Turkey is known for housing some of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Most of them are admired by both locals and tourists for their breathtaking architecture.
While most of the mosques in Turkey are built by the Ottoman Empire, there are some which belong to the prehistoric era.
Non-muslim visitors are allowed in mosques but are advised not to wear revealing clothes while entering. Also, it is strictly prohibited to walk in front of worshippers or click their pictures during namaz.
Though there is a massive list to choose from, we have a list of the 10 most beautiful mosques in Turkey that are worth exploring.
Top 10 Mosques In Turkey
Hagia Sophia, which is generally pronounced as Aya Sofia is one of the oldest masjids in Turkey. It was originally built in 537 as a cathedral by the Roman Emperor Justinian I.
It is the only second mosque in Turkey that was constructed even before the birth of “Mohammad(S.A.W)”, the last Prophet of Islam.
Aya Sofia was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Constantinople (now Istanbul) by Ottoman Sultan “Mehmet II in 1453.
After the conquest, Sultan Mehmet first bought the mosque after an agreement with Byzantines and later converted it into a mosque.
Today, Aya Sofia is one of the most beautiful mosques in Turkey and it welcomes visitors from all over the globe. The minarets you are seeing today were initially added after the conversion.
In 1945, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum due to pressure from Western countries. It again became a mosque in 2020 as per the order of the Turkish president “Recep Tayyip Erdogan”.
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Built in 1550 by Sultan Suleyman I(Suleiman the Magnificent), Suleymaniye Camii was the largest mosque in Istanbul till it was taken over by Camlica Camii in the year 2019.
The masjid looks a bit like Hagia Sophia. While its exterior has some influences from Roman-Byzantine architecture.
Suleymaniye Camii is still one of the greatest architectures built by the Holy Ottoman Empire.
The buildings that surround the mosque also belong to the same era and are still well preserved. The nearby buildings house a Madarsa (Islamic School), a hospital, and a hotel to stay and eat.
Sultan Ahmet Camii
Sultan Ahmet Camii is yet another masjid in Turkey that was built in the Ottoman region. It was constructed by Sultan Ahmet between 1603 to 1617.
Sultan Cami is widely popular among travelers as the Blue Mosque. It is designed by the famous architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga.
Its exterior boasts 6 minarets just like the holy “Masjid Al-Haram”.
Talking about its interior, it is equipped with a massive prayer hall with around 21,000 tiles from Iznik.
The main center of attraction is the beautifully designed white minber crafted on marble. Just behind the minber, the mihrab contains sacred stones brought from Mecca.
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Built in 2019 and inaugurated by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Camlica Masjid is the largest mosque in Turkey.
The architectural design of Camlica has some influences from both Selcuk and Ottoman architecture.
Camlica is one of the few Turkish mosques that has a library, conference hall, and much more.
The masjid has separate sections for men and women and it can accommodate up to 25 million worshipers at once.
There are a total of 6 minarets, four of them as tall as 107.1 meters, symbolizing the victory of the Selcuk Empire in the battle of Malazgirt in 1071.
The Beyazit Camii was supposed to be built after the conquest of Constantinople but it took around 50 years to be built.
The construction was completed between 1500 to 1505 by Sultan Beyazid II, the son of Sultan Mohammad Fatih.
Many of the original elements of Beyazit Camii are still there including the garden, the old madrasa, and a soup kitchen.
Its courtyard has a fountain that is used for ablution(wudhu) and contains a ceiling with paintings of Murals of Amasya.
The minber inside the prayer hall is made up of carved wood while the mihrab behind has been crafted with white marble.
The most uniquely built masjid in Turkey is the Sanjaklar Cami which lies under the ground.
Sancaklar’s interior is not like a traditional mosque and it appears more like a conference hall or an auditorium.
There is no predefined prayer hall in this masjid and anywhere clean can be used to offer prayer.
The main intention to built such a mosque was to highlight the simplicity of Islam beyond the complexity of modern culture.
As far as its exterior, the downward-going stairs simplify how a worshiper leaves everything behind when he is about to reunite with the creator.
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Also known as the Chora Mosque due to the fact it was built as a Medieval orthodox church in the 4th century. It was later converted into a Mosque in the early 1500s.
Just like Hagia Sophia, it was converted into a museum after World War II. It was later reconverted into a Mosque in 2020.
The influences from the original Byzantine structure are still uncovered as the interior remained changed, unlike Hagia Sophia where the interior is completely renovated after conversion.
Another most beautiful masjid in Istanbul is the Ortakoy Camii offering direct panoramic views of the famous Bridge “Bosphorus”.
It was constructed by Sultan Abdul Majid in the mid-19th century.
Ortakoy consists of some of the most solid pillars which are 20 meters deep under the ground, and are protectable against heavy earthquakes.
Unlike other masjids of Turkey, the structure of Ortakoy is heavily inspired by Baroque architecture.
There are two main sections, the first one is for worshipers and the other one is for the protocols of the Sultan.
Nuruosmaniye is also referred to as the light of Osman because of its large windows that bring massive lighting inside the prayer hall.
The prayer hall has Arabic calligraphy from the verse of the Quran “Verse of Light”. The World Heritage Site of Istanbul, the Nurosmaniye Camii is not to be missed.
Nurusomaniye is regarded as of the most beautifully designed mosques in Turkey representing Baroque-style architecture.
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Sakirin Cami is designed by Husrev Tayla, a well-renowned Turkish architect.
The interior is designed by another architect named Zeynep Fadillioglu, the first woman to ever do this.
Sakirin is situated on Istanbul’s Asia side, the rest of the city’s part lies in Europe.
The beautiful interior of the mosque is what attracts visitors.
The calligraphy under the dome’s interior was written by Semih Irtes, the uncle of Zeynep Fadillioglu.