8 Aralık 2013 Pazar

Mausoleums And Graveyards

As a rule, the date of a sultan's death did not coincide with the date of construction of his mausoleum because it was the custom to bury the deceased sovereign immediately and to erect a tent over his grave. The mausoleum was built at a later date. İstanbul ’s oldest monumental mausoleum is the Mahmud Paşa Mausoleum, built in 1464. It is, with the enamelled tiles in shades of light and dark blue which cover its outer walls, an exquisite continuation of the old Turkish tradition. The mausoleums of Sultans which stood next to the mosques bearing their names are all major achievements of this branch of Turkish art. Of these the Mausoleum of Mehmet the Conqueror, severely damaged in the earthquake of 1766 was rebuilt before the end of the 18th century. However, the mausoleums of Selim 1, Crown Prince Mehmed, Süleyman the Magnificent and his wife, Hürrem Sultan, Ahmed I, that of Hatice Turhan Sultan next to Yenicami and those of Selim III, Murad (II and Mehmed lll, which are next to Ayasofia, were all built in the 16th and 17th century and are works of dazzling beauty as far as their interior decoration, particularly the enamelled tiles and painted designs are concerned. Of these, the tomb built for Selim II in 1577 by Sinan is square with a ring of columns bearing two domes. The outer dome rests on the walls. The interior and the walls of the entrance hall are covered with İznik tiles. One of the panels of tiles at the entrance hall was removed by Sorlin Doringy and sold to the Louvre Museum in Paris. The adjacent tomb of Murad lll is known to be the work of the architect Davud Ağa. It is hexagonal in shape and has two domes, one inside the other. The interior is embellished with enamelled tiles. The presence of the name of the architect Dalgıç Ahmed Ağa on its mother-of-pearl and ivory-encrusted doors has aroused considerable astonishment.

The third mausoleum, built for Mehmed III who died in 1603 is octagonal in form. It is known that this mausoleum, the exterior of which is faced with marble, is, like the others, the work of Dalgıç Ahmed Ağa (subsequently Paşa). The mausoleum of Süleyman the Magnificent was built as part of the Süleymaniye Mosque complex by Sinan and it possesses a majestic quality worthy of that great Ottoman ruler. Around this octagonal building are eaves resting on arches supported by slender columns. The smaller mausoleum of his wife, Hürrem Sultan is, like that of Süleyman, embellished with valuable Iznik tiles. Among the sultan’s tombs, those of Ahmed 1 next to the Sultanahmed Mosque, of Mustafa III next to the Lâleli Mosque and of Abdülhamid I next to the madrasa at Bahçekapı all reflect the artistic taste of their time and at the same time perpetuate the mausoleum tradition of the Ottomans. The mausoleum of Mahmud II, which stands in a comer of a graveyard surrounded by a wall with windows designed by Garabet Balian (1800-1866) is an example of the Empire style applied in graveyard architecture. The interior of the mausoleum, its decorations and the velvet curtains at its windows make it look like a palace rather than a grave. Abdülhamid II, who had no mausoleum of his own, was buried in the mausoleum of Mahmud II after his death in 1918, following his removal from the throne. Due to the fact that the last of the Ottoman sultans had to be buried in İstanbul , use was made of already existing mausoleums and graveyards within the precincts of mosques. Sultan Abdülmecid lies in a mausoleum built by Garabet Balian in front of the Yavuz Selim I Mosque. Sultan Mehmed Reşad V had stated his desire to be buried in a place where he “could hear the sound of water and children's voices”, and for this reason his neo-classical mausoleum is situated next to a school on the banks of the Golden Horn at Eyüp.

Sinan had designed a number of small grave monuments for himself, among them the one next to his great Süleymaniye Mosque. The graceful, tlowing lines of this modest mausoleum resemble a signature and its harmonious and simple beauty represents the great architect in a manner which provides food for thought. The marble sarcophagus inside this open tomb contains the body of this great man. The inscription on the tomb composed by Sinan's close friend, the poet Mustafa Sai Çelebi, is above the window in the wall suriounding the tomb. A small graveyard has grown up around this mausoleum. Mausoleums of cansiderable aesthetic merit are encountered in various parts of the city and these all belong to important persons who lived in the l6th and l7th centuries. Such examples are the tomb of Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa at Beşiktaş, that of Piyale Paşa in Kasımpaşa the mausoleumş of Rüstem and lbrahim paşa between the tombs of the crown princes, the mausoleum of Hüsrev Paşa, which lies in the area between Fatih and Vatan Avenue and is the work of Sinan, those of Lütfi Paşa to the side of Vatan Avenue, of Siyavuş Paşa at Eyüp, of Gazanfer Ağa at the foot of the Bozdoğan Aqueduct and of Halil Paşa in Üsküdar. 

Among the mausoleums belonging to important persons who lived in later periods is that of Fuad Paşa which stands in a side street in the Sultanahmed district and has unusual decorations on its facades, and that of Büyük Reşid Paşa, designed by the Italian architect Fossati. The tomb of Grand Vizier Mahmud Nedim Paşa in Cağaloğlu is European in style. On the hill leading form Beşiktaş to the Yıldız Palace we encounter the Sheikh Zafif Mausoleum, the work of the Italian architect D'Aranco, which clearly displays the Art Nouveau style that was favoured by this architect and in fashion at the time. The Turkish neo-classical style, which emerged in the same years and signalled a retum to Turkish aesthetic traditions, is represented in the Mausoleum of Grand Vizier Cevad Paşa next to the tomb of Emir Buharî in the Fatih district. The former is the work of the architect Kemaleddin Bey. The same approach was applied in the mausoleum of Mahmud Şevket Paşa, which stands next to the monument on the high ground at Hürriyet Tepesi. Some of these mausoleums, which as the one of Ayşe Hafsa Sultan in the graveyard of the Sultan Selim Mosque, which was destroyed by the earthquake of 1894, have been abandoned or neglected because of lack of interest, or, like the mausoleum of the then Sheikh-ul Islam, Mustafa Sunullah Efendi ( 1552-1612) next to the Bozdogan Aqueduct, have been occupied as dwellings.

Apart from the above there are a number of tombs which belonged to saints who were greatly revered by the general public in various parts of the city. Some of them have legends dating back to Byzantine times and are revered for reasons which are not very clear. There are even tombs in which nobody is buried and imaginary saints for which names were later invented. The tomb of Lâleli Baba, from which the name of the Lâleli district derives, that of Mahmud Baba in the Kuşdili neighbourhood of Kadıköy, of Baba Cafer in the Zindankapısı locality of Eminönü and of Yıldız Baba next to the Stock Exchange in Bahçekapı are the best-known examples of the many saints' graves in İstanbul . Legends have been invented by the public that these tombs have healing properties or even create miracles, which is an example of the survival of Byzantine traditions. The legend about Baba Cafer originates in a Byzantine legend. A symbolic tomb of gigantic proportions on the high ground of Yuşa Tepesi on the Asian side of the İstanbul strait by the Black Sea is, according to popular belief, that of a saint by the name of Yuşa. However, the identity of this person has never been discovered. It is a certainty that it is not the Yuşa referred to in the Pentateuch. If we bear in mind the belief that giants lived on this hill at the beginning of the Early Ages, and then it is obvious that this belief passed into Christianity and from there into Islam. 

Apart from the above, there are also a number of tombs in İstanbul  belonging to historic personages who really lived. These tombs are also visited like the tombs of the saints. The most striking of these is the tomb of Sheikh Vefa (d. 1491) in the Vefa district. Next to the Koca Mustafa Paşa Mosque is the tomb of Sümbül Sinan Efendi, a member of the Halvetiye Order, who died in 1529, that of Merkez Efendi (d.1552) in Yenikapı, of Karacaahmed in Üsküdar, of Emir Buharî (d.1516) in Fatih and the tomb of the then Sheikh-ul Islam Zembelli Ali Efendi (d. 1526) on the lower side of the Zeyrek Kilise (church) Mosque.
There are also tombs of the Sahabe, or first generation of Muslims, who had come as far as İstanbul  and besieged the city. These are also revered by the general public like the tombs of the saints. All of these Sahabe tombs, of which, there are a large number between. Ayvansaray and Edirnekapısı were rebuilt at the beginning of the 19th century by Mahmud II to appease the people, who were displeased by some of the steps he had taken. The buildings we see today are all in the same architectural style. Among them is the mausoleum of Eyüb Sultan, who occupies an extremely important place in the affections of the Turkish people and about whom we possess reliable information. Halid, son of Ebu Eyüb Zeyd had marched upon İstanbul  at the head of an Arab army in the first century after the death of Mohammed which was at around 700 AD, and died in battle.

He was buried outside the city walls. Although it is generally accepted that this is an accurate account of the event, there is a second version which states that he was sent to İstanbul  as an ambassador heading a Muslim delegation. It goes on to say that his group were treacherously attacked and retreated to the city walls, from where they were unable to escape and were murdered. According to this hypothesis, which was put forward by P. Wittek, Eyüp-ü Ensarî died in Ayvansaray and his name underwent a change in pronunciation in the mouths of the common people, the name of this district being none other than the name of Eyüb himself. While the Turkish army was laying siege to İstanbul  in 1453, Ak Şemseddin, a scholar and religious dignitary, came upon the grave of Eyüp. After the conquest Mehmet II had a mosque and mausoleum built in what is now the Eyüp district and in a short space of time this area had become the city's most sacred place. After it had become a place of pilgrimage for members of the public the Ottoman sultans took to girding their swords at Eyüp and large numbers of people wanted their graves to be near this sacred part of the city. Eyüp was for many years a place of spiritual tranquillity. However, in recent years a numbers of factories and workshops have sprung up and the incomparable graveyards framing it have been damaged, which is a cause of great concern for the city. The graveyards surrounding Eyüp have been greatly damaged by the building of shanty houses in recent years, gravestones and trees have been destroyed.

A place visited by a great number of people which has nothing in common with the grave of a saint is the Hırka,ı Şerif Mosque, on the Marmara side of the fatih district. This mosque, which has two minarets resembling the capitals of Corinthian columns, is octagonal in shape and of mixed style is the place where the Robe of the Prophet Mohammed is kept. It was built by Sultan Abdülmecit between 1848 and 1851. Inside the mosque there are examples of the calligraphy of Mustafa lzzet Efendi, one of the great masters of the 19th century, of the Sultan himself. The sacred relic which is generally accepted as the Robe of the Prophet Mohammed was brought from the Yemen in h. 1027 (1618) by Şükrullah Efendi and was kept in his mansion by himself and then by his descendents, where it could be seen by worshippers who visited the house, The Robe was later taken away and placed in a special building.

There are two types of graveyards in İstanbul . The first are the large graveyards on the outskirts, with their rows of marble gravestones and sarcophaguses shaded by towering cypress trees. Graveyards of this type are a work of art in their own right. One of these is the great graveyard extending from an area outside the city walls almost as far as the Sea of Marmara, which has a number of names according to the district in which it lies. The section opposite Edimekapısı was damaged by road widening in the late 1950's. The graveyard that covers the hillsides above Eyüp is being eaten away by shanty houses. The tree-filled graveyard which, until comparatively recently, extended from Şişhane and Tepebaşı down into Kasımpaşa was completely obliterated during the First World War by Cemal Paşa, the then head of the navy, who did not leave or tree or a gravestone standing. A small, domed mausoleum erroneously thought to be that of Evliya Çelebi somehow escaped this massacre, and it still stands at the top of Şişane Hill. When one descends the hill leading from Taksim to Dolmabahçe one will encounter the remains of an old graveyard on the site of the German Consulate. Thousands of the city's inhabitants rested in peace in this graveyard, shaded by a veritable forest of cypress trees, as can be judged from old photographs; all that remains of it now are the 12-15 graves in the gardens of the German consulate. The gravestones from this graveyard were as was discovered recently during the construction of a new building, in the foundations of the houses that had been demolished to make way for it. Along the shores of the İstanbul strait at Rumelihisarı there is a graveyard which extended as far as the sea, leaving room for only a narrow footpath. However, the new road that has been built has encroached on it considerably. 

There is a general desire among Turks that is to rest on the Asian side of İstanbul , which explains the size of the Karacaahmed Graveyard. Although each part of it has a separate name, this great graveyard is a veritable city of the dead which stretches from Üsküdar along the Bağdad Road towards Kadıköy, where it terminates at the Ayrılık Fountain. It then ascends the hillside and again descends towards Söğütlüçeşme, continues on the other side of the Kurbağalıdere Creek to the rear of the Fenerbahçe Stadium at Kızıltoprak. Here the graves of its founder and his family (which still stand) indicate the far end of the graveyard. However, this graveyard, which created a green belt around that part of the city and was filled with gravestones that were minor works of art and bore the names of hundreds of famous people, is gradually dwindling. New burials in the Karacaahmed Graveyard have resulted in damage to the older gravestones.

It should also be emphasised that the graves of the founders of many mosques, masjids, madrasas, schools, , dervish convents, charity fountains and other charitable works within the city itself were, in a short space of time surrounded by the graves of other people, which created small graveyards, both within the precincts of mosques and outside of them. Although many of these small graveyards, which were a feature of the city's side streets, no longer exist, it would be an appropriate measure to prevent the tipping of refuse in such places, such as the graveyard in Vefa or that near the Nişancı
Mosque in Fatih and protect them. It is quite natural that the old tree filled graveyards of the Turks, who have never feared death, should not be regarded as menacing places. For this reason the modern graveyards which are an imitation of those in Europe cold and repellent. The graceful carving, beautiful calligraphy and sentiments expressed in the inscriptions on the Turkish gravestones of old are of particular value in that they reflect the feelings of İstanbul 's old inhabitants towards death and display an ability to compose a speech even when on the threshold of this last journey. The gravestone of the mother who died in childbirth at Eyüp, that of a young girl who died when she was about to marry, that of a gentleman who informs us that he “died of his wife's nagging” at Mevlevihanekapısı and the gravestone of Ağa Hasan Paşa in the Söğütlüçeşme graveyard, which stated (it was destroyed in the 1960's) that he had lived “but eighty years and a few” are but a few interesting examples of the thousands of inscriptions to be found on gravestones.

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