the mosque was built, Şişli hosted hundreds of buildings in the eclectic, neo-classical, beaux-arts, art-déco, art-nouveau and cubic styles, none ever able to dominate the others in size or style, and all with different heights and sizes. As part of this heterogeneous fabric, the Şişli Mosque was designed in the classical Ottoman style.  Halaskargazi Avenue makes a curve right before the mosque lot, which gives the mosque a unique dominance over an urban artery never before enjoyed by any other building.

The mosque is placed along the kiblah axis and makes an acute angle with Halaskargazi Avenue, with its ground at a higher elevation compared to the courtyard; it has an entrance portico made up of five units, a harim (prayer hall), and a minaret on its northeastern corner. Limestone was used in the walls, Marmara marble was used in the door and window frames, columns and capitals; green breccia was used to decorate certain details like the discharging arches of windows, the depressed arch of the portal, the corner colonnettes of the mihrab, and the arches on the şadırvan (ablution fountain) façades.

Reinforced concrete was used in the central dome and the semi-domes of the mosque and the columns that support these, but these “modern” elements were skillfully hidden within the ashlar stone work so that the traditional look of the structure remained intact. Combining modern technologies like reinforced concrete with historical details while going back to traditional architectural forms was not seen as a contradiction.

The Şişli Mosque: An Ottoman Building in the Early Republican Era” exhibition can be seen at İstanbul Research Institute until September 18!

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