Yivli Minaret Mosque is located in Kaleiçi (the old town centre) along Cumhuriyet Street, next to Kalekapısı Square in Antalya. The mosque’s fluted minaret named “the Yivli Minaret”, which is decorated with dark blue tiles, is a landmark and symbol of the city. Although the inscription at the entrance indicates that Yivli Minaret Mosque was built in 1373 by Mehmet Bey, grandson of Yunus Bey from the Hamitoglu clan. The original mosque was built in 1230 by using the walls of a ruined old church which was exist formerly at the same place.
The original mosque destroyed in the 14th century and the prayer hall was rebuilt with its six domes. Domes attract attention with their exterior tiles. This building is one of the oldest examples of multi-domed mosques in Anatolia. The mosque’s plan scheme is rectangular and the building has plain decoration style. The roof is carried by 12 columns which have ancient column heads. The exterior walls of the mosque are constructed by hewn stone.
The mosque is famous for its minaret which was constructed on the orders of Alaaddin Keykubad I, the Seljuks Sultan who ruled between 1220 and 1237. The 38-metre high fluted minaret is a unique example of Anatolian Turkish Architecture. It stands on a huge square stone base measuring 6.5 metres tall and 5.5 metres wide. The Minaret’s eight semi-circular grooved red brick shaft was originally decorated with dark blue and turquoise-colored tiles.
Yivli Minaret Mosque represents unique architectural design with its fluted minaret. It is possible to compare with other similar minarets in Anatolia such as the minaret of the Afyon Gedik Ahmet Paşa Mosque, Amasya Burmalı Minaret Mosque, Tire Karahasan Mosque and one of the minarets of Edirne Üç Şerefeli Mosque. But Yivli Minaret Mosque distinguishes from them with its minaret’s unprecedented form and design.
The minaret was restored in 1953 and 1961 by General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums. Its spire was renewed in 1973 by Directorate General of Foundations.
After Antalya conquered by the Anatolian Seljuks in 1226, Yivli Minaret Mosque was built by using walls of a ruined old church which existed at the same place in 1230. To build the mosque at the place of a ruined church shows the continuity of beliefs of this region.
When the prayer hall of the original mosque destroyed, it was rebuilt with its six domes in 14th century. With its architectural design, Yivli Minaret Mosque is the oldest durable example of multi domed mosques in Anatolia. These domes are carried by marble columns which have ancient column heads. Re-using ancient elements such as marble column heads in a new building ensures an important structural aspect of this mosque.
The most important element of the building is fluted minaret named “Yivli Minare” in Turkish. In terms of its architectural form, it is unique in Anatolian Turkish Architecture. Yivli Minaret is very important with its original inscription which mentions that the minaret was built by Alaaddin Keykubat I. Alaaddin Keykubad I, the Seljuks Sultan who ruled between 1220 and 1237, commissioned many important building such as caravanserais, mosques and palaces in Anatolia during his reign. Especially with it fluted minaret, Yivli Minaret Mosque is one of the most important buildings in Anatolia from this period.
With its unique form, Yivli Minaret is regarded as one of the symbols of Antalya city. Today, Yivli Minaret image is used in touristic materials of Antalya City and even as the logo of the football team of Antalya.
Criterion (ii): Yivli Minaret Mosque was built in 1230 by using the walls of a ruined old church which was exist formerly at the same place. In the course of building of the mosque, the ancient column heads were used interior of the mosque as load bearing. This structural aspect of the mosque displays the important interchange of developments in architecture.
Before conquered Anatolia in 11th century, Seljuks ruled Khorasan region (Today Iran). Different from the Anatolia, in Khorasan region the main structure element was brick. For example Gonbad-e Qabus from Iran which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012, was built by brick in 1006. Its architectural form is very similar to Yivli Minaret Mosque.
It is possible to state that this architectural tradition which contains using brick as a structural material, influenced Anatolia land after conquest of Seljuks. It is clear that the glazed tile material introduced by Seljuks in Anatolia.
Criterion (iv): With its fluted minaret, Yivli Minaret Mosque is an outstanding example of minarets in Anatolian Turkish Architecture. The 38-metre high fluted minaret stands on a huge square stone base measuring 6.5 metres tall and 5.5 metres wide. The Minaret’s eight semi-circular grooved red brick shaft was originally decorated with dark blue and turquoise-colored tiles.
Yivli Minaret Mosque, with all structural features illustrates significant architectural example in Anatolian Turkish Architecture. During the Middle Age, Turkish Architects built minarets in different forms such as spiral or grooved. But Yivli Minaret, distinguishes from others with its high fluted form and different shape. It is so unique that it is regarded as the symbol of Antalya City.
Yivli Minaret Mosque was registered as cultural property to be preserved by the statement of Superior Council of Immovable Antiquities and Monuments (dated 15/12/1979, numbered A-2045). In addition it is protected by the Turkish Legislation for Preservation of Cultural and Natural Properties, Law No. 2863.
The original mosque which was built in 1230, subsequently destroyed. In 1373 the prayer hall was rebuilt as six domed mosque. During this rebuilding process, ancient column heads were used interior of the mosque. The building was used as Antalya Museum before but after the restoration work today it serves as mosque suitably its function.
The minaret was restored by General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums in 1953 and 1961. Its spire was renewed in 1973. The prayer hall was restored lastly in 2010 by Directorate General of Foundations. The recent restoration process started in 2007 and continued until 2010. In the course of the restoration process, ancient water channels were found under the mosque. Because of this result, restoration works lasted longer than normal and at the end on the floor a transparent section prepared which shows underneath ancient water channels.
Yivli Minaret Mosque is controlled and monitored by the State in order to sustain its cultural and historical values.
With its architectural form, Yivli Minaret Mosque represents a unique building type in Anatolian Turkish Architecture. When we compare it with other similar structures, it is possible to state that Yivli Minaret Mosque distinguishes from the others with its high fluted minaret form.
Gonbad-e Qabus from Iran which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012, was built by brick in 1006. Built of unglazed fired bricks, the monument’s intricate geometric forms constitute a tapering cylinder with a diameter of 17–15.5 m, topped by a conical brick roof. The 53 m high tomb bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran. With its architectural form, this building is very similar to Yivli Minaret Mosque but Gonbad-e Qabus is a tomb differently.
Another similar building is Qutup Minar, was commissioned by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate in 1199. The red sandstone tower of Qutup Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples. Qutup Minar inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993.
Fluted minarets are composing an important architectural group in Anatolian Turkish Architecture. This structural tradition influenced Anatolia by Seljuks. Subsequently this architectural form was improved by the Ottomans between 13th and 19th centuries.
Çifte Minareli Madrasah in Erzurum which was inscribed on the UNESCO Tentative List in 2014, has two minarets over the main entrance. According to the inscription on the portal, it was built in 1271 by Hüdavend Hatun, the daughter of Sultan Keykubad I. The east entrance of the madrasa and the enormous stone facade of ornamental brick and tile masonry with two minarets are remarkable. In terms of covered by glazed bricks, the minarets are similar to Yivli Minaret. But the flutes of minarets are more slender than Yivli Minaret.
Gedik Ahmet Pasha Mosque in Afyonkarahisar (1472), Üç Şerefeli Mosque in Edirne (1443-1447) and Burmalı Minaret Mosque in Amasya (1237-1247) have fluted minarets. But the spiral forms of the minarets are different from the Yivli Minaret Mosque. Furthermore, while Yivli Minaret was built by brick, all these minarets were built by hewn stone differently.
Karahasan Mosque in Tire (First half of 15th century) is accepted an exception, because its minaret was built by brick and has slender flutes on its trunk. But the flutes of Yivli Minaret are higher than Karahasan Mosque’s minaret.