30 Haziran 2017 Cuma
800 Year-old Nail-less Wooden Mosque
türkçe links to original Turkish article
(Milliyet Newspaper, 28 June 2017)
Fortunately, the first Ace Hardware store had opened nearby
The 800 year-old Göğceli Mosque, known among local people as the
Nail-less Mosque, in Çarşamba district of Samsun province, has drawn
the attention of local and foreign tourists, as well as scientists and
scholars, because of its unique architectural technique. The mosque
was built without even one nail, using the 'Kurt Boğazı' (Wolf's Throat)
The mosque, which has the capacity to hold 300 worshipers, has swayed
during earthquakes but never collapsed in 800 years because of the
use of wooden earthquake wedges set in the ground. If the mosque ever
were to collapse it would fall toward Mecca (!) - the wooden columns
have a special bend to them that would make the building fall like a
worshiper prostrating himself to the 'kıble' (direction to Mecca).
The current imam of Göğceli Mosque, Ahmet Özköse, related two
legends about the mosque:
"It was built during the reign of Selcuk Sultan Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev I,
around 1205. The first legend is that after the Battle of Malazgirt (when
the Selcuks defeated the Byzantines in 1071), Anatolia was opened up
to Islam. Like everywhere else in Anatolia, Islamic guides came here
and had this mosque built."
"The second legend is that during the Islamification period there were
some principalities that resisted. A Moslam commander came with his
fleet to the Black Sea to break this resistance and had the mosque built.
In any event, there is no doubt that the mosque is 800 years old. In
1990, scientists took wood samples from the mosque and scientifically
proved its age. God willing, it will remain standing."
Çarşamba district is in eastern Samsun province.