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🎙️ What you didn’t know about Istanbul

In #OwnYourNarrative, Muslim heritage, Turkey by Soumaya

What you didn’t know about Istanbul

Podcast Episode #4

What does an architect, a mosque and a shisha pipe have in common?


Okay, let me rephrase the question.


What would you do if you saw a man smoking shisha inside the mosque? What if this mosque was none other than the Sultan’s mosque?


Before you start worrying about where I’m going with this, there’s actually a rational explanation for why this man was smoking inside a mosque.


The man in question is Mimar (architect) Sinan, and the Sultan is none other than Suleyman the Magnificent.


Sinan is the mastermind behind some of the most incredible Islamic architecture in the world, including many of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. Just take a look at this beauty.


Suleymaniye Camii, a creation of Mimar Sinan. Photo: Ivan Aleksic/Unsplash


If you’ve been to Istanbul a few times – or plan to visit it once it’s safer to travel – you’re going to love today’s podcast episode. I’m joined by Haktan Tursun in Istanbul, Coordinator at Ibn Khaldun University and expert local guide in Islamic art and architecture. Istanbul is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with its majestic mosques, bustling pazaars and boats gliding on the beautiful Bosphorus.


And while they say that beauty is only skin deep, in Istanbul it’s a different story. You can easily come and go and just enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the city, but it’s only when you start peeling back the layers of stories woven into the walls and tiles that it really comes to life.


If you like mosques and Islamic architecture, you’ll love Haktan’s  stories of Mimar Sinan, the great Ottoman architect behind some of the most beautiful Islamic architecture in the world. You’ll also find out how best to explore the stories etched into the walls of Istanbul, as well those waiting to be uncovered from underground.


And yes, you’ll find out why there was a man smoking shisha in the mosque.