Atik Sinan

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For other uses, see Sinan (disambiguation).

Sinan-i Atik, also known as Azadlı Sinan and Atik Sinan (meaning Sinan the Freedman; azadlı shows that atik does not mean old, and is not used to distinguish him from Koca Mimar Sinan Agha), was an Ottoman architect of Greek descent for Sultan Mehmed II during the 15th century.


He is credited with being the architect who designed and built Istanbul's first selatin mosque, the Fatih Mosque and its complex, in 1471 for Mehmed II, over the ruins of the Church of the Holy Apostles, which was razed to the ground by the Ottomans in order for the Fatih Mosque to be built. Selatin mosques have more than one minaret. A source reports that Atik Sinan, was an Armenian Christian.

Legend has it that because the architect failed to make the dome of the mosque bigger and higher than Hagia Sofia, the disappointed and angered Mehmed II amputated the hand of the architect. Sinan complained to the city judge (kadhi), who ruled what the sultan did was unjust and judged that the architect could amputate the sultan's hand in return. Seeing the sultan submit to the judge's order, the Greek architect was amazed with Muslim justice, pardoned the sultan, and converted to Islam. The sultan rewarded Sinan by giving him the ownership of a whole street, a gift recognized by Ahmed III three centuries later according to a source.[1]


  1. ^ Rabah Saoud (July 2004)."Muslim Architecture under Ottoman Patronage (1326–1924)". Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation.