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Turkey Vacation Packages-The Ottoman architecture and mosques in Turkey

The Ottomans, ruling over a huge empire that used to stretch from Albania in the West to Tripoli in the East, and from Baghdad in the South till nowadays Bosnia in the North, left behind them fabulous architectural achievements that still amaze many people from around the world, especially those who spend their holidays in Istanbul, the center of the Ottoman empire.  Nowhere else in the whole world the Ottoman architecture would be apparent more than Istanbul, the most important touristic city included in all Turkey vacation Packages.

In Istanbul, great Sultans and kings have erected magnificent palaces, mosques, and Islamic charitable institutes.

The Ottoman architecture is featured with a distinctive strict hierarchy of forms, scales, and materials. The Ottoman style of architecture has become quite popular among visitors coming to spend their vacations in Turkey.

The early Ottoman Mosques in Turkey

In the beginning of their rule over Turkey, the Ottoman earliest design of mosques consisted mainly of a large single prayer hall that is covered with a large dome, with a covered porch and the minaret erected outside the mosque.

There are two finest examples of the early Ottoman mosques in Turkey. The first one would be the Hazi Ozbek Mosque in Iznik, which is one of the earliest forms of Ottoman mosques to be erected in Turkey. The mosque was actually modified afterwards by adding smaller domes to the complex to the main dome of the complex. This is in addition to a covered portico and a courtyard. Many travelers seek to visit this mosque as part of their escorted Turkey tours.

The Selimiya Mosque, located in Konya, is another example of early Ottoman mosques in Turkey. The construction work of the mosque was started in 1558 by Sultan Selim II when he acted as the governor of Konya and the mosque was completed in 1587. 

This mosque would be the best example of the Ottoman architecture in Turkey at the time, with a huge prayer hall and one a hemispheric dome. A visit to the Selimiya Mosque is often included in many Turkey tours.

The later Ottoman Mosques
 After their conquest of Constantinople, the Ottoman style of architecture has witnessed a dramatic evolution. The Ottomans have started transforming many orthodox churches, including the famous Hagia Sophia being visited by hundreds of tourists every day as part of their Istanbul tours, into their mosques.

Due to these conditions, the architects started modifying their mosques designs to have single domed mosques with a huger inner space.

A good example of this style of architecture would be the Sebzade Mosque located in Istanbul. This mosque, which was also called the mosque of the prince, was the first imperial mosque to be constructed by Mimar Sinan, a skilful architect that was brought from Anatolia to Istanbul and he was appointed as the chief imperial architect in 1538. 

The inner components of the Turkish Mosques

The prayer hall is the most attractive section of any mosque. This is the place where Moslems pray to god five times a day. This is beside the Friday prayer and assembly. Since the teaching of Islam prohibits the drawing of living things like animals and humans inside the mosque, the geometric and abstract architectural details of the interior of a mosque can be quite fascinating. Many travelers coming for Turkey vacation packages enjoy visiting the numerous fabulous mosques located in Istanbul and many other regions around the country.

The Muezzin Mahfili is that richly decorated platform that is mainly found in larger mosques. This platform is specified for the Sheikh of the mosque to stand at top of it to chant verses of Quran at the time of prayers.
The Mihrab is a niche in the walls of the mosque indicating the direction of Mecca, where all Moslems should face whiles their performing their prayers. The Mihrab of the mosques is usually magnificent pieces of art with a mix of decorations, motifs, and colors.

The Minbar of the mosque is a lofty pulpit and it is mainly situated to the right of the Mihrab in the prayer hall of the mosque. The Mihrab is used by the Imam of the mosque while delivering his sermons. The Minbar is usually made out of the finest types of wood and ornamented with motifs, ivory, and sometimes eve silver and gold.

The Loge is one of the distinctive characteristics of the Ottoman mosques in Turkey. It consists of a balcony that is used only by the King and some royal family members to pray and listen to the sermons away from the public.

The Kursu probably means the chair of the Imam and is where he sits to read verses of the Quran to the people. This item is found in a small number of mosques in Turkey.

The Ottoman minaret
The Ottomans were famous for their thin graceful pencil shaped minarets that were afterwards spread all over the Islamic world. The ottomans were into minaret painting as well which was mainly influenced by the Persian styles of art and many Persians were called to the Top Kapi Palace, the seat of the government of the Ottomans, to work in decorating the many minarets of Istanbul.  Many Turkey private tours include visits to the mosques of Istanbul to enable the guests to view the greatness of the Ottoman architecture.
Visiting a mosque in Turkey

Non Moslems are welcomed in the mosques at any time of the day. However, it's favorable to avoid the prayer times especially the Friday congregation and sermons.

Visitors, coming to the country from all over the world to spend their Turkey private tour, should take off their shoes and cover their shoulders should be covered and the ladies should cover their hair.  

The Ottoman Fountains in Turkey
According to the principals of Quran and the Islamic teachings, providing fresh water for the public was a civic duty and each town had to have its fountain.

This fountain, or Sadirvan in the Turkish language, used to be placed in the open courtyard of mosques so the prayers can use its fresh water for ablutions. One of the finest examples of Ottoman fountains would be the fountain of Sultan Ahmed III, built in 1728 with some remarkable decorations and motifs. 

The Ottoman Konak

The Konak, or the mansion house, like many other Ottoman structures, consisted mainly of wood that is based upon stones and bricks. The houses of the rich merchants during the Ottoman period contained gardens, stables for horses, storage areas, and many chambers and halls.

The first floor of the Konak was usually hosting the reception hall, the kitchen, and the public rooms, while the second floor would be the private section for the owner of the house and his family.

The Turkish Yali

The Turkish Yali is a waterfront villa which was an invention of the Ottomans in Istanbul mainly. Since the city overlooks a large surface of water, the Ottoman architectures have invented this style of structures to suit the needs of the inhabitants of the city.

Most of these villas are situated on Bosporus and they were built during the 18th and the 19th century as the summer resorts of the rich residences of Istanbul. The Yali was built in several styles and forms from the simple primitive wooden style to the lavish Russian styles. 

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