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Mosques    EN

History of mosques

Mosques, originally an Arabic word, are private places where Muslims come together and pray (salât in Arabic). The term "mosque" also means the bigger and larger form of the masjid.[1] During the Ottoman era, the meaning of the term "mosque" also had a further connotation, not only a private place for praying but also as a center of the economic and cultural activities.[2]

The main development of the mosques of the city of Samsun and its surrounding towns had been similar with the main characteristics of Ottoman era. The historical data has provided the similarity of the functions and the statutes of mosques of the city of Samsun with other Ottoman cities. According to information from historical sources, some districts of the city of Samsun were founded around mosques[3]. The data indicates that throughout the 19th century, most part of the pious endowments in the city of Samsun and its surrounding towns were the mosques.[4]

In the big fire of Samsun in 1869, most of the mosques, even the minarets, were burned down because of their wooden construction. The burned mosques were rebuilt and their construction was completed many years later, during the Abdulhamid second reign. Most important of these mosques werre the Büyük Cami (Cami-i Kebir= Big Mosque) and Kılıch Dede (Sword Grandfather), firstly built by Crimean Tartars[5]. A few mosques, saved from the fire, were the remnants of the Eretna Principality dating back to 1300s and only a few from the era of Mehmet the second. Stone carvers and masons of these mosques were undoubtedly the Greek artisans of the region.


[1] This function and the statue of mosque had been related with the pray of Friday. Friday pray had been one of the most important ceremonies in Islamic culture and as one of the it’s requirements muslim man come together to make pray. Importance of this ceremony had been most significant difference of mosques from the masjids.

[2] A very common word which were using titled the Ottoman city shows that the importance of mosques on founding and developing of Ottoman cities : ‘‘Bazar durur, Cuma kılınur’’. For further information about the Ottoman city see : Halil İnacık, ‘‘Istanbul : An Islamic City’’, The Journal of Islamic Studies, 1990 (I), pp. 1-23.

[3] Mehmet Öz, 15 ve 16. Yüzyıllarda Canik Sancağı, Turkish Historical Society Press, 1998, pp. 45-48 ; 138-145.

[4] Importance of the mosques were not only about their numbers but also about the revenues of their staff.

[5] Mehmet Yavuz Erler, “Karadenizde Avrupai Bir Kent: Samsun (1865-1875)”, Karadeniz Tarihi Sempozyumu, Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi Yayınları, Vol.I, Trabzon 2007, p. 565-566.


Appendix I : List of the Mosques [6]


List of the Mosques


Mosque of Kale Kapısı

Mosque of Yalı (Hoca Hayreddin)

Mosque of Pazar

Mosque of Hacı Hatun

Mosque of Seyyid Kutbeddin

Mosque of Hamidiya (Cami-i Kebir)

Mosque of Kurşunlu

Mosque of Said Beğ

Mosque of Suleyman Pasha

Mosque of Kılıch Dede


Mosque of Tayyar Pasha

Mosque of Mirza Beg

Mosque of Musli Agha

Mosque of Çilehane

Mosque of the Çarşı

Mosque of the Great (Ulucami)

Mosque of the district of Hacı Şaban

Mosque of the district of Debbağhane


Mosque of the Rıdvan Beg

Mosque of the Tayyar Pasha

Mosque of the Ketenpazarı

Mosque of the Gazi Hasan Beg


Mosque of the Pazar


Mosque of the Çarşı






























[6] The attached list contains only the main districts of the towns. Number of the mosques in villages more than the centre of towns. The towns of Havza, Vezirköprü and Lâdik did not added the list. These towns were a part of the Sanjak of Amasya until beginning of the 20th century.