Dolmabache Mosque, Besiktas, Istanbul

By the time this post is up, I won’t actually be in Turkey anymore (don’t worry, I have so much material that I’ll probably be writing about it for months (suckers! muh hah ha hah)). I have to tell you that jet lag is a floozy so I’m taking this sudden burst of energy to get reacquainted with my old laptop. If I suddenly start arguing with myself mid-post, don’t worry, I’ll make amends with myself later over hot chocolate and pie once we’ve had a good nap to cool off. 

Life moves so fast. I cannot believe how short three months seemed.

It was a dream.

How in the world did I not gain about 25 pounds?

During the last few days of my stay I could hardly bring myself to take pictures (except of my friends) because somehow scenic Istanbul, over night it seemed, got so beautiful that pictures (at least my blurry, out of focus photography) could actually not do it justice. Depressingly so.

Sigh, ennui.

I found myself wandering the streets that I’ve navigated hundreds of times and marveling in the newness of Spring and being, well, thoroughly melancholic and bewildered. I thought to myself, how, after all of this time, do things still seem so beautiful and why don’t I have enough time to see it all again?

It’s been a dream.

Take for instance, the Dolmabache Palace Mosque. Next to the grandeur of the Palace it always seemed like a little…small. It took two months of walking by it nearly everyday to get to Kabatas for me to take a peek inside. And what the heck. It was beautiful.  Here’s a 360 of the place.

Dolmabache Mosque Istanbul Turkey 2013 (9)

Fact was I got used to seeing it all the time but by the time I was set to leave I couldn’t get enough.

“If you hadn’t been so concerned with stuffing your face with tost…”

Shut it you!

Dolmabache Mosque Strangers Istanbul Turkey 2013 (10)


Going into it once was not enough as I considered the fact that the powerful woman who commissioned it didn’t get to go into it at all. The Dolmabache Mosque is nicknamed the “Bezmi Alem Valide Sultan Camii” after the second wife of Sultan Mahmud II who requested a palace mosque. After the death of her husband she became the mother of Sultan Abdulmecid and therefore the most powerful woman in the Ottoman empire who saw to the building of several places around Istanbul. Unfortunately she died before her son could complete the mosque in her honor. Bezmi Alem Valide means “Feast of the World.”

It was peaceful there.

Dolmabache Mosque Istanbul Turkey 2013 (22)


There was a certain kind of sadness to it, a quiet solemnity on both trips that I felt, although maybe it was a reflection of my own inner state of leaving behind a place so important to me.


Dolmabache Mosque Strangers Istanbul Turkey 2013 (3).

Dolmabache Mosque Istanbul Turkey 2013 (23)


I really don’t know what else to say. Oh thank the heavens, you old windbag. But I do know that it was a dream. And I lived it.


Dolmabache Mosque Jasmine Low Istanbul Turkey 2013 (3)



2 thoughts on “Dolmabache Mosque, Besiktas, Istanbul

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