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Turkish Jerusalem (1516-1917)

and Kanuni by Turks. He undertook great infrastructural works to make the city more secure.

Most important of his works is the rebuilding of the walls of the city. Jerusalem had in Mamluk times no walls. Süleyman the Magnificent remade the citadel and also he undertook efforts to bring water to the city where 6 Sabils are still witness of this. He decorated his infrastructural works with inscriptions.

There are/were 35 inscriptions in Jerusalem bearing the name of Sultan Süleyman. That is abundant compared to other cities even to the capital Istanbul, Jerusalem comes in the first place for

containing Süleyman.

so

many

well-preserved

inscriptions

of Sultan

Süleyman had a special relationship with Jerusalem. Evliya Çelebi describes Sultan Süleyman’s special relationship with Jerusalem as follows2:

In the year 926/1520 Sultan Süleyman acceded to the throne and conquered the fortress of Belgrade 927/1521 and later on the island of Rhodes 928/1522 and accumulated thereby intense wealth. The prophet Muhammed appeared to him in a blessed night and told him: “O Süleyman you will make many conquests You should spend these spoils on embellishing Mecca and Medina, and for the fortification of the citadel of Jerusalem in order to repulse the unbelievers, when they attempt to take possession during the reign of your followers. You should also embellish its sanctuary with a water basin and offer annual money gift to the dervishes there, and also embellish the Rock of Allah and rebuild Jerusalem.”

Such being the order of the prophet Süleyman sends from his spoils one thousand purses to Medina and another

2 Yücel Da÷lı, et al., Evliya Çelebi Seyahatname 9th. Book, Istanbul 2005, p. 235, (English translation by St. H. Stephan)

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