The Asian side of Istanbul is not the most attractive part of the city for tourists. There are no popular historical sights or exciting walking routes here. However, interesting places can still be found here. These include, for example, the modern Çamlıca Mosque - it is considered the largest such structure in all of Turkey.
How to get there
The mosque can be reached by metro. The Kısıklı station is located approximately a 25-minute walk away from it. It should be noted that the road to the complex leads uphill, but those who decide to walk here will have the opportunity to enjoy wonderful views of the Bosphorus and the European part of the city.
Admission to the mosque is free.
A bit of history
The construction of the Çamlıca Mosque began in 2013 and lasted for six years. The complex was officially opened by the President of Turkey in May 2019. With six minarets, four of which reach a height of 107 meters, the mosque is the largest in Turkey. The building is considered one of the most modern mosques in the country. The building project includes an art gallery, library, and a parking lot with 3500 spaces.
The height of the main dome of the mosque is 72 meters, which is a reference to the 72 nations living in the city. The complex can accommodate 63 thousand worshippers. However, I have come across mentions that in case of emergency, such as an earthquake, up to 100 thousand people can take shelter here. According to one of the officials overseeing the construction of the mosques in Istanbul, Çamlıca is one of the safest buildings during seismic activity.
In several sources, information about a 34-meter dome of the mosque can be found. Presumably, this refers to the diameter of the construction. Here we also see a peculiar reference to the city itself. 34 is the car code of Istanbul.
The mosque's configuration repeats other similar buildings. One of the unique features of the building is that visitors can go up to the upper floors of the complex, which offer panoramic views of the main hall. Several elevators operate in the building for the convenience of visitors.
In the northern part of the complex, there is a large observation deck that provides a view of the Asian part of the city. To see, for example, the Galata Tower or Hagia Sophia, one would need to use binoculars or a camera with a good zoom.
Istanbul is often referred to as a city of contrasts. Therefore, I suggest that you transport yourself to the distant past and look at another iconic structure of the ancient city, the Hagia Irene Church. It was built around one and a half thousand years ago.
Have a nice trip!