Showcase: Stories behind Istanbul's mosques and minarets


mosques and minarets might provide the

ultimate master class in architecture

they're not just places of worship they

also provide plenty of insight into a

city's history but there are more than

3000 mosques in Istanbul so where do you


showcases Moran Dottie picked seven with

a story

a mosque and its minarets piercing the

skyline is one of the most defining

images of Istanbul but mosques are more

than places to pray and minarets are

more than towers that muezzins crime to

recite the quarter prayer the city's

mosques can take us on a journey through

history my first stop is the

neighborhood of karaköy the arab mosque

fair is one of the city's oldest but

what's really fascinating is what it was



the story of this mosque which boasts

Istanbul --zf s minaret reflects the

changing tide of history during the 6th

century it was a Byzantine church but it

was transformed to become a mosque after

the Arab siege which began in 1717 it

was then turned back into a Catholic

Church by Western Crusaders in the 13th

century before becoming a mosque for the

final time after the Ottoman conquest in

1453 the arab mosque provides expert

instruction in italian gothic

architecture and as for this minaret or

church spire you can see remnants of



fast forward to the sixteenth century

and we have a tale of two mosques one in

Asia and one in Europe every mosque and

minaret reveals something about this

city's history but I think the love

story behind the miramar mosques might

just be my favorite in 1562

a famous architect Mimar Sinan was hired

by ottoman sultan Suleiman the

Magnificent to build a mosque in honor

of his daughter on the Asian side of


the twist in the tale Sinan was madly in

love with marina


as soon after he built her a second

mosque on the European side

Mihrimah means Sun and Moon in Persian

and the coolest thing about these to

Mars is that so legend has it on the

21st of March which happens to be Maria

Mars birthday you can see the Sun set

between the minarets on the European

side and you can see the moon rise

behind this mosque and so just like her

name we can see the Sun and the moon

together in 1609 a sultan ahmed the

first decided to build Sultanahmet

mosque better known as the blue mosque

after a series of Turkish military



with no new mosques being built for 40

years he hoped it would bring good luck

and yes it's beautiful and opulent but

was it considered a little too opulent


the Sultanahmet mosque is one of the

most recognized and visited landmark in

Istanbul and considering most mosques

have only one minaret or sometimes two

if they were built by Sultan's the fact

that this mark has six minarets it's a

pretty big deal Sultanahmet the first

was considered for sumptuous by some

because this is actually the same number

of minarets as in Islam's holiest Mosque

in Mecca so what did the Sultan do well

we built a seventh minaret in the mecca



Istanbul ottoman influence is clear


but by the 19th century a new kind of

inspiration was creeping in this is

especially evident in the mosque on the

Bosphorus in Auto clay


the author Kumar was finished in 1853

and we can see the influence of Western

designs there are Roman style scrolls

and golden leaves decorating it's two



Center Clare musk was built in 2013


it's completely different and designed

to its predecessors


it's about functionality not flashiness

from the outside Sanja clad doesn't even

really look like a mosque most of it's

located underground with its unusually

shaped minaret the only thing visible

from a distance the award-winning design

by architect Emery Errol at was inspired

by the hearer cave which is where the

Prophet Mohammed had his first




and what about now


because Carlotta famous opened in June

this year every aspect of its design is


especially this minaret and with

incredible views and its own that

built-in library it's the perfect place

to wile away the hours


from opulent to edgy from Byzantine to

modern times the design of Istanbul's

mosques and minarets reflect the

changing face of a unique city that

straddles East and West earned the

centuries Miranda a tea TRT world