A 400 year-old Tunisian masterpiece: Dayı Mosque

Political complications in the Ottoman Empire made way for new power centres with Ottoman soldiers at their head.

A 400 year-old Tunisian masterpiece: Dayı Mosque

In the end of 16th century, political complications at the heart of Ottoman Empire was felt more deeply in remote places like Tunisia. As the Empire had begun to lose control on its own army, the head of janissaries, Ottoman soldiers, had become new local power centers. Called as ‘Dayı’ (means uncle in Turkish) the head of janissary units had mostly been loyal to the Empire.

 One of them, Dayı Yusuf who had key role keeping Tunisia in peace and stability during troubled times in 1610-1637. The mosque he sponsored took his name and have become a historical masterpiece from 17th century. 

The local notables were perceived as the representatives of the Sultan and they had used the Dayıs as an elementary mechanism between them and the people to remain in control. Following Dayı Osman, Dayı Yusuf became the leader of local janissary units. His leadership lasted 17 years in 1610-1637. 

During these years which passed with peace and political stability, the only catastrophic incidents which caused long-term conclusions was the uprising by the tribes resided in today’s Tunisian-Algerian border. Dayı Osman was successful to compress the uprising. He attached great importance to economic development and construction works. He sponsored to build a mosque which is one of the masterpieces in Tunisia. 

Having typical Ottoman architectural characteristics, Dayı Yusuf Mosque’s construction started in 1614 and accomplished after one year. The madrasa which had juxtaposed to the mosque was destroyed in the era of Mohammad Sadıq Bey. The tomb of Dayı Yusuf is just next to the mosque. 

Hadi Bin Bilkasem who is the current Imam of the mosque and has been serving the mosque since 1979 said “I have been always happy to serve this mosque. This mosque was a source of inspiration to the mosques which were built after it. Tunisian state has always taken special effort ot preserve the mosque’s historical characteristics. The last restoration work was finished in 2001.”


Last Mod: 20 Ocak 2015, 14:30
Add Comment