Author: KARA TUGBA
History of mosques
*Assistant Assoc. Proferssor, University of Sinop, Sinop, Turkey
There was a number of mosques in Sinop to serve the needs of the muslim population. The most important were the following:
Alâeddîn Mosque (Camii-i Kebîr)
This mosque was built in 1214, a short time after the conquest of Sinop, during the time of Sultan İzzettin Keykavus. It is registered as Alâeddin Mosque in the foundation records and it was known to the people with that name. It has been renovated a few times on various dates, and is the first ever mosque that was built in Sinop . The mosque that is situated in the centre of the city has a size of 66 meters X 22 meters. Its walls have been built as one line of thin bricks and one line of stones. It has three domes, with one of them being a large one, at the middle and one dome at each of the east and west sides. The mosque, which has a lead dome and a single minaret, was built in the style of Artuklu which wasn’t known in the region . It is a structure of rectangle shape with a large courtyard that has three entrances. There is a water-tank with a fountain in the middle of the courtyard and a mausoleum at the north-east section .
The mosque is present inside the city walls, at Meydankapı District with current borders. The construction date of the mosque, which is based on the Sakarya Street, is not known for certain. As determined by the foundation records, it is rumored that it was built by Sheikh Ömer, as he is the oldest individual that was mentioned in the records . The mosque’s zinc plated minaret with wooden balcony is one of the original ones among Sinop minarets. The debris of a church are present at the north side . In the year of 1876, it was renovated by Governor Ahmet Kemal Pasha to be attributed in the name of Kanunî Sultan Süleyman. This renovation was made on th4e foundation of a certificate-charter of the damaged fort mosque which is located inside the keep.
Kefevi (Kefeli) Mosque
It was built outside the city walls on the Kefevi District. The mosque which was built by Mahmut Çelebiyyü’l-Kefevî in 1581, was renovated by Governor Bekir Pasha in 1894. Presumably, it was painted and decorated with writings in the early 20th century. The mosque doesn’t have a specific architectural feature . However, the wooden ceiling medallion, which contains prophet names, holds a unique characteristic. At the present time, Kefevî Mosque, Kaleyazısı and Meydankapı Mosques are located in districts with the same names of Kaleyazısı, Kefevi and Meydankapı as they are recorded in archival documents .
İskele Mosque (Tersane Mosque)
According to the mosque inscription which is located in Tersane bazaar, it was built by Çerkez Hacı Ömer Efendi, who was one of the rich people of Sinop, in 1903 or in 1905 . It is also argued that it was first built by Karpuzcu Mehmet Ağa in 1733, and later renovated by Çerkez Hacı Ömer. According to another claim, there first was a wooden mosque called İsmail Ağa Mosque located there and that İskele Mosque was called Gümrük Mosque in the records. It is thought that the Neo-Gothic-looking structure fulfilled the prayer needs of Sinop shipyard workers. There is a stone minaret located at the north-east section. .
Mehmed Ağa Mosque (Kaleyazısı Mosque)
The mosque which is located at Kaleyazısı market was built by Karpuzcu Mehmet Ağa in 1652. The mihrab and the mimbar of the wooden roofed mosque are not authentic. It is said by Evliya Çelebi that the mosque is tiled . The facade was veneered at the start of the 20th century. The mosque, which looks like a wooden house, has a short minaret at the north-west section. This part was restored and added in 1908 with the help of the people .
According to the inscription on the entrance gate, it is understood that it was built during the time of Sultan Celaleddin Bayezid (Crippled) in the year C 776 (M 1375). This mosque, which is known as Saray Camii, was built of cut stone. It has a square-like rectangle shape and is covered by a dome. Saray Mosque is the biggest example of this structure type in Sinop. Though, it is written that there are two tombs located in a small garden at the west side of the mosque, in the work of Hüseyin Hilmi, it can be seen that a single cist is present there today. As there is no inscription on the cist or on the tombstone, it is unable to know who lies there. The structure of the cist indicates the era of Seljuq .
Algerian Ali Pasha Mosque
The mosque adjacent to the Seyyid Bilal Mausoleum belongs the Seljuq era. It was renovated by Ali Pasha in 1876; and by Abdülmecit Han in 1898 . The mimbar part of the mosque is completely made of wood. The side of the mimbar is covered with various ornaments. It has a wooden floor and ceiling, and tile roofing. Its minaret is made of large cut stones .
 Mehmet Ali Ünal, Osmanlı Devrinde Sinop, Fakülte Kitabevi, Isparta 2008, s.295; Bekir Başoğlu, Sinop İli Tarihi, Ayyıldız Matbaası, Ankara 1978, pp. 99-100.
 Deniz Esemenli, “Alâeddin Câmii ve Medresesi”, DİA, C.2, pp. 327-328.
 Sinop Tarihi ve Kültür Envanteri, Sinop Valiliği İl Kültür ve Turizm Müdürlüğü Yay, Sinop 2013, s.24.
 Ibid Mehmet Ünal, p.300; Ibid Sinop Tarihi ve Kültür Envanteri, s.27.
 Ibid Mehmet Ali Ünal, s.301; Hüseyin Hilmi Uluğ, Sinop Kitabeleri, Sinop 1339, pp. 26-27.
 Ibid Mehmet Ali Ünal, s.302.
 Fulya Üstün Demirkaya-Ömer İskender Tuluk, “Eflatun’un “Kurbağa’sı Sinope’den Sinop’a: Kaynaklara Göre Sinop Kentinin Fiziksel Gelişimi, MTU JFA, 2012/1, 29: 1, s.63.
 Geçmişin Fotoğraflarıyla Sinop Tarihi, Sinop Belediyesi Kültür Yayınları 1, Ankara 2007, s.105.
 Ibid Sinop Tarihi ve Kültür Envanteri, s.13.
 Ibid Mehmet Ali Ünal, s.303.
 Ibid Sinop Tarihi ve Kültür Envanteri, s.7.
 Ibid Mehmet Ali Ünal, Osmanlı Devrinde Sinop, s.306.
Ibid Geçmişin Fotoğraflarıyla Sinop Tarihi, s.105.
 Ibid Sinop Tarihi ve Kültür Envanteri, s.47.