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The Diyarbakir Ulu Cami : social history and interaction at the Great Mosque




Andersen, Angela Lyn.

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The Diyarbalur Ulu Cami provides an important architectural focal point for exploring intercultural and inter and intra religious interaction. The Ulu Cami, the Great Mosque of the city of Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey, has functioned as a place of worship and a centre of civic and community activities since its initial phase of construction in 1091-92, under Sultan Malik Shah of the Great Seljuks. By adopting - '. regional architectural materials and craftspeople, and through the inclusion of pre- Islamic, dassicizing spolia, the mosque complex has maintained a connection to the local vernacular. The ethnically, linguistically and religiously diverse population of Diyarbakir has influenced the form and development of the architecture through additions such as a distkct prayer area for Kurdish Shafi'i Muslims. Over the centuries, mosque patrons, including political and religious leaders, made efforts to incorporate architectural symbolism, revealing strength and piety by referencing such edlfices as the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus.