Art / Design / Craft,  Places

Call to Şakirin

Many things have been done in the name of God, some good, some bad. I’d definitely say the Şakirin Mosque falls into the former category. This place of worship is notable for its extremely contemporary design sensibility and, perhaps more important, the fact that its interior was designed by Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu — a woman.Yes, this Üsküdar mosque is the first in Turkey to have a woman designer/architect lead the effort, and it’s quite unlike any other that I’ve seen. I visited in the late evening, and the effect of the screened, broken light through the tall glass walls is quite beautiful.

Mosques are segregated into men’s and women’s sections, so I can’t show you the view from women’s balcony, which I’m told is magnificent and spacious, especially compared to other mosques, as you’d expect, given the gender of the designer. There were women upstairs praying at the time, and my shutter click was obnoxiously loud enough to bounce off the dome . I’ve snuck a peek in other mosques, but not when anyone else was present. Still given what the downstairs looked like, I’d guess Ms. Fadıllıoğlu, did a terrific job balancing the solemn act of worship with a friendly atmosphere of welcome.