This mosque is part of a kulliye which is situated in the Topkapi district
(alongt north-west city walls) and also includes a medrese, a primary school and
a tom The complex was built at the request of Kara Ahmet Pasha, one of Kanuni
Sultan Suleyman's sadrazams (Prime Minister). The medrese and the mosque share the
same courtyard while the primary school and the tomb remain at a distance from
With the Kara Ahmet Pasha Mosque (1558?-65?) Sinan attempts to improve on the
Uc serefeli and Sinan Pasha mosques by adding trompes to the hexagon structure. Another interesting
aspect of the plan is that its polygon based dom is
supported by independent columns. These columns stand very close to the
main entrance (north) and kiblah (south) walls. The two columns on each side
are linked by arches to the buttresses which rise in the middle of the side
Sinan would later use a similar system of independent columns to support the
dome in octagon based buildings such as the tombs of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman,
(1567) and Selim II (1577), and with two piers adjacent to the wall in the
Selimiye Mosque in Edime (1568-75) and the Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque at
Azapkapi (1578). According to Egli, two extra domes were to be added on each
side of the main dome in the original Kara Ahmet Pasha Mosque plan, but the idea
was later abandoned for various reasons. The windows on both sides of the
entrance rise as high as the latecomers' porch. We find the same kind of window
arrangement in the Rustem Pasha Mosque in the Tahtakale district.
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.