Tomb of Sokullu Mehmet Paşa

Tomb in Western Districts

Designed by Mimar Sinan and constructed around 1572, this türbe was part of a külliye (mosque complex) commissioned by Ottoman statesman Sokullu Mehmet Paşa (c 1506–79). Assassinated after 14 years as grand vizier, he was buried here next to his wife Ismihan, the daughter of Sultan Selim II. Inside, the stained glass is particularly noteworthy. The külliye also includes a medrese (seminary).

Sokullu Mehmet Paşa's life story is fascinating. Born in Bosnia, he was captured by Ottoman troops and recruited into the devşirme, the annual intake of Christian youths into the janisseries (this also happened to Sinan). After converting to Islam, he rose through the ranks, holding important positions such as high admiral of the fleet, before becoming a vizier and then grand vizier for a total of 24 years under three sultans: Süleyman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murat III. During his time in office, he amassed a great fortune and commissioned religious buildings including the Sokullu Şehit Mehmet Paşa Mosque in Sultanahmet.