Kemalli Asilhan Bey Mosque

Old mosque of the same age with Ottoman history

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During Turkey Seljuk Empire period, Karasi Begh, a descendant of Danishmenth Ghazi, who served as an frontiersman against Byzantium, established Karasi Principality in Balıkesir and Çanakkale region between 1296 and 1300, in the dissolution period of Seljuk State. Around 1345, after the Karasi Principality was included in the Ottoman Empire, which was founded in Söğüt and Domaniç, expanded and conquered Bursa in 1326, Orkhan Ghazi, the second ruler of the Ottoman Empire, made his eldest son Süleyman Pasha the governor of Canakkale and its environs. Kemal Bey’s identity is controversial. There is no certain information as to whether he was one of the beys in the employ of Süleyman Pasha or from those who were transferred to the Ottomans from the time of the Karasi Principality. However, it is understood from the inscription of the mosque that Kemal Begh was the ruler of the Kemalli region during both Karasi and Ottoman period.

Early Ottoman records refer to the village as Kemal-ili (Kemal province). The terms il, el, eli or ili (in the meaning of province) are frequently used in the Ottoman period. For example, the name of today’s Kocaeli actually comes from Koca-ili meaning the province of Akca Koca. It has been shortened over time. Another local example is Yahşıeli village between Bayramic and Ezine. It was named as Yahşi-İli in the meaning of the Province of Yakhshi Begh, one of the Karasi beghs, and the name was later transformed into Yakhshieli. The first settlement in the Kemallı region dates back to the period when the Karasi Principality was connected to the Ottoman Empire between 1340 and 1350. It is thought that Kemal Begh, who was also a descendant of Danishmenths like Karasi Begh, settled in Kemallı between these dates with his 300-member tribe.

 

After Kemal Begh, Asilhan Begh took his place, and he has given many works to Kemalli. If we look at these works:

Kemalli Asilhan Begh Mosque

According to deceased Prof. Ekrem Hakkı Eyverdi, deemed to be the master of architectural works of that period, it is one of the most beautiful and unique examples of the early period. Ayverdi points out that the walls are not low, as in the mosques of Bursa Alaaddin Begh, İznik Hacı Özbek and Hacı Hamza in the period of Orkhan Ghazi, and have an architecture suitable for the opening of the dome. It is stated by all the researchers investigating that period, particularly Ayverdi, that the blind collapse technique was used here like it was also used in Orkhan Mosque in Gebze, and it is no different from Yildirim Mosque in Bergama, in terms of material quality.

It is distinguished from the works of Sultan Murat Hüdavendigâr period by its decorations, which are unique considering its time. These ornaments in the exterior architecture of the mosque are not seen in almost any mosque and artifact of the period, and are unique in this respect. However, outside decorations are not seen inside. Within the mosque, the magnificence of simplicity was given importance, and no object or subject was planned to would have distracted the spiritual relationship between the servant and the creator.

It is not possible to find a domed mosque in Ezine and its vicinity. It is distinguished from other mosques particularly by this aspect. Especially window decorations are unique considering the period. The mosque is a unique structure in terms of the architecture of the era in Turkey.

 

The construction of the mosque began in the time of Kemal Bey and was completed in the time of his son Asilhan Begh. The three-line Arabic inscription on the door of the mosque says “This blessed Masjid al-Sharif was built in 784 during the reign of Murad Bey, son of Sultan Adil Melik Orkhan, ‘may Allah keep his state to eternity and his land prosperous’, ‘may Allah forgive Asilhan Begh, the owner of this mosque and the son of Kemal. So the mosque was completed on 1382.

Also on the door with a single line plate, the hadith of Muhammad (PBuH) was written with a primitive calligraphy. The meaning of the hadith is: “Whoever builds a masjid for Allah, Allah will build a house in heaven for that person.”

On the 50 meters to the right of the mosque, there are the foundations and ruins of the mansion which are thought to be in use by Kemal and Asilhan Beghs, who now have houses.

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