Arts and Literature

700-year-old mosque features rich examples of wooden art in Trabzon

Written by The Frontier Post

TRABZON, Turkey (AA): A 700-year-old mosque is among the rare works that have managed to remain intact to date in the northern province of Trabzon. The Güneyce Merkez Mosque, located on a hill overlooking the Arsin district, stands out with its rich examples of motifs and wooden ornamentation art.

An interior view from the Güneyce Merkez Mosque, Trabzon, northern Turkey, March 11, 2022. (AA)
An interior view from the Güneyce Merkez Mosque, Trabzon, northern Turkey, March 11, 2022. (AA)

Having no inscription that provides information about its history, the historical mosque is estimated to have been built in 1300. The construction serves with a total capacity of 250 people today, and the number of visitors to the mosque is increasing day by day.

Gökhan Tiryaki, the imam of the mosque, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that he has been working at the mosque for two years. “The most important feature that distinguishes our mosque from the others is its aesthetics, art and handicraft. Almost all of the interior construction of our mosque is made by hand. When it was first built in 1300, it served as a church, not a mosque as the Trabzon-Rum Empire was located here at those times. When Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, captured these lands in 1461, he turned this place into a mosque and opened it to the worship of Muslims,” he said. Tiryaki furthermore pointed out that when it was opened as a church, the construction was also used as a watchtower due to its dominating location.

A view from the ceiling from the Güneyce Merkez Mosque, Trabzon, northern Turkey, March 11, 2022. (AA)
A view from the ceiling from the Güneyce Merkez Mosque, Trabzon, northern Turkey, March 11, 2022. (AA)

Noting that the mosque is one of the frequented touristic spots due to its wooden ornaments and motifs, the imam said that teachers often brought their students to this historical place. According to Tiryaki, teachers want to teach their students about religious places of worship and promote artistic originality with their visits, while students have the chance to take pictures of the motifs, mihrab (prayer niche) and minbar (pulpit).

Courtesy: Dailysabah

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