World Bulletin / News Desk
The biggest restoration in half a century will soon commence at the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Eyüp Sultan Türbesi), visited by hundreds of Muslims every day.
The mausoleum is the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad's companion Khalid bin Zayd Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, also known as İstanbul's spiritual conqueror.
The tomb will remain closed for six months during the restoration, with just the visitor's window remaining open. The renovation will see the renewal of the lead plating. Embellishments will also be restored, with renovation of the ceramic tiles given prominence. Internal and external plastering will be repaired and wood, metal and flooring refurbished.
İstanbul Tomb Museum Directorate Managing Director Hayrullah Cengiz notes that the restoration will only commence after the relics contained in the mausoleum are moved to a secure location. "We want the finished product to be very good and envisage the project to be completed in about six months," he said.
Cengiz stresses that, outside of its spiritual significance, Eyüp Sultan Türbesi also holds great artistic worth. Stating that Ottoman sultans competed in attending to its service, he said: "The tomb contains artifacts donated by many sultans, from Sultan Ahmet II through to Sultan Abdülhamid II. The calligraphy of the most important calligraphers of the time as well as the calligraphy of the sultans themselves can be seen. Eyüp Sultan is a precious place not just for us, but for the Muslim world as a whole," he said.
According to Cengiz, there was a ban on visits to the tomb in 1925 as a result of the closure of dervish lodges, convents and tombs. In 1950 legislation was amended in relation to the reopening of 19 tombs for visits. The first tomb opened by the Democrat Party (DP) was Eyüp Sultan. After a 25-year closure, the tomb was repaired and readied for visitation. The first comprehensive renovation took place in 1961. Partial repairs have continued to the present day.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2011, 17:02