Tesvikiye Mosque Nisantasi
The mosque is connected to a rather strange episode in history when Sabbetai Tsvi (1629-1676), a Jew from Smyrna ( modern Izmir ), declared himself to be the Messiah and was quickly persuaded by the authorities to withdraw his claim and convert to Islam and then he was promptly expelled to Thessaloniki. His followers were called “Dönme (Converts)” and during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923 the Dönme came to Turkey and many of them settled in Teşvikiye and became known as “Selanikliler (people from Thessaloniki)“. Later the Sabbatians underwent their own split and as a consequence two schools were founded here, one for each of the two communities.
Opposite across the road is the impressive seven storey Teşvikiye Palas Apartments, at the junction of Cami Street there is a sebil that now houses a café, and nearby is the memorial to R. Hüsrev Gerede (1886-1962) who was an MP, diplomat and national hero. He was described by Ataturk as “a friend for hard times” and was with him when he landed in Samsun to launch the Turkish War of Independence.
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