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x0x Firuzaga Mosque, an emblem of Ottoman tolerance

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    [See more on this subject by visiting the pages selected for you by Anita Donohoe: http://turkradio.us/k/firuzaga/ ] ` x0x Firuzaga Mosque, an emblem of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2008
      [See more on this subject by visiting the pages
      selected for you by Anita Donohoe:
      http://turkradio.us/k/firuzaga/ ]
      `
      x0x Firuzaga Mosque, an emblem of Ottoman tolerance

      Wednesday, July 16, 2008

      ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency

      Unlike most of the single minaret mosques in
      Istanbul, the minaret of the Firuzaga Mosque in
      Sultanahmet, the erstwhile center of Ottoman
      Istanbul, was placed to the left on the wall
      opposite the Qiblah -- the direction that Muslims
      face when engaged in ritual prayer.

      Firuzaga Mosque was built in 1491 by order of
      Firuz Agha, the "hazinedarbasi," or keeper of the
      treasury, who served the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II.
      [ See <http://www.naqshbandi.org/ottomans/khalifa/s8_portrait.htm>]

      During the building's construction, the minaret
      was placed to the left on the wall opposite the
      Qiblah, though as a rule minarets of such mosques
      had to be placed to the right on the wall.

      Many stories are told about why the minaret of
      Firuzaga Mosque is situated on the left but there
      is still no accurate account, said cultural
      historian Dursun Gurlek.

      The Firuzaga Mosque was one of the Islamic
      religious structures built in the first few
      decades following the conquest of Constantinople
      by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. The neighborhood
      in which it was located, Sultanahmet, was the
      heart of Constantinople and at the time about 80
      percent of the population was made up of Greeks.
      According to the most reliable account about the
      placement of Firuzaga Mosque's minaret, the
      majority of the inhabitants living on the right
      side of the mosque near the Roman and Byzantine
      obelisks were Greek, while Muslims made up the
      majority on the other side, which is close to
      present-day Divan Yolu street. The minaret of the
      mosque was built on the left side so as not to
      disturb Greeks living near the mosque with the
      sound of the ezan, the Muslim call to prayer,
      which is broadcast from the top of a mosque.

      In addition to this widely told account, which
      reflects the tolerant character of the Ottoman
      Empire, another story says the Firuzaga Mosque was
      built to emulate the first mosque that Muslims
      built in Mecca.

      Professor of art history Dogan Kuban noted that
      mosques with minarets on the left are ften
      encountered from the 14th century and the rule
      that the minarets should be placed on the right
      appeared in later periods, after which it
      essentially became a tradition.

      History & architecture The treasurer of the
      Ottoman Palace used to accompany the sultan during
      his expeditions. One of his tasks was going to
      the mosque and laying the Sultan's seccade, or
      prayer rug, before the Friday prayer started. He
      would also lay his forehead on the ground before
      the sultan did during his prayer in order to check
      whether any danger was awaiting his majesty.

      Following the death of Mehmet II his son, Beyazid
      II, ascended to the throne. Then, 10 years after
      that the treasurer of the time, Firuz Agha, had a
      small mosque constructed across from Hagia Sophia
      at the entrance of the most glorious street of the
      Byzantine Empire. The tomb of Firuz Agha, who died
      in 1512, is also located in the mosque's yard.
      Some rose figures are engraved on the four faces
      of the marble sarcophagus.

      Based on a design of 13.5 meters by 13.5 meters,
      the Firuzaga Mosque has a remarkable door and an
      eight-sided dome designed in the Bursa style. It
      was built upon four buttresses and has a
      three-arch entryway. In another story about it,
      people say the spot where the Firuzaga Mosque
      stands was where the Roman emperors used to watch
      horse races. Another major characteristic of the
      Firuzaga Mosque is that afternoon calls to prayer
      are made simultaneously with the calls from the
      minarets of the nearby famous blue mosque, the
      Sultan Ahmed Mosque.

      ___________________________________________________

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