Turkey’s leaning minaret rivals Tower of Pisa
ELAZIĞ – Anadolu AgencyThe angle of an 11th century mosque minaret near the eastern Turkish province of Elazığ has drawn comparisons to Pisa’s famous leaning tower.
The red brick minaret of the Harput Ulu mosque in Elazığ’s Alayaprak district currently slopes at a 6.8-degree angle, 1.3 degrees greater than the Tower of Pisa’s current lean, which is 5.5 degrees according to the organization that looks after the World Heritage site in northwest Italy.
The Selçuk-era mosque in Alayaprak - the first built with an open-air courtyard - was constructed in 1157 by King Fahrettin Karaaslan of the Artquid dynasty, which ruled the region in the 11th and 12th centuries.
The Tower of Pisa was erected as a bell tower for the city’s cathedral 17 years later.
While not achieving the same degree of fame as its rival in Pisa, the minaret has attracted visitors to Elazığ for many years.
“The inclinometer has measured the inclination four times a day for two years,” said İsmail Aytaç, a Turkish-Islamic art historian at the nearby Fırat University.
“The final results have revealed that the current inclination is 6.8 degrees. The two-year measurement course also revealed that the lean of the minaret has not changed in two years. We can guess that the inclination was caused by shifts in the ground and earthquakes over the years,” Aytaç added.