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In the middle of Beşiktaş square stands the masoleum of the legendary Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, the first Grand Admiral of the Ottoman Empire and the man credited as having laid the foundation stones for Beşiktaş becoming the modern town it is today.
Known by the nickname ‘Barbarossa’ by Westerners, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha settled into Beşiktaş in the 16th century. He commissioned the imperial architect Sinan to build his türbe (mausoleum), in what at that time was called the Deve Meydan (Camel Square). Barbaros’s mausoleum now includes (according to their labels): Cafer Paşa, an early-17th-century kapudan-ı derya (high admiral); Hayreddin’s son, Hasan Pasha, the one-time beylerbeyi of Algiers; and Hayreddin’s wife, Bala Hatun.
Ernle Bradford’s book The Sultan’s Admiral is a great introduction to Hayreddin. Meanwhile, ‘Barbarossa’s Baths’ in Cornucopia 41 describes the Cınılı Hamam, the bath house Sinan built for him.
by Gencer Emiroğlu with photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg
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