The mosque was ordered by one of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman's sadrazams (Prime
Minister) Rustem Pasha, who married Suleyman's daughter Mihrimah Sultan. Covered
with flat roofed cloister vaults, the lateral galleries reach the central area.
Cupolas cover the corners while stabilising turrets have not been used. The
mosque being situated in a very busy commercial district, its basement was
designed to accommodate shops and warehouses. The mosque is thus perched one
storey above the street, which especially if we consider the city walls that
then stood along the sea shore must have enhanced its silhouette. The mosque
level is reached through four staircases, two of them leading on to the
galleries a storey further up. These extra entrances add an interesting touch to
the mosque, which is also very famous for its tiles. Here too the latecomers'
porch is surrounded with a second one. As in the Kara Ahmet Pasa Mosque, the
row of windows on both sides of the entrance runs all along the
"latecomers porch". With its octagonal plan, the Rustem Pasha Mosque is definitely a
forerunner of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne (1568-75).
Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Turkish Art and Architecture in Anatolia and Mimar Sinan".
You can purchase "Turkish Art and Architecture in Anatolia and Mimar Sinan" book and other Turkey related books from Explore Turkey Bookstore.