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TURKISH JERUSALEM (1516-1917) - page 16 / 36

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Mehmet Tütüncü

thousand purses to Jerusalem. Together with required material he dispatched the master architect Koca Sinan and transferred Lala Mustafa Pasha from the governorship of Egypt to that of Syria, this latter having been ordered to carry out the restoration of Jerusalem, gathered all the master builders, architects and sculptors available in Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo and send them to Jerusalem to rebuild it and to embellish the Holy Rock.

Süleyman never visited the city but the works he implemented in the city and the inscriptions set on his behalf are proof of this relationship. Thanks to his imperial patronage the city has preserved its character and integrity. It is still a living city.Old City of Jerusalem could be without any doubt called his city, Süleyman city.

After these immense works of Sultan Süleyman, the city became less of a point of interest for the later Sultans. In the 18th and 19th. century when the western (mainly) christian powers showed interest in Jerusalem the city attracted again the attention of Ottoman Sultans.

To call a few examples of later works: There is the restoration of the Citadel by Sultan Mahmud I., and Abdülhamid II., renovation of Tile works of the Dome of The Rock in 1874 by Sultan Abdülaziz. In later times Sultan Abdülhamid II was active in modernizing the Arab provinces and trying to integrate the holy cities to the capital Istanbul; by building railways, and telegraph lines. His 25th year of accession was overall celebrated with building of clock towers in ottoman cities. The British demolished the Jerusalem Clock tower and sabil in 1922.

In 9 december 1917 Turkish army withdraw from the city which became a scene of change, violence, war and struggle that it never had seen in the thousand years before.

When one nowadays walks in the streets of Jerusalem one can hear the voice of the city desiring for the peaceful times of Pax Ottomana.

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