The Rustem Pasha Mosque, Tahtakale

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 stabilizing 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 seashore 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).