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Juma Camii

As befitted the Crimean Khan’s most lucrative port in the Crimea, Gözleve (the Tatar Kezlev) possessed the Crimean Khanate’s grandest Ottoman mosque, ordered by Khan Devlet Giray II in 1552 and completed in 1564. It was here that the khan’s accession was announced on receipt of the Sultan’s ferman from Istanbul.

The architect is thought to be Sinan, at the time busy with the Süleymaniye in Istanbul. It originally stood just inside the port gate, within the impressive Ottoman city walls, pulled down during during the Soviet era. The minarets were restored in 1984, after being blown down in a storm in the 19th century. Next on the list of items to do is the replacement of the tinned roof with lead. And the Tatar community also need to install friendlier, more knowledgable caretakers. The place feels a little grubby next to the splendid Orthodox cathedral across the road, and the kenesa of the Karaim, a few hundred yards away.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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