16 - Religious Architecture of Anatolia (14th and 15th centuries)


The Ottomans: A Turkish dynasty named after Ghazi Osman, who established a small principality in the northwestern corner of Anatolia in the 13th century. The Ottomans fulfilled an Islamic dream in conquering Constantinople (Istanbul) and formed the largest empire of its time which comprised the Balkans, Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the Holy Cities of Arabia, Algeria, and Tunisia. The empire lasted until 1924. The early Ottomans had a close relationship with sufis and dervishes, but the building of an Islamic empire brought the ulema class to the forefront. Early Ottoman religious architecture reflects the balancing of traditional Orthodox themes with the mystical sufi ones in its forms and functions.

Ghazi: Warrior or conqueror, used both as a title and as a means of attracting Turkomans to fight for the faith and for the expanding principality.

Akhi: Member of the Sufi network that Islamized Anatolia and formed the religious counterpart to the warrior class.

Imaret: Soup kitchen, it was one of the major charitable units in any religious Ottoman complex.

Tabkhane: Hospice, sometimes attached to a mosque for the free lodging of wandering dervishes and travelers.

Isa Bey Mosque, Selçuk


Yesil Cami (Green Mosque) at Iznik


Hüdavendigar Complex, Bursa


Üç Serefeli Cami at Edirne



Printable Handouts