Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Mosque of Ming the Merciless

While at first glance this may look more like an annex to the palace of Ming the Merciless, it is actually the very latest thing in mosques. The designer, Zeynep Fadillioglu, is "known for creating some of the most stylish lounges and nightclubs in Istanbul." The interior design pushes the envelope a bit, as well. Female worshippers will no longer be confined behind a tacky screen in a back corner. In this mosque, an open, airy mezzanine level is designated as the women's section. Could it be that modernism-- not a compliment, mind you--is coming to Islam at last? I'll admit to being prejudiced against mosques. Outside of a few notable exceptions in Istanbul, I've never been particularly impressed with their architecture--finding them externally derivative and internally empty and barn-like, for the most part. This mosquestrocity is located on the Asian side of things, so will remain largely unseen by Istanbul visitors. Read more, here.


Samn! said...

Hi, sorry to leave an unsolicited not-that-related comment, but the following links are circulating around Syriac-related lists and may be of interest to you---
(it at least has bearing on architectural monuments in Turkey...)



Steve Hayes said...

There's a picture of one mosque I really did appreciate here, Notes from underground: Theology of religion and interreligious dialogue, but that may be just because I appreciated its cool iconoclasm as a contrast to the raucous idolatry I'd experienced shortly before entering it.

John said...

Samn!, Thanks for the links. I visited Mar Gabriel Monastery in 2006. This is alarming news, though hardly surprising. I visited one formerly-Christian village that had been forcibly expropriated by the Kurds. The village look deserted, as only 8 Kurdish families lived in the entire town. An elderly Syriac priest and nun still remained in the church complex. It was a sad experience,, and one reason why I view with scepticism all talk of "Kurdistan."

John said...

I read your interesting article. The Singapore mosque is indeed beautiful.