Installing air conditioners on walls of historical mosques in Istanbul sparks controversy
The installation of air conditioners on the walls of the 1300-year-old Hirami Ahmed Pasha mosque in Istanbul and the later addition of tile coverings and plastic lamps inside the historical structure has stirred debate.
An air conditioner was installed on the wall of the place of worship, which was built as a church in the Byzantine period that was converted into a mosque some 150 years after the city was conquered.
As the apparatus of the air conditioner was mounted on the walls, heating system pipes were set into walls of the mosque as well by piercing, according to a Doğan News Agency (DHA) report.
While incompatible wrought iron railings were added to the windows, it is seen that the reinforced concrete and tile covered mihrab and pulpit were newly built.
As if all this was not enough, a chicken coop was built right next to the 13-century building.
Historian Mehmet Dilbaz told Demirören News Agency that a desire to install air conditioners in historical mosques has recently emerged although there is no need for an extra heating or cooling system (in these structures).
“Since these historical buildings are stone structures and they are built with a masonry stone system, they are warm in winter and cool in summer,” said Dilbaz.
“You certainly have no chance of seeing such an air conditioner in any 400-year-old or thousand-year-old church in Europe. But it has become a fashion for us,” he added.
The Sheikh Devati Efendi Mosque, built in 1650 and the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, which was built by Mimar Sinan (Ottoman architect), for the daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district were pierced and the air conditioners were hung, according to DHA’s report.