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Sinop


Private and public buildings    EN

Descriptions of buildings

Author: BARLAK HASAN 

* Asst. Prof., University of Sinop, Sinop, Turkey

Unlike the 18th century, the Ottoman population began to grow in the end of the 19th century and the increasing commercial mobility of port cities led to urban development in coastal cities. As some of these cities transformed into administrative centres, they were settled by many salaried bureaucrats.[1] Although it is difficult to tell the extent at which Sinop as a port city was influenced by these developments, the status of housings and public buildings in this city in the same period might give us an idea. According to the Annual of Kastamonu dated Hijri 1321 (1903/1904), there were two government offices including one in central Sinop and the other in the district of Gerze, thirty-three government agencies, armouries and shipyard offices, one syphilis hospital and one military hospital, one fortress, one prison, 894 stores and shops, 103 inns and coffee shops, 63 bakeries, 5 public baths, 69 guestrooms, 6485 warehouses, 325 water meals, three factories, three madrasas, one high school and one junior high school, two schools for girls in Gerze, three primary schools for boys in Sinop and Gerze, two schools for Greeks, and one quarantine station consisting of 46 wooden buildings out of the city.[2] With a slight difference, another annual mentions 7907 houses, one barrack, one guardhouse, two telegraph offices, two coffee shops, one library, two junior high schools one in Sinop and the other in Gerze, five primary schools and 25 infant schools.[3] In Sinop, eye-catching private properties and official buildings were usually situated in the town centre.

Private Buildings

Aslan Torun Konağı: This typical 18th century residence is located in the Kefevi Neighbourhood. The rectangular building has three floors. Basement and ground floors are made of rubble stones while the main floors are a mixture of wood, carcase and brick. Above the middle floor that appears to have been used as a selamlık (the portion of a house reserved for men) is a fancier harem (women's quarters). Featuring a rococo style, this symmetrical Turkish house with a traditional iwan, hall and corner room is one of the leading examples of the housing architecture in Sinop.[4]

Öküzoğulları Konağı: Located in the Kefevi Neighbourhood, this residence was built by Haydar Öküzoğlu in the 19th century (1278/1861). This spectacular four-storey residence possesses thirty-five windows on its longer facades. In its interiors, selamlık and harem floors are reached by two separate side stairs.[5]

There are also other houses with a certain architectural style although not at the same extent with the two residences described above. These are generally two-storey and sometimes three or single-storey residences and most of them have overhanging top floors. Rubble stones, masonry, plastering, wood and similar materials are used in these houses, some of which have such elements as arches and pediments.[6] Built in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, they have reached the present time in disconnected locations except for in a few streets. Today, the Kaleyazısı Neighbourhood, the Tuzcular Street, and also the Yüksekkaldırım, Büyükçeşme and Kuruçeşme streets between the İncedayı and Yeni Neighbourhoods are areas where such houses are frequently encountered. Besides, traditional residences can still be found in some streets of the İncedayı, Kaleyazısı, Meydankapı and Yeni Neighbourhoods.[7]

Public Buildings
The Government Office: The project of the building was drawn up by District Governor Ömer Şevki Pasha in Rumi 1317 (1901/1902). Its construction was started by District Governor Tevfik Pasha in R. 1319 (1903/1904) and it was completed during the district governorship of Bekir Pasha in R. 1323 (1907/1908). It is a masonry work made with the donations of public community. On a heightened position of its front side is an inscription that starts with verses praising the justice of Sultan Abdulhamid II.[8] Having two floors apart from the basement, the interior panels and the support system of the building are of wood. The entrance hall opens to twelve rooms on the ground floor while the middle hall in the upstairs opens to sixteen rooms.[9]
The formal governmental office is a wooden building constructed by Kavizade Hüseyin Bey of an established family of Sinop in R. 1280-1285 (1864/1865-1869/1870).[10]

The Hospital: It was built during the Kastamonu Governorship of Abdurrahman Pasha in R. 1303 (1887-1888). It was constructed of wood but very sturdily on a north-western point of the city with sea view. Especially following R. 1315 (1899/1900), the importance attached to the hospital increased and it became a great hospital of its time with its operating room, bacteriology laboratory, examination room, wards for men and women, and other premises. [11]

Mekteb-i İdadi (The High School): It is an elegant, spacious, two-storey cut-stone building with seventeen classrooms. Although its construction began in R. 1301 (1885/1886), it was completed with a long delay in R. 1316 (1899/1900). A signboard designating "Mektebi İdadi" (The High School) inscribed on marble by thuluth writing along with an emblem was placed on the upper section of its front side.[12]

İttihad Mektebi (The Union School): It is a masonry building constructed on the west of the high school with the help and efforts of District Governor Müştak Lütfi Bey in R. 1329 (Greg. 1913/1914). The two-story building possessed twelve classrooms. It was built as a primary school. Other than these, Suleymanian school, junior high school and girl school also served in Sinop.[13]

The Library: At one time, Mufti Hadji Ali Lütfi Efendi established a nice library in Sinop and also brought numerous books to it. However, only a few of the books remained in time.[14] The library subsequently established is the building which presently serves as the Dr. Rıza Nur Provincial Public Library. Constructed in 1902 and belonging to two Greek siblings, the building passed to the public treasury during the population exchange between Turkey and Greece. It is situated in the east of the city with sea view. It is a large three-storey residence. The building was bought and organised as a library by Dr. Rıza Nur Bey and it was put into service with a ceremony attended by state officials and public community on 9 October on Friday in 1924.[15]

Ahz-ı Asker Dairesi (The Military Recruiting Office): Located in the entrance of the citadel, it consists of four sections including a half-masonry commandership office. One of the sections was built in R. 1290 (1874/1875) and another in R. 1321 (1905/1906).[16]

Tophane (The Armoury): The military units constructed in R. 1294 (1878/1879) were demolished or abandoned except for one of them when the Sinop Armoury was abolished in R. 1325 (1909/1910).[17]

The Telegraph and Post Office: Its construction was started in R. 1329 (1913/1914) and completed with the efforts of District Governor Zihni Bey in R. 1337 (1921). It is an elegant masonry in the armoury.[18] It is also related that the building was originally built by minorities or as an embassy by Russians.[19]

The Customs House: It is a wooden building expropriated from Andonaki, the son of a person named Cin, in R. 1285 (1869/1870).[20]

The Port Office: It was built by artillery commander Major Abdülaziz Bey in R. 1319 (1903/1904).[21] It needs to be mentioned here that the importance of the port of Sinop in maritime trade waned after the Crimean War in the beginning of 1854.[22]

Seyrusefâin Acentehanesi (Navigation Agency): The agency was built by Veli Agha in R. 1300 (1884/1885). It is a masonry building.[23]

Quarantine Station: It is a small and elegant building built by the Quarantine Administration at a costal suburban neighbourhood in R. 1313 (1897/1898). It was heavily damaged when it was hit by a Russian torpedo in R. 1331 (1915-1916). The Sinop quarantine station in the peninsula was established by expropriating a village in that region in R. 1308 (1892/1893).[24] After it was damaged, a place rented in the port was used as the quarantine administration.[25]

City Hall: It is a masonry work built during the district governorship of Bekir Pasha and the mayorship of Hacı Hasan zade Hüseyin Remzi Efendi [R. 1323 (1907/1908)] on the Hükümet Main Street.[26]

The Public Prison: It was built as a masonry work under the district governorship of Veysel Pasha in R. 1303 (1887/1888).[27] It was constructed in a “U” shape in the north-south axis at a few meters to the western wall of the citadel. The prison yard is divided by walls in varying heights in relation with the wards.[28]


[1] Kemal H. Karpat, Osmanlı Modernleşmesi Toplum, Kurumsal Değişim ve Nüfus, çev. Ceren Elitez, Timaş Yayınları, İstanbul, 2014, pp. 143-144.

[2] Kastamonu Salnamesi, Vilayet Matbaası, H. 1321 (1903/1904), p. 354.

[3] Kastamonu Vilayeti Salnamesi, 15. Def’a, Matbaa-i Vilayet, H. 1306 (1888-1889), pp. 474-475.

[4] Bkz. Deniz Esemenli, “Sinop İli Türk Dönemi Mimarisi”, İstanbul Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Basılmamış Sanat Tarihi Doktora Tezi, İstanbul, 1990, pp. 165-166.

[5] Ibid, Esemenli, p. 164.

[6] Bkz. Ibid, Esemenli, pp. 163-164; Sinop Tarihi ve Kültür Envanteri, Koordinatörler: Sinop Valisi Dr. Ahmet Cengiz vd., T.C. Sinop Valiliği İl Kültür ve Turizm Müdürlüğü, Sinop, 2013, pp. 83-161.

[7] Fulya Üstün Demirkaya, Ömer İskender Tuluk, “Eflatun’un “Kurbağa”sı Sinope’den Sinop’a: Kaynaklara Göre Sinop Kentinin Fiziksel Gelişimi”, METU JFA, 2012/1, (29/1), p. 62.

[8] Hüseyin Hilmi, Sinop Kitabeleri, Sinop Matbaası, R. 1339-H. 1341 (1923), p. 70.

[9] Ibid, Esemenli, p. 154.

[10] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 75; Esemenli, p. 154.

[11] Mehmed Said, Türkiye’nin Sıhhi-i İctimai Coğrafyası Sinop Sancağı, Öğüd Matbaası, Ankara, H. 1338-M. 1922, p. 43.

[12] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 71.

[13] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, pp. 72-73.

[14] Sinop’tan Haberler, haz. Ercan Kanbur, Şimal Ajans-Matbaacılık-Dijital Baskı Hizmetleri, Sinop, 2012, p. 382.

[15] http://www.sinopkutup.gov.tr/TR,170959/kurulus.html, 25.9.2017; Ibid, Kanbur, pp. 382-383.

[16] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 73.

[17] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 74.

[18] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 75.

[19] Sinop Tarihi ve Kültür Envanteri, p. 16.

[20] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 75.

[21] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 74.

[22] Mehmet Öz, “Sinop”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi (DİA), c. 37, İstanbul, 2009, p. 255.

[23] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 75.

[24] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 76.

[25] Ibid, Mehmed Said, p. 46.

[26] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 75.

[27] Ibid, Hüseyin Hilmi, p. 74.

[28] Alev Çakmakoğlu Kuru, Sinop Hapishanesi, Atatürk Kültür Merkezi Başkanlığı Yayınları,Ankara, 2004, pp. 17-18.


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