Commemorations of Sinan: Creating a National Hero in Turkey in the 1930s
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CitationSezgin, A. (2023). Commemorations of Sinan: Creating a National Hero in Turkey in the 1930s. International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 12(1), 101–135. https://doi.org/10.1386/ijia_00096_1?
Sinan (d.1588) is the most renowned architect of the Ottoman Empire. His buildings, located throughout the eastern Mediterranean, were central to a dynastic and religious architectural heritage that was inherited by a modern and secular Turkish nation state, established in 1923. This article examines how Sinan was refashioned as a national hero in the early decades of the Republic. It focuses on commemorations of Sinan and their major venue: his Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul. In my analysis of these commemorations, I draw on a wide and diverse array of primary source materials, including written, photographic, artistic, and other visual materials from the 1930s and 1940s that are located in official, semi-official, and other collections. By doing so, this article reveals how the variety of nationalist approaches to Sinan and his architecture coexisted and competed.