Unfortunately the complex of Haseki Hürrem you see here was closed. Haseki Hürrem was famous as Roxelana (haseki is mother of the heir to the throne). The complex was built by Sinan in 1539, making these the earliest known works by him in the city (info: Strolling through Istanbul; Redhouse). The complex is partly in use, that may have been the reason why I couldn’t enter. If you try: you must get permission from a center for religious buildings which is close to Süleymaniye. Maybe I’ll do it some day.
This külliye is the third in importance in Istanbul (after the Fatih Mehmet Külliyesi and the Süleymaniye one).
It included a mosque, a medical school, an imaret (soup kitchen for the poor), a primary school and a hospital for women (added in 1550; it was partly used as a prison for women for some years in the mid-19th century). The hospital has functioned almost unremittingly since it was built more than 460 years ago, except for the periods 1894-1913 and 1918-1948, after being damaged by an earthquake (1894), restored in 1913 and damaged again by a fire (1918). Other parts of the complex had to be restored too. After several campaigns of repairs (1960, 1967, 1980) a new comprehensive restoration took place in 2010-2012; the külliyesi is (reportedly) to become a museum.
On the picture: The inner yard of the hospital, with one (out of two) large iwan rooms opening on to the yard (originally it was an open room, but it has been closed with a glass wall).
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: Websites of ‘istanbulavrupa.vgm.gov.tr’ & ‘mitademo.com’ .