With its uneven terrain, Turkey’s Black Sea region often forces its residents to come up with creative architectural solutions. However, it’s not always the terrain that captures the imagination of designers of buildings in the sparsely populated regions dotted by mountains along the coast. For the builders of a mosque in the town of Eynesil in Giresun province, in search of a symbol for their town, the minaret of the new mosque was modeled after a samovar.
Giresun is not particularly known as the “tea center” of Turkey. That honor goes to Rize, another Black Sea province where tea production is the main business. The provincial town of Eynesil, otherwise known for its tasty nut exports, boasts five tea factories and residents’ devotion to this nationwide Turkish habit.
With this in mind, in 1987 a group of philanthropists set about building a mosque in the picturesque town on the Black Sea coast. The construction relied on donations and took 35 years as the mosque was decorated by exquisite designers. However, a unique cream-colored minaret, which differs from others in that it is shaped like a samovar, is already attracting visitors.
The “Green Mosque” is surrounded by a lush landscape, occasionally interrupted by a building here and there, but it is its strange minaret that took more than four years to build, much longer than the traditional minarets that grace the country’s mosques decorate that catches the eye. The mosque is now partially open for worship while workers continue to put the finishing touches on the exterior.
Ayhan Tufanoğlu, head of the association set up to build the mosque, told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday that they were trying to build a mosque that “deserves praise for its beauty, as our ancestors did to have”. Tufanoğlu, who also worked as a construction worker at the mosque, said they worked on the fine details of each block of stone that makes up the mosque. “For the minaret, we brought different colored stones from different places. Green bricks are delivered from the nearby town of Ören. Yellow stones are brought from Bayburt province and red stones are collected from Kürtün creek,” he says.
“Eynesil is famous for its tea and we wanted to make it more popular to represent it in our mosque. Samovar is also a symbol of unity, bringing together large numbers of people to drink tea, like people gathering for prayer in the mosque,” he added.