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Arakiyeci İbrahim Ağa Mosque

An interesting tale about the mosque’s construction process has been told. İbrahim Ağa who makes arakiyes (felt kufis) to make living dream about a voice saying “Three grape berries are reserved for you in Baghdad, on the vine under the date tree near the bridge”. He goes to Baghdad, finds the place and eats the grapes. In that very moment a man appears beside him. When İbrahim Ağa recounts the story to him “Why did you come all the way to Baghdad for only three grape berries? I also keep dreaming a voice telling me to go to Istanbul and find three pots of gold beneath the house of an arakiye-maker, yet I don’t go.” says the man in surprise. İbrahim Ağa understands that he has been bestowed a providential blessing. He comes back to Istanbul, digs the ground the man described and builds the mosque using the three pots of gold he found there. He also establishes a foundation to fulfill the expenses of the construction which would take 20 years. He passes away three years after the construction was finished. The mosque, the school next to it and the fountain form a small complex. The structure had been used as a Halveti lodge as well for some time. Its latest renovation was carried out by Istanbul Cosmopolitan Municipality in 2007. Built on a square plan with brick and stone blocks, the mosque features a wooden ceiling domed inside with exquisite ornaments. The most important feature of the mosque is traditional tiles ornamented the building reflecting unexpected beauty and quantity for a small mosque of this size. Beside these İznik tiles from the 16th century, the mosque houses tile panels describing vases and bouquets and corner arches which inspire the viewer’s admiration. One of the most refined details of the mosque is the tiles depicting grapes, referring to İbrahim Ağa’s dream.
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