Âtik Mosque (Sultan Murad Hüdâvendigâr Mosque) Hünkâr Mosque

Located on Kendrikis Street. It is registered, according to the Residency Bylaw on November 3, 1924 and the bylaw of Official Gazette on November 6, 1924, Number 279/A, as the old Metropolitan Building according to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Today, the mosque is used as museum storage. After the conquest of the city in 775 (1473) by Sultan Murad Hüdâvendigâr; the metropolitan church that was called 12 Apostles and constructed in the 11th century was turned into the Hünkâr Mosque. It is recorded as “Hünkâr Mosque” in Evliya Çelebi (VIII, 1966, p.32). Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi notes that “the building doesn’t even exist today. It is impossible to investigate it” (IV, 1981, p.249). However, Semavi Eyice who visited the city in 1953 wrote that this structure was the Sultan Murad Mosque (Eyice, 1955, p.206).

“In the Ottoman period, a tall minaret which had a view of the downtown and a portico were added to the mosque. Some of the hand-carved ornaments that were found all over the facade have been protected. It is easy to see that some of the hand-carved, blue, geometrical flower figures have been scraped off. This destructive restoration principle has also been carried out in the domes of the Thessaloniki Alaca Mosque and other areas as well. There is a place for an inscribed stone above the door of the mosque but the inscription has been removed. The remains of the minaret exist as high as the balcony. Its base was made of hewn stone and brick. The mosque structure was not entered but its portico was. It was ascertained that the tools used for the excavation and repairs had been stored there. Heath Lowry indicates that the wooden ceiling of its prayer hall still exists” (2009, p.118).

The charitable foundation of the Sultan Murad Khan Mosque, VGMA, is registered in Defter Nr: 179/0, p. 0068, Line Nr: 0513-0518 on 11 L, 1255 (December 18, 1839). It contained a library and a muvakkithane (the place from where the prayer schedule was adjusted according the position of the sun) during the Ottoman period. On 9 Za, 1175 (July 1, 1762) after discharging Mehmed Bey and Atike Hanim from the mosque foundation, someone else was assigned the duty of organizing the religious observations and practices to be undertaken on Thursdays and Mondays in the Ghazi Sultan Murad Mosque. All expenses for prayer carpets, oil-lamps and candle were paid for by the charitable foundation of Hatice Sultan Mosque, on 26 Ca 1181 (October 20, 1767), (BOA, C.MF, 69/3411).

The mosque was opened as a church for a short while after 1912 and it became the centre of the Karaferye Christian Orthodox Union which called it “St. Pavlos”. Since the population exchange the requisition of the charitable foundations of Cami-i Atik, on July 18, 1924 was arranged (BCA, 30530, / 557.1360.8). The mosque was used as a government office during the First and Second World Wars and it was used as a barn during the German Occupation (Matsani-Margie, 2005). We were not allowed to enter it during our visit.

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