Mimar Sinan, who gained experience by buildingcottages, stables andwaterways in his village, was taken from Kayseri to Istanbul in1512 as a devshirmeh and joined the Yeniçeri Acemi Oğlanlar ocağı (Janissary Conscript Boys organization). Herehe worked with the good architects ofthe era. After the apprenticeship period,he joined one of the Janissary armies..He participated in Yavuz Sultan Selim’s Iran and Egypt expeditions in 1517 as ahorsed sekban; thus he got the chanceto examine the architectural structuresin Iran and Egypt.
During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, Mimar Sinan participatedin Belgrade (1521) and Rhodes (1522)expeditions and after the Mohacs expedition,he was promoted to the positionof armory keeper. He was promoted toinfantry colonel in Iraq expedition which was followed by the position of head armory keeper. During the Iran campaign( 1535) that was coordinated after the Iraqain campaign in 1534, because of his success in building the ships that would provide transport of the troops across Lake Van, he was promoted to the position of “Haseki”
Hüsreviye Mosque in Aleppo (1536-1537) is acknowledged as the first building of Sinan, who worked not as awarrior infantry, but as a bulwark coordinator and designer in Janissary corps.Mimar Sinan’s master piece is consideredto be Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul which was completed in 1557.After the success of this mosque, Sinan was given the title “Koca” meaning “thegreat, supreme”.Mimar Sinan, who built water ways,fountains, mosques, social complexes and madrasahs in Anatolian cities of Istanbul, Edirne, Ankara, Kayseri, Erzurum, Manisa, Bolu, Çorum, Kütahya etc.as well as in Ottoman lands of Aleppo, Damascus, Buda, Ruse and who madethe country a livable one, built the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne when he was 85 years old. For one of his last works, Kaptanıderya Piyale Paşa Mosque (1573) in Kasımpaşa, Sinan went back to the plans of old grand mosques and combined the features of foundation eraand his experiences as an architect.
Sense of Architecture
Mimar Sinan joined thecreativity ofengineering techniques with his artistictaste and produced unique structures.But in all these structures, thereis a dominant artistic insight that hidesthe functionality under aesthetics. Inthis way, he highlighted plastic valuesand especially used square, hexagonaland octagonal plans to create a sense ofspaciousness in the structures he built.In these buildings, architectural componentsharmonious with each other werearranged to create a sense of magnificence.He used holes and panels, anddecorated the column heads with stalactitesin order make the columns carryingthe dome look narrower. But alsohe implemented a concept that preventedthe functions from being disregardedin decorations. Sinan was a fruitful architectwith a considerable number ofmosques, small mosques, madrasahs,mausoleums, imarets, hospitals, aqueducts,bridges ,caravanserais, palaces,cellars and baths, of which a few are inthe nature of a repair