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Although the name “Dolmabahçe Mosque“ is widely used amongst people, the actual name of this bulding is Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque. Bezm-i alem Sultan is the chief wife of Sultan Mahmud the Second and Sultan Abdülmecid’s mother.The construction of the mosque was started in the south of Dolmabahçe Palace, and Valide Sultan’s son Sultan Abdülmecid got it completed [1836-1861] on his mother’s death on 2 May 1853. On 23rd March 1855 the mosque was opened for prayer.

In the past during winter months, the Ottoman Navy used to accommodate in the bay where the Dolmabahçe Palace is located. Captain Pashas [admirals of the fleet] used to accommodate and banguet at this venue a few days before they would set off on an excursion. This bay is surrounded by hills standing vertically to the sea, thus there is limited flat area and during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I. [1603-14] a decision of filling the bay for obtaining a larger area was made. It was filled [August 1611 - October 1614] by the Grand Vizier Nasuh Pasha as a private garden for the Sultan and was called Dolmabahçe, [filled in garden]. In due course various palaces and pavilions were built within this garden, and eventually the Dolmabahçe Palace was constructed.

With the completion of the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Ottoman dynasty moved into this palace and left the Topkapı Palace which had been used for almost four hundred years. In tehe mid 20th century Nusretiye Mosque was the only imperial mosque within the surrounding region of Dolmabahçe apart from the Ortaköy Mosque, construction of which was newly started. Probably Valide Sultan thought about the presence of a grand mosque near the palace and started the construction of this mosque.

The building has electic features like many other monumental buildings of the period and has a clear planning approach as a main venue. Despite that, the two storey Sultan Maksoorah which is on the side of the road looks adjacent to the 25 x 25 meter base of the mosque located on the coastline. The dome which is carried by grand coves placed on four feet in the corners of the building provides an opportunity for a grand and seamless venue. Thus the interior of the mosque is spacious and bright.

Dolmabahçe Mosque which bears a resemblance to Nusretiye and Ortaköy Mosques [26 December 1854] that are located on the some coastline and got completed roughly at the same time, is claimed to be built by architect Garabet Balyan, still hesitations with regard to the architect of the building. As to the high mass of the mosque, the minarets heading with a single balcony are built as thin and high so that the ridges hung on these minarets could be seen from the sea.

Unfortunately the Dolmabahçe Mosque, like the Nusretiye Mosque has lost its forecourt which was existent in its original planning. In 1937 during the construction of the İnönü Stadium the road was widened as to the Taksim Kabataş connection. In the beginning the forecourt used to have there gates, out of which two were facing the road and one was facing the Dolmabahçe Square. On the gate facing the square there used to be a four couplet epigraph whose text was written by Ziver Pasha and calligraphy by Ali Haydar Efendi respectively. The southern wall of the mosque was parallel to the sea and Dolmabahçe Square is placed on one side of it while the Imperial Ships Building was placed on the other side. Currently the little port mosque adjacent to it, leading to the entrance of the old Imperial Ships Building maintains its existence. Although not present today, the Dolmabahçe Police Station which was a single storey and later on become a two storey building used to stand between the mosque and the square. The time keeping room which is presently located on the side of the road was located in place of this building which had been worn out and collapsed in the course of time. The epigraphy placed on the forecourt gate stands leaning against the southern wall of the mosque towards the sea. The building was also used as the Naval Museum for a period and it is still open for prayer as one of the most glamorous mosques of the Rumelian coast.