The Genius Who Has Built A Civilisation

Written by Melih Uslu


There are many reasons to go to the Architect Sinan exhibition: boarding a Bosphorus ferry on a beautiful and shiny spring morning as the redbuds and wistarias exuberate to their fullest is only one of these reasons. Whether you would like to get off at Karaköy or Kabataş , if you walk a distance of 15 minutes, you will find the Tophane Fountain stand before you with all its grace. The Kılıç Ali Pasha Ottoman Social Complex begins to give you a feel for the brilliance of Sinan. Whereas, we haven´t even seen the exhibition yet! Once you come to the end of the tramway and turn right from the first hill, you will reach the Tophane-i Amire (The Arsenal Headquarters). This 15th century building is the perfect venue for this exhibition. After paying a fee of 19 TL (12 TL for students), we are now ready to tour the exhibition. Come on in now, and let us explore the world of Sinan together.


The exhibition has been opened to mark the 427th anniversary of the death of Architect Sinan, whose unique works together with his mastermind, has enriched both our culture and world heritage. The Masterworks of the Genius, which has spread over an area of two thousand squaremetres, consists of nine main sections. The name of the first section, which is located onto the left side of the entrance, is called Understanding Sinan. This section explains how during his almost hundred years of life in which he left almost 400 works, the foundations of Sinan´s style is in the form of imperial architecture. This event, which is considered to be the most comprehensive exhibition on Sinan, has used classical techniques as well as applications that ensure user interachion, streoscopic systems, video shows and 3D animation technologies. The sections that affected me the most amongst the sections of the Imperial Society, Cultural Interactions, Maps and Silhouettes, Photographs of Sinan, Closer Look were Architectural Customs 1 and 2. Why?

Because the works of Sinan are explained together with the dimensions of domes and architectural details in a chronological manner. The more you analyse in detail, the more you comprehend the brilliance of Sinan surpassing his era and what a change he was for these lands. After taking a break during the exhibition narrations and documentary presentations, it is then time for the most impressive part of the exhibition. For this, we need to leave the main building and enter the single-dome area. Once you part the massive door and step inside, cannot at once comprehend the cosmic sounds within the deep darkness. However, in a short period of time, this feeling of astonishment is replaced with admiration. The masterworks of Architect Sinan are reflected onto the dome of the Arsenal Headquarters (Tophane-i Amire) through a video mapping technique. All we need to do is to take a seat on the cushions placed on the floors and experience ¨the era of Sinan¨… The exhibition is open every day between 10.00 – 22.00, until May 31, except for Mondays. Don´t miss out. For more information please visit:

About the author

Melih Uslu

Melih Uslu was born in Melle-Osnabrück/Germany in 1976. He had his first
education at Grundschule Ennigloch in Bünde. He graduated from Izmir EGE
University, Communication Faculty, Department of Journalism, Advertising and PR in 1999 with A degree. In the same year, he won a “Young Creative Writer Award” in Turkey, which was granted by the IAA European Advertising
Association. Around the same time, he successfully completed a C1-level
General German Course at the Goethe Institute. When he was a student,
he worked as a reporter for HÜRRİYET News in Izmir. After his studies, he lived
a few months in Hannover, Amsterdam and Berlin. His professional career began as an online editor for, the first online city guide in Turkey. His next position was as an editor for the GALATASARAY Sports Club’s official web sites for three years. His work continued for approximatly five years as an editor for Gezi TRAVEL, which is among the most prestigious magazine in the Turkey.

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