Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Revolution Of Opening to God

And who is the designer who subtly blended modern techniques and materials, western and eastern values into what might be the world's most conservative design?

Tall, fashionably dressed with long blond hair, Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu is a very well known profile in Turkey as a figure from country's cocktail-sipping jet set. She made a career decorating restaurants, boutique hotels and homes for the very wealthy.


She put a contemporary spin on religious art from the Ottoman era. A very First in my country Turkey: a mosque gets a woman's touch. Her touch!

On the mosque's walls, transparent boards at the entrance remind the visitors both in english and turkish about the prayers:

Cennet bekçileri onlara şöyle der: "Size selam olsun! Tertemiz oldunuz. Haydi ebedi kalmak üzere buraya girin."

"The keepers of the Heaven shall say to them: Peace be upon you; you have fared well, so enter it to dwell therein forever."

Şakirin Camii (English: The Şakirin Mosque)'s dome is 130 feet in diameter. Looks like a space ship. Coated in aluminum composite. The façades are decorated with a combination of glass and wrought-iron grills. Name of the monument -Şakirin- has also a literal meaning: "Those who are thankful to God", besides being the reference the family name.

The iron on the mosque's enormous iron and glass facade is hand-crafted by specialists in Istanbul. And the construction took four and a half years. Finally opened the doors on 7 May 2009 in Üsküdar on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus.

A welcoming Turkish religious aesthetics in glass, steel, blue and gold.

Ms Fadıllıoğlu said: "The glass etching has got different layers of gilding on it, which is from verses of the Holy Qur'an. We wanted people to feel more left alone with God in this place, rather than being distracted by too much ornamentation. I think that makes it more contemporary at the same time."

The mimbar or pulpit, resembles a graceful white stairway (above), which one imagines will continue to the heavens, but stops short at a platform where the Imam will stand. Then, the mihrab, a stylized niche designating the kibla, is tulip shaped and a vibrant turquoise in color (below): "An opening to God"

The glass drops are inspired by a prayer which asks that Allah's light should fall upon the supplicant like rain.

All I see is that she made her passion for all things Oriental and European sit together in easy and informal arrangements.

Ms Fadıllıoğlu said: "I want people to feel peaceful and be left themselves as much as possible, and yet have beautiful art and artistic symbolism around them."

Above slightly visible this blogging girl is pleased to have visited this the most modern mosque of Turkey to modern Islam by the first woman designer in a mosque architecture. If I go to describe... so beautiful but different from others. Modern but not cold. Transparent but in a perfect harmony with contemporary architecture. New styled for the millennium. No doubt this modern architecture will adopt new generations.

For centuries Istanbul was the capital of Islamic world, and home to hundreds of magnificent old mosques. Now the City has a unique new addition! Yes, the start of a new era of mosque design in Turkey just started! Small steps to be sure, but important ones for the future of women in Islamic world.

I hope not only we, but the world will see also more of these beautiful monuments like mosques, touched by women's hands:)

Ve de ki: "Rabbim! Girilecek yere dürüstlükle girmemi sağla, çıkılacak yerden dürüstlükle çıkmamı sağla. Katından bana yardımcı bir yetki ver."

Say: "My Lord, make my entry a truthful one and my going out a truthful one, and grant me from You a supporting power."


  1. Sevgili Nihalcim,
    Canim anneannemin cenazesinin kalktigi bu su gibi guzel camiyi blog dunyasindaki arkadaslarinin dikkatlerine getirdigin icin cok tesekkurler!

  2. Nihalcim--:)
    Postlarimin aralari acik oluyor, kusura bakma. Senin dogal bir sekilde yaptigin gibi, ben kelimeleri kusursuz bir sekilde toparlayamiyorum. :( Senin postlarini okumak siir okumak gibi! Cok hosuma gidiyor, inan. Kelimelere takla attiriyorsun!

    Evet, anneannemi Sakirin Camii'nden kaldirdi ailem. Teyzem ne zamandir o caminin ununu duymusmus ve ordan kaldirmayi dusunurmus zaten. Ben cenazede olamadigim icin halen cok uzgunum.
    Bir de hos olay olmus o gun: Ayni gun orda bir BJK fanatiginin (galiba) cenazesi de kalkiyormus ve CARSI da ordaymis. Ve anneannemin cenaze namazinda onlar da varmis ve sonra arabaya tasinmasinda da yardim etmis CARSI'cilar. 2 dayim da BJK'lidirler ve onlar icin bundan daha guzel bir olay dusunulemezdi yani.

  3. Nihal, this is a place of such beauty. The grace, the beauty, the awesome wonder is all around. It is a good think that it was designed by a woman. God must be smiling.

  4. Nihal, it is definitely a place of creativity and beauty. She did a magnificent job in her meaningful designs.

  5. What stunning design. It does seem both modern and yet traditional to me. Nice to know a woman was behind the design and building of this amazing structure.


  6. A woman's touch and lovingly crafted too.

  7. @ Incicigim: Ahhh en az senin kadar tatlı yorumların ve de iltifatların için çok teşekkürler:) Hahaaa kelimelere takla attırmak mı dedin, eh biraz öyle oluyor yoksa dikkatleri nasıl çekecektim dermişim;)

    Haklısın bu cami benim de hoşuma gitti. Hem mimari hem de dizayn açılarından inovatif yaklaşım olmuş. Farkındalığın farkındayım. Bu yönde önderlik ettiğimize inanıyorum dünya geneline.

  8. Buon fine settimana, Nicole :-)

  9. This is so beautiful and it was made with so much talent and grace !! It is all so delicate !!!

  10. What a magnificent mosque, Nihal! I'd really like to see it in person. Very fine pictures!
    Happy Sunday!

  11. Sevgili Nihal hanım,sayılı mimari eserlerimizden Şakirin camiinin özelliklerini ve detaylarını sizin bakış açınızdan görmek ve okumak bana çok büyük haz verdi,emekleriniz için sonsuz teşekkürlerimi ve minnet duygularımı iletiyor,sevgi ve saygılar sunuyorum.İyi çalışmalar,kolay gelsin.