Yıldıray Özbek

Keywords: 15th and 16th Century, Ottoman, Mosque, Building of Ideologie


The buildings to have been made by the Ottoman sultans in the various regions of the empire are generally regarded as charity works. The financial sources of these buildings were provided from their own treasure of the sultans, not from the state budget. Much of the sultans' personal treasure consists of war spoils to have been collected from the holy war called qaza. The mosques to be built in Istanbul, the capital city, by the Sultans must be financed from war spoils taken from the kafirs. This is the reason why some Sultans, like Selim II and Murad III, who had not commanded directly thieir army in any war, did not build any monument in Istanbul in their names. Why Selim I could not make any monument build in Istanbul in the name of himself is because his military victories had been against some Muslim states, like Memluks and Safevis. Since the Ottoman society appreciated the Ottoman sultans with the titles of 'gazi' and 'adil', the mosques of Mehmet II and Ahmed I whose administration was in contrast to such these principles were criticized within that period by the people. While Mehmed II's mosque was condemned because of taxes, exile and the workers' unfairly paid fees, the mosque of Ahmed I was criticized due to the fact that he could not win a military victoıy against the kafirs. Consequently, the sultan mosques stand as monuments in which the ideology of the sultanate appears in the aesthetics ofthe city, rather than charity works.