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Ottoman History
Ottoman History

About Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is an historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and a hospice.Besides still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.

Besides being tourist attraction, it's also a active mosque, so it's closed to non worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers.

Best way to see great architecture of the Blue Mosque is to approach it from the Hippodrome. (West side of the mosque) As if you are non-Muslim visitor, you also have to use same direction to enter the Mosque.

Ottoman architecture

The grand tradition of Ottoman architecture, established in the 16th century, was derived from two main sources. One was the rather complex development of new architectural forms that occurred all over Anatolia, especially at Manisa, Iznik, Bursa, and Selçuk in the 14th and early 15th centuries. In addition to the usual mosques, mausoleums, and madrasahs, a number of buildings called tekke s were constructed to house dervishes (members of mystical fraternities) and other holy men who lived communally. The tekke (or zeviye) was often joined to a mosque or mausoleum. The entire complex was then called a külliye. All these buildings continued to develop the domed, central-plan structure, constructed by the Seljuqs in Anatolia. The other source of Ottoman architecture is Christian art.

20 of Turkey's most impressive historical sites

TURKEY’S LOCATION at the meeting point between Europe and Asia has given rise to an incredible history as waves of people, states, eras, and empires have left their mark on the coastline and mountains, the people and culture.
Turkey may have more ancient ruins that pretty much anywhere else, but it’s not the sheer number of sites that impresses, but that so many remain near intact. To walk among the graceful columns of a Lycian ruin adjacent to a Mediterranean beach, or to set foot in a Roman amphitheater at sunset, imagining the scenes that must have unfolded here thousands of years ago, couldn’t be more atmospheric. And to stand in the very spots where Alexander the Great, Saint Paul, and Helen of Troy once made history is pretty incredible.

Göbekli Tepe


Until 1923, Kayaköy – also known as Levissi - was a thriving village with a population of several thousand people: Today it is a ghost town with deserted houses, shops, schools and churches.

Dating back to antiquity the area was first inhabited in approximately 3,000 BC and was the location of the ancient city of Carmylessus, which at its height had a population of about 20,000 people: It was to remain an important trading city until 1100 AD.

Kayaköy was built on the site of Carmylessus in the 18th century; with the existing buildings being constructed in the second part of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th. Kayaköy or Karmylassos, as it was called in Greek, had been continually inhabited since at least the 13th century. In fact the Turks and Greeks had lived together in the region dating back to at least the 1st century BC with the Turks maintaining the fields and the Greeks provided the trades and craftsmen.


Dating back to the 6th century BC, Side - named after Sida, daughter of Danaus - was one of the earliest settlements of the Anatolia region and was renowned for its harbour during the Hittite period when it became a prominent commercial town trading with the countries in the eastern and western Mediterranean.

Side was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 BC who introduced its people to the Hellenistic culture, which flourished between the 4th and 1st century BC. Following Alexander’s death, Side came under the control of Egypt’s Ptolemy dynasty that controlled side until it was captured by the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BC. In 190 BC a fleet from Rhodes, the Greek island city-state, supported by Rome defeated the Seleucid fleet which was commanded by the Carthaginian general Hannibal.


There is evidence that Ephesus was inhabited as long ago as 6000 BC. During the Classical Greek era, which covered the 4th and 5th centuries BC, it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League, and in 546 BC it was occupied by the Persians, but because Ephesus did not join the Ionian Rebellion against the Persians, the city was spared from destruction. After the defeat of the Persians it came under the guardianship of Athens, although Ephesus had rebelled against Athens in 412BC and supported Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace situated in the heart of Istanbul was the official and primary residence of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire from 1465 to 1856. Construction began on the palace in 1459 by the Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated and captured the Byzantine city of Constantinople in 1453 and renamed the city Istanbul. The Palace was originally known as the New Palace to distinguish it from the previous residence it replaced as the main residence. It received the name ‘Topkapý’ (Cannon Gate) in the 19th century, after the Topkapý Gate and shore pavilion, although these no longer exist.

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, or to give it its’ correct name, The Sultan Ahmed Mosque named after the 14th Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I who commissioned its construction. Started in 1609 it took seven years to build and where it was normal to pay for such projects with the spoils of war, Ahmed had not gain any victories so had to pay for it from existing funds. The mosque was built on the site of the Palace of the Byzantine emperors which had to be demolished. The design of the Mosque incorporates both Ottoman and Byzantine architecture.

Ottoman architecture

Ottoman architecture is the architecture of the Ottoman Empire which emerged in Bursa and Edirne in 14th and 15th centuries. The architecture of the empire developed from the earlier Seljuk architecture and was influenced by the Byzantine architecture, Armenian architecture, Iranian[1][2] as well as Islamic Mamluk traditions after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.[3][4][5] For almost 400 years Byzantine architectural artifacts such as the church of Hagia Sophia served as models for many of the Ottoman mosques.[5] Overall, Ottoman architecture has been described as Byzantine architecture synthesized with architectural traditions of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.[6]
The Ottomans achieved the highest level architecture in their lands hence or since. They mastered the technique of building vast inner spaces confined by seemingly weightless yet massive domes, and achieving perfect harmony between inner and outer spaces, as well as articulated light and shadow.

Ottoman Empire Attractions in Istanbul

One of the most famous empires throughout history is without a doubt, the Ottomans. At one stage, they ruled nearly half the world and their traditions, religion and beliefs spread across their kingdom.
Their capital that was Constantinople is now known as Istanbul and it is the ideal destination to gain an insight of the Sultans, their entourages, their families and historical timeline. The Ottoman landmarks that cover the city include palaces, mosques, castles and much more.
Top 5 Ottoman Empire Attractions in Istanbul
The Grand Topkapi Palace
At least half a day is needed to explore this palace and its large extensive grounds. As the hub of the Ottoman Empire, when they first invaded Constantinople in 1453, the complex grew to become a fully functioning city.

The Importance of Islam in Expanding the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire began in 1299 under Osman I and soon became the most powerful Islamic empire and one of the most powerful world empires in general. This rapid expansion was due in many cases to Islam, particularly under Mehmet the Conqueror and his grandson Selim I. Even later, under Abdulhamid II, Islam remained a major unifying force. Nevertheless, Islam could not stand up to nationalism, a force that would ultimately destroy the Ottoman Empire.

Mehmet the Conqueror
Mehmet the Conqueror ascended to the Ottoman throne in 1451, and in 1453 he conquered the Byzantine city of Constantinople, which Islamic empires had tried to conquer since the religion's founding in the seventh century. To emphasize the Islamic nature of his conquest, once of Mehmet's first acts was to reconsecrate the Hagia Sophia Cathedral as a mosque.
Selim I

Ottoman Empire

During the second Mongol invasion, Tamerlane had met and very nearly annihilated another rising power: the Ottomans. Under a minor chieftain named Othman, groups of Turkish-speaking peoples in Anatolia were united in the Ottoman confederation which, by the second half of the fourteenth century, had conquered much of present-day Greece and Turkey and was threatening Constantinople.
The Ottoman state was born on the frontier between Islam and the Byzantine Empire. Turkish tribes, driven from their homeland in the steppes of Central Asia by the Mongols, had embraced Islam and settled in Anatolia on the battle lines of the Islamic world, where they formed the Ottoman confederation. They were called ghazis, warriors for the faith, and their highest ambition was to die in battle for their adopted religion.

The political structure of Ottoman Empire

Although tasawwuf may have been the strongest influence on the beliefs of many, if not most, Ottoman Muslims and permeated Ottoman literature, music, and visual art, it was the Islam of the ulema that was significant in determining the structures of the empire. A few surviving literary fragments suggest that in the fourteenth century, the level of Islamic learning in the Ottoman Empire was very low. Persons wishing for an advanced Islamic education at this period traveled to the old Islamic world, especially to Damascus or Cairo, and it was largely these returning scholars who transferred Islamic doctrine and law to the Ottoman realms and trained the early generations of Ottoman ulema. By the mid-fifteenth century, with the establishment of a system of colleges within the empire and the formation of a learned class, there was no further need for such learning journeys.

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