Old gravestones in Karacaahmet Cemetery
|Year established||Mid-14th century|
|Owned by||Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality|
|Size||750 acres (3.04 km2)|
|Number of interments||over 1 million|
|Website||İBB Mezarlıklar Md. website|
The Karacaahmet Cemetery (Turkish: Karacaahmet Mezarlığı) is a 700 years old historic cemetery, located in Üsküdar, the Asian side of Istanbul. Karacaahmet cemetery is the oldest in Istanbul and at 750 acres (3.04 km2), the largest burial ground in Turkey.
The cemetery was named after a warrior companion of Orhan I, the second Ottoman sultan and is believed to have been founded in the mid-14th century. It is estimated that over a million people are interred in the non-profit cemetery.
Karacaahmet Cemetery comprises 12 parcels, each dedicated to different religious groups. Many historical headstones can still be seen with inscriptions written in the Ottoman Turkish alphabet, a version of the Arabic alphabet,. The burial ground is covered by high cypress trees.
The shrine of Karaca Ahmet Sultan, a 13th-century physician and saint of Alevis, a sect of Islam, is situated within the cemetery. There are also many other historical tombs and masjids, which is the Arabic word for mosques, built during the Ottoman period.
List in sorted order of the year of death.
- Kaçı Vehip Pasha (1877-1940), Ottoman general
- Reşat Nuri Güntekin (1889-1956), novelist
- Osman Zeki Üngör (1880-1958), composer, initial conductor of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra
- Fikret Mualla Saygı (1903-1967), painter
- Cem Karaca (1945-2004), rock musician
- Nezihe Viranyalı (1925-2004), female aviator
- Arif Mardin (1932-2006), Turkish-American music producer
- Mustafa Şekip Birgöl (1903-2008), retired colonel and the last veteran of the Turkish War of Independence
Damage by Marmaray project
By June 2007, a dent of 1.5 m diameter and 4 m depth occurred close to the cemetery wall, which was caused by the excavation works in the tunnel for Marmaray project. It was reported that some graves were damaged.
- "Time Out Istanbul". Time Out. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
- Municipality of Üsküdar (Turkish)
- European Alevi Unions Confederation official website (Turkish)
- Istanbul News (Turkish)
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