XVth Century Builder Çakır Ağa and his Architectural Buildings
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Builder, Çakır Ağa, Fatih Period, Architecture, Mosques
There is limited information on Çakır Ağa, who is known as the çakırcıbaşı /head hawker of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. Çakır Ağa was born in Skopje, and worked as a subaşı / police superintendent in Bursa during the reign of Sultan Murad II, took part in the conquest of Istanbul, and in addition to his post as subaşı / the police superintendent, he was assigned as the sekbanbaşı (Chief Sekban) and çakırcıbaşı / head hawker. His endowment dated 1480 names him Çakır Ağa bin Abdullah. Çakır Ağa stands out as the builder of various architectural works during the reign of Murad II and especially Mehmed the Conqueror. He had works erected in Bursa, Edirne and Istanbul, and has a mosque and bathhouse in Bursa, one mosque in Edirne, a zawiya and an inn in Silivri, and five mosques in Istanbul. His extant works in Bursa and Edirne have been altered and his Silivri works have not survived. Kapalıçarşı and Cibali mosques, which are understood to be located in different parts inside Istanbul's city walls, and the mosque in Edirnekapı, which has been identified in this study, have reached the present day with alterations. Çakır Ağa must have been influential in the development of Istanbul, especially after the conquest. Small mosques constitute the majority of Çakır Ağa's buildings, although Çakır Ağa also had built examples of other typologies, such as inns, zawiyas and bathhouses. This paper introduces and discusses Çakır Ağa as a builder and examines his works based on recently obtained data under the light of printed sources and documents in the Ottoman Archives.