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News Code: 809


Turkey historic Blue Mosque minaret shifts for 5 centimeters

One minaret of the historic Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul, popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior, will be dismantled and rebuilt after it was discovered that the minaret had shifted five centimeters.

The shift was discovered during preparations for a comprehensive restoration job.

“During the preparations, experts saw that there were holes between the stones of one minaret, that there was corrosion, and that the minaret had shifted three to five centimeters,” said İbrahim Özekinci, the Foundations Regional Director. “Thus, the stones will be dismantled. Each one will be numbered and then the minaret will be rebuilt. We also don’t know for how long the minaret has been in such condition.”

Özekinci said the expert reports on the issue did not point out any present danger or urgency, adding that the repair work of the minaret will be the priority in the restoration.

The Blue Mosque was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I. Being one of the most important mosques in Istanbul, it gained popularity after a visit by Pope Benedict XVI on Nov. 30, 2006 during his visit to Turkey,a as it was only the second papal visit in history to a Muslim place of worship. 
Source: ABNA