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Kayseri 2573
20-SEP-2003

Kayseri 2573

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This is the Mimar Sinan monument you can see in its setting on the next picture.

Mimar Sinan (c. 1489/1490–1588) was the chief Ottoman architect (Turkish: "Mimar") and civil engineer for sultans Süleyman I (the Magnificent), Selim II, and Murad III. He was responsible for the construction of more than three hundred major structures and other more modest projects, such as his Islamic primary schools (sibyan mektebs).

He was born in a small town called Ağırnas near Kayseri (as stated in an order by Sultan Selim II). It is certain that both his parents were of the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith, because that also is recorded in the Ottoman archives. In 1512, Sinan was conscripted into Ottoman service under the ‘devşirme’ system (a tax imposed on rural Christians, who had to give up some of their boys to the Sultan’s service. This happened on a regular base, the children being chosen by the Ottoman collectors. This conscription happened mostly before adolescence; the chosen ones were brought up as Muslims, the sultan becoming the new and only subject of their dedication).
Most probably Sinan’s background was Armenian; one convincing argument that lends credence to this statement, is a decree by Selim II dated Ramadan 7, 981 (ca. Dec. 30, 1573), which grants Sinan's request to forgive and spare his relatives from the general exile of Kayseri's Armenian community to the island of Cyprus.
For more details regarding Sinan’s life and achievements: see e.g. English Wikipedia.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen
Source (amongst others): Wikipedia .

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