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Modern Mosques

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We visited a lot of mosques during our time in Istanbul, most of which were centuries-old architectural masterpieces built by the Ottomans. But Islam is very much a modern religion, so we felt compelled to check out a couple of the city’s contemporary mosques, one in Kadiköy and the other in Umraniye.

Şakirin Camii

Kadiköy’s beautiful Şakirin Camii, completed in 2009, has the distinction of being the first mosque in Turkey whose interior was designed by a woman. And Zeynep Fadillioglu made sure that the female debut in the world of mosque-design would be something memorable. The Şakirin’s blue mihrab and asymmetrical chandelier are unlike anything we’d seen in other mosques, and the whole place is just lovely. There’s an elegant fountain in the courtyard, and the large cemetery behind the mosque supplies a mournful backdrop.

Hight Tech Mosque

In the neighborhood of Umraniye, across a busy street from Istanbul’s IKEA store, is the defiantly modern Yeşilvadi Mosque. Most reminiscent of a small IMAX theater, this spherical mosque is probably the strangest we visited in Istanbul. A lot of mosques have domes, but this is the first time we’d seen a dome-shaped mosque. It’s just a shame about the location; the Yeşilvadi was completely empty during our visit. Apparently, a trip to IKEA doesn’t leave a lot of time for prayer.

Locations on our Istanbul Map: Şakirin Mosque | Yeşilvadi Mosque

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More Pictures of the Şakirin Camii
Şakirin Mosque
Şakirin Moschee
Şakirin Camii Design
Woman Architect Mosque
Going To The Mosque
Inside Şakirin Camii
Light Sakirin Camii
Dome Şakirin Camii
Şakirin Camii
Şakirin Mosque
Sakirin Camii
Modern Mosques
More Pictures of the Yeşilvadi Mosque
Yeşilvadi Mosque
Modern Minaret
Modern Mosque Istanbul
Modern Mosque Detail
Modern Architecture Istanbul
Yeşilvadi Mosque Inside
Yeşilvadi Cami Inside
Modern Religion Architecture Istanbul
Koran Mosque Yeşilvadi Mosque
Imam Yeşilvadi Mosque
Design Yeşilvadi Mosque
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July 7, 2013 at 11:07 am Comments (6)

Haydarpaşa and the Crimean War Cemetery

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Even more “orient” than the Orient Express, the Baghdad Railway connected the future capital of Iraq to Istanbul. The western terminus was the massive Haydarpaşa Station, which is still one of the busiest train stations in Turkey. We spent a day exploring the magnificent old station and the neighborhood surrounding it.

Haydarpaşa Station

Completed in 1910, Haydarpaşa Station was designed in a neo-classical style by Prussian engineers, at the behest of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Germans were big sponsors of the struggling Ottoman state, and were pursuing every tactical advantage before the onset of World War I. But the project, which would have given them access to the Persian Gulf, wasn’t done nearly in time… the first train between Baghdad and Istanbul wouldn’t roll out until 1940.

Though damaged during the war, the impressive station was restored and has become one of Asian Istanbul’s most striking landmarks. Aside from the station, though, the neighborhood of Haydarpaşa is a traffic-heavy zone with none of the charm of nearby Kadiköy. Even here, though, we found a couple worthwhile highlights, including the giant central building of the Marmara University and, behind it, the British Crimean War Memorial.

One of history’s first “modern wars”, the Crimean War pitted the Russian Empire against a coalition of French, British and Ottoman over control of the Crimean Peninsula and basically resulted in a stalemate. Over 20,000 British soldiers died in this war, and many of them have been laid to rest here. The cemetery is peaceful in its way, but we felt chills while reading the names and ages of the soldiers, on gravestone after gravestone … 21, 23, 19. A memorial statue in the park, dedicated by Queen Elizabeth, honors the “brave men who gave their lives for their country”. But you’re left to wonder whether this obscure cause in a faraway land was truly worth so many young British lives.

Locations on our Map: Haydarpaşa Station | British Crimean War Memorial Cemetery

-Read: Murder On The Orient Express

German Train Station Istanbul
Cruise Ship Older Couple
Container Istanbul
Haydarpaşa Bahnhof
Multi Transport Istanbul
Train Boy
Inside Haydarpaşa
Ferry Station Haydarpaşa
Ferry Ticket Booth Haydarpaşa
Innen Haydarpaşa Station
Train Buffet
Haydarpaşa Trains
Haydarpaşa Cat
Haydarpaşa Train Tracks
Haydarpaşa Train Tracks
Haydarpaşa Worlers
Crimean War Cemetery
Crimean War Cemetery
Crimean War Cemetery
Crimean War Cemetery Monument
Crimean War Cemetery Istanbul
Crimean War Cemetery Cross
Crimean War Cemetery Cross
Crimean War Cemetery Cross
Crimean War Cemetery Cross
Crimean War Cemetery Cross
Crimean War Cemetery Cross
Crimean War Cemetery Cross
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June 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm Comments (0)
Modern Mosques We visited a lot of mosques during our time in Istanbul, most of which were centuries-old architectural masterpieces built by the Ottomans. But Islam is very much a modern religion, so we felt compelled to check out a couple of the city's contemporary mosques, one in Kadiköy and the other in Umraniye.
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