New Mosque (Yeni Cami) (Istanbul)

New Mosque

New Mosque of Istanbul is a classical example of harmonious Ottoman religious architecture. It was constructed in 1597- 1663. Two elegant minarets (prayer towers) that were added on two sides of the New Mosque came into existence due to Valide Sultan Safie, ambitious Albanian wife of Sultan Murad III.



Teni Cami Meydani, Eminönü

Trolley: Eminönü

Open: daily


Description of New Mosque

New Mosque  New Mosque

New Mosque with its two elegant minarets (prayer towers) was constructed by the orders of Valide Sultan ("Queen Mother" in Turkish) Safie, ambitious Albanian queen and a mother of Sultan Murad III who came to the throne just two years before the construction began. Religious complex of New Mosque in big parts reflects the extent of power that Safie wielded over the Ottoman empire and the whole city. This neighborhood of Istanbul was inhabited by Karaites (Turkic tribes that followed Judaism) who were moved from the other shore of the Golden Bay to this cramped Eminonu neighborhood. They were unhappy with sultan's mother and her power that she wielded. Occasionally they rebelled against the authorities, but failed every time. Turkish officials used it as an excuse to remove local residents and confiscate their property.


In a sense construction of the New Mosque of Istanbul was a sign of power and influence over the city and its residents. In fact the original name of New Mosque was Valide Sultan (Queen Mother) Mosque after Safie. Construction of the New Mosque was suspended in 1603 and resumed only 50 years later on the initiative of Khadija Turhan, mother of Mehmed IV.