Ahi Elvan Mosque, Örtmeli Mesjid, Sabunî Mesjid and Poyrajı Mesjid—four 14th and 15th century mosques in Ankara—a re-evaluation for their sustainable conservation

Erder, Evin
This study provides a re-evaluation of the physical condition of, as well as past and current restoration and conservation work at Ahi Elvan Camii, Örtmeli Mesjidi, Sabunî Mesjidi and Poyrajı Mesjidi—i.e., one Friday mosque, or camii, and three mesjids, or small neighborhood mosques, located in Ulus, today the historic center of Ankara. All four structures, now registered as historic monuments, have survived intact, preserving most of their original architectural elements. Each structure also represents a different example of a building type which became prevalent in Ankara during the 14th can 15th centuries which have stone foundations, mud brick bearings walls with timber tie-beams, as well as timber ceilings supported by freestanding timber posts. These structures, registered and restored during different periods since the 1920s, were intervened upon in various ways and clad and/or plastered with differing materials (e.g., cement-based or clay-based materials). Although at times past conservation interventions and/or signs of decay may be clearly visible, the effects of these on each structure as a whole—whether positive or negative—may be more difficult to detect. A micro-climatic investigation program thus provided the primary, non-destructive diagnostic technique for this study. In addition to this, published as well as unpublished documents within the archives of Vakıflar Genel Müdürlüğü, or the General-Directorate of Endowments in Ankara, provided visual as well as written information on the history of each structure. Their building materials, as well as past and present restoration and conservation work were also analyzed in situ. Based on long-term meteorological records for Ankara, data were collected at each structure for one year during January, April, July and October using Tiny tag® Plus data loggers on interior and exterior temperatures and relative humidity, as well as surface temperatures at their timber ceilings for one week per season. In addition to this, the distribution of temperature and relative humidity at each structure was measured every m2 within the main prayer hall and women’s section, or kadınlar mahfeli at each structure per season, and surface temperature measurements taken of their timber ceilings and interior wall surfaces. Data collected were subsequently analyzed with respect to various relevant factors such as; the physical characteristics of their load-bearing walls and the buffer capacity of materials within these structures and their effects on indoor microclimatic conditions, the risk of surface condensation at the exterior wall surfaces and the timber ceilings of each structure, suggested parameters required for the conservation of their interior timber elements, and materials conservation vis à vis existing comfort conditions. Past measures taken in the restoration and conservation of the four structures and their present physical condition were thus re-evaluated, and recommendations provided for possible approaches to their sustainable conservation in the long-term.


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Citation Formats
E. Erder, “Ahi Elvan Mosque, Örtmeli Mesjid, Sabunî Mesjid and Poyrajı Mesjid—four 14th and 15th century mosques in Ankara—a re-evaluation for their sustainable conservation,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2008.