Graveyard

In this day and age, in order to collect accurate and complete demographic information about any city or location so as to write a social history, it has become a necessity to examine the gravestones in that region. The social lives of the inhabitants, their economic situations and the various causes of deaths may be revealed with a close inspection of the gravestones of the Ottoman Period. Beyond being monuments at which to pray for a deceased loved one, these gravestones identify and bear witness to important parts of the region’s social history. On the top of most Ottoman Period gravestones, there is a title that symbolizes the person’s duty during his lifetime and their social degree. And besides their historical value, these gravestones present very valuable resources in terms of social attitudes and calligraphy. The verses and couplets on the gravestones are also important in terms of the attitude towards the concept of death in the Ottoman Period. “The tombs of Sinan Bey Sultan, Kemal Ata Sultan, Bali Baba, Abdül-samed Sultan and Seyyid Sultan were in Karaferye. The tomb of Ahi Çelebi, one of the poets that lived during the reign of Sultan Selim the first, was located here” (Evliya Çelebi VIII, 1966, p.35). Mustafa Sheikh Effendi who lived in the 18th century and Seyyid Mehmed Ramiz (Sarı Ramiz from Karaferye) a classical Ottoman poet died in 1759 in Karaferye. It can be seen by looking at photographs that the graveyard in Karaferye was located near the Madrasah Mosque. It can also be understood from photographs on many postcards that mosques also had graveyards. Today, almost all of the graves and graveyards have disappeared. It was ascertained during our examination that the gravestones and some of their parts that belong to the Ottoman Period were located in three places at Karaferye. These places are; the garden of the Tuzcu Sinan Bath which was used for the restoration works, the courtyard of the Madrasah Mosque and the wall along Smirnis Street. Marble pieces that belong to 22 different gravestones have been found in the garden of the Tuzcu Sinan Bath. Taking individual photographs of these stones was quite difficult for us. According to Heath Lowry (2009, p.198) these gravestones are located in a locked, fenced area in the garden. There are also gravestone titles instead of the stones and some pieces that belong to a structure dating from the Ottoman Period. It was ascertained by the transcriptions on the stones that twelve of them belonged to males and one to a female. These people were; Kalyonizâde Ahmed Şükrü Bey, Hadji Ahmed Agha (Ş 1176 / February- March 1763), Müfti Mehmed Sadık, the interpreter of the law and Koran (1240/1824-25), Abdülhamid Effendi, Ebubekir, Albanian Hayreddin, grocer Hadji Halil Agha, Müfti Mustafa Effendi, interpreter of the law and Koran, Mehmed Çelebi, Hafiz (1170/1756- 57), Münib Ahmed Agha (S 1231/January 1816) and Aişe Dudu, the daughter of Nakib Ahmed Agha. While most of these historic gravestones are broken faded to be almost imperceptible many of the missing stones had inscriptions such as the following:

Hüve’l-hayyi’l-bâki

Karaferye vücûh ve hânedânından

Kalyonî-zâde el-merhûm

Ahmed Şükrü Beyin

Ruhiçün fâtiha

.........................

Kıl intikâl İlâhi

Hacı Ahmed Ağa

bin Muhammed Ağa

Min dârü’l-fenâ

İlâ dârü’l-bekâ

Fî şehr-i Şa‘ban

1176

Hüve’l-hayyi’l-bakî

Müfti-yi dîn-i mübîn göçtü cihandan Hakka

Olamaz zühdi ile ilmine bir ferd-i fâ’ik

Bunca kim fâzıl-ı bî misl ü nazîr olmuşken

Ufk-ı efrûz-ı beka oldu çü subh-ı sâdık

Dâhil-i silk-i velî olduğuna şübhe mi var

Mâh-ı gufrânda olup der ki Hakka lâhık

Okur fâtiha sıdkile ânın rûhuna küll

Olasın setr isen lutf-i Hüdâya lâyık

Geldi ....... ile târih-i vefâtı râkım

Azîm-i suy-i behişt oldu Mehmed Sâdık

Sene 1240

Kad intikâle merhûm

Abdülhamid

Efendi ibn Hasan

Efendi, min dâde

El-fenâ’ ilâ dâde

Hüve’l-hallaki’l-bâki

El-merhûm Ebu Bekir bin

...........................................

Kad intikâlet el-merhûme

Nakîb Ahmed Ağa kerîmesi

Aişe Dudu

Hanım ruhiçun el-fâtiha

...............................................

Hüve’l-hayyi’l-bâki

Ger günahım gevher kaf

Olsa ne gamdır yâ Celîl

Rahmetin bahrına nisbet

Âna şey’-i kalîl

Merhûm ve mağfurün-leh

Arnabud Hayreddin

........ Ahmed (?) Ağa

Ah mine’l-mevt

Beni kıl mağfiret yâ Rabbi yezdân

Bi Hakk-ı arş-ı i‘zam nûr-ı Kur’ân

Olup kabrim ziyâret eden ihvân

İdeler rûhuma bir fâtiha ihsân

Merhûm ve mağfûrün-leh bakkal

Hacı Halil Ağa ibn

……................................................

………

min küll-i aleyha ...

.............

...... veche

..... ve’l-celâl

ve’l-ikrâm

kad intikâl

Mehmed Çelebi b.

İbrahim Çelebi

.......

Hüve’l-hayyi’l-bâki

Merhûm ve mağfârün-leh

....... müftisi Mustafa

...... rahmete Rabbi’l-gufrân

Hüve’l-Hallaki’l-bâkî

İrtihâlet……

....................................

Bağı-ı gülzârında ...... (?) gel ...... ‘anâ’

Nev güşâ nariyle perverde şerife ......

Mâ yeşâ yef‘ale ......... mef‘al

Etdi ........... cefâ

…….........................

...............................

...............................

Sene 1120

Ruhiçün fatiha

Uğradı bir derd-i ...

Hiç bilinmedi ne îşdir ne hafta ....

Gördüki var dârü’l-mehindir bu cihân

Dâr-ı ukbâ idüp Yarab lutf et râzı

Ya Hüdâ-yı ...... şefi‘ ola ana rûz-ı cezâ (?)

Hem nâmı ....

...... ana tarih-i tâm

Hafız .......

Ruhiçün el-fâtiha.

Sene 1170

Kad intikâl

.................

....... [E]fendi

.......................

.................................

……İlâ dârü’l-bekâ

1247

.........................

…….Hüseyin

Sene 1187

............................……..

Münib Ahmed Ağa ......

Sene Safer 1231

Ruhiçün fâtiha


 

In the summer of 2008, seven gravestones, gravestone titles and some decorative marble pieces were found in the courtyard to south of the Theological School Mosque. Of these seven gravestones, only the one that belonged to Mrs. Kaydefe, daughter of Ahmed was complete. However, when I went back in the summer of 2009, these stones were broken and the pool at the backyard were filled with them. The gravestone of Mrs. Kaydefe who passed away in Ca 1028 (April-May 1619), had been broken into pieces and thrown into the pool as well. This gravestone, which had stood at the head of her grave for 390 years, was destroyed as were the tombs. The other gravestones belonged to men called Ramazan, Salih Bölükbaşı and Salih. The gravestones found here were inscribed as follows:

.....................................

Hak ana rahmet ede

…Ramazan

....................................

Mrs. Kaydefe

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

Küllü men aleyhâ fânin ve yebkâ

Vechu Rabbike zülcelâli ve’l-ikrâm

Kaydefe ibneti Ahmed

Min dari’l-fenâ fî Cemâziyelevvel

Sene 1028

..................................

Salih Bölükbaşı bin

Mehmed Kazai berat

.................................

Hüve’l-hayyi’l-bâkî

Genç yaşında rıhlet eyledi

Olâ gül iz’âr-ı makam

Beni kıl mağfiret

..........................

Ah mine’l-mevt

……nevcihârında

...........................

Kad intikâle

El-merhum Salih

.............................

Kad intikâle merhum Elhac

............................................



The third place where Ottoman Muslim gravestones at Karaferye were found is the wall along Smirnis Street. Some samples of cylindrical marble gravestones with panels were found within the wall. While it is impossible to read most of them, the remains of 29 gravestones can be partially read and bear witness to and are the most important pieces of evidence concerning the presence of Muslim people in this region during the Ottoman Period. These stones at Karaferye embody most of the examples of the cities where we did inventory works.


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