Shepherd Mustafa Pasha Mosque, Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey 

Çoban Mustafa Pasa Complex stands on a hill to the northwest of Gebze. Enveloped by roads on four sides, the buildings of the complex occupy a rough rectangular site that measures about hundred and twenty meters by hundred and ten meters. According to the inscription on the mosque’s portal, the complex was commissioned in 1523 by Çoban Mustafa Pasa (d. 1529), who left his life as a shepherd (çoban) to join Selim I’s (1512-1520) military campaign to Egypt, eventually becoming the Governor of Egypt and a vizier and son-in-law to the sultan.

Although the mosque complex is mentioned in court architect Sinan’s Book of Buildings (Tezkiret-ül Bünyan), it was most probably built under the supervision of a former court architect, with Sinan involved as an assistant. Some other sources state that the complex was enlarged by Sinan in 1538.

Epic Turkey Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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