Yivli Minare Complex  Yivli Minare Complex
Yivli Minare Complex
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Variant Names Yivli Minare Külliyesi, Fluted Minaret, Great Mosque of Antalya (Ulu Camii), Madrasa of Atabeg Armagan (Atabey Armagan Medresesi, Ulu Camii Medresesi), Tomb of Zincirkiran Mehmed Bey (Mubariz al-Din Mehmed Beg, Mübarizeddin Mehmet Pasa, Hamidoglu Mehmed Bey)
Location Antalya, Turkey
Client Sultan Ala al-Din Kay Qubadh I
Date mid 13th c.
Style/Period Hamid Emirate, Seljuk
Century 13th
Building Types educational, religious, religious
Building Usage madrasa, minaret, mosque
Keywords 777 core monuments

The minaret, known as Yivli after its semi-circular flanks, is the oldest structure of an informal religious complex located in the historic castle of Antalya that consists of a mosque, madrasa, Mevlevi lodge (mevlevihane) and two domed tombs. A marble inscription at the base of the minaret names Seljuk Sultan Ala al-Din Kay Qubadh I (1220-1237) as its builder. There are no remains of its original mosque, which may have been converted from a Byzantine church. The current mosque to the west of the minaret bears an inscription plaque from 1373 (774 A.H.) naming its patron, Mubariz al-Din or Zincirkiran Mehmed Bey (1372-1378?) of the Tekke Emirate (southern branch of the Hamid Emirate). The Mevlevi lodge, which is located up the hill to the northwest of the mosque, was founded in the eighteenth century by Antalya governor (mütesellim) Tekeli Mehmed Pasa in what appears to be a Seljuk period structure. Zincirkiran Mehmed Bey is buried in a large octagonal tomb near the dervish lodge, while the smaller tomb located between the mosque and the lodge belongs to Nigar Hanim, queen of Ottoman sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512). The madrasa of the complex was built by Seljuk Atabeg Ataman in 1239 and now lies in ruins to the northwest of the mosque.


The brick minaret is located to the east of the mosque, about four and a half meters away from its southeast corner. It was restored by the General Directorate of Museums (Müzeler Genel Müdürlügü) in 1953 and stabilized further in 1973. It stands on a stone base that is six and a half meters tall and five and a half meters wide. The upper corners of the base are chamfered to meet an octagonal transition zone carved with a blind niche on each side. Little remains of the mosaic of turquoise and cobalt-blue tiles decorating the niches of this zone. The eight semi-circular flanks of the shaft begin above a narrow circular ring and taper slightly inward before terminating at a second circular band below the stone muqarnas consoles of the balcony. Blue glazed tiles woven into every other row of the brick shaft create an illusion of stripes traveling up the flanks. The minaret ends with a simple cylindrical turret above the balcony and is capped with a lead-covered conical cap. The simple stone balustrade of its balcony may be a later addition.


The mosque has a roughly rectangular plan elongated on the east-west axis. It measures about fourteen meters by eight meters on the exterior and is entered from two arched portals facing east and north. Inside, the prayer hall is composed of two rows of three domed bays. The domes rest on a series of double archways and the exterior walls with a transition zone of triangles. Of the twelve columns inside the hall, a few are fitted with classical capitals. The irregularity of the plan is caused by the blind eastern wall, which is about twice as thick as the other walls and meets them at a slight angle. The narrow space between the arcade and the eastern wall is covered with a transverse barrel vault. The mihrab, which is placed off center on the southern wall, is also set at an angle of about thirty degrees. Seven windows of various sixes -- six of them on the qibla wall -- illuminate the interior. The walls of the mosque are white-washed on the exterior and its domes are covered with red brick tiles. Used by the Museum of Archaeology between 1934 and 1969, the prayer hall currently houses the Antalya Museum of Ethnography.


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