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Eminönü Mosque

The Yeni Cami (pronounced Yeni jami), meaning New Mosque; originally named the Valide Sultan Mosque (TurkishValide Sultan Camii) and later New Valide Sultan Mosque (TurkishYeni Valide Sultan Camii) after its partial reconstruction and completion between 1660 and 1665; is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminönü quarter of IstanbulTurkey. It is situated on the Golden Horn, at the southern end of theGalata Bridge, and is one of the famous architectural landmarks of Istanbul.

The construction of the mosque began in 1597. It was ordered by Sultana Safiye, who was the wife of Sultan Murad III and later Valide Sultan (Queen Mother) of Sultan Mehmed III. She ordered the mosque in her capacity as Valide Sultan, two years after Mehmed III's ascension to the Ottoman throne in 1595, hence the original formal name "Valide Sultan Mosque".

The original architect was Davut Ağa, an apprentice to the great Mimar Sinan. However, Davut Ağa died in 1599 and was replaced by Dalgıç Ahmed Çavuş. The construction took more than half a century and was completed by another Valide SultanSultana Turhan Hatice, mother of Sultan Mehmed IV.

The project was hampered by political disconnect, and its location and monetary implications created dissent in the court. The Eminönü neighborhood was the city's foremost commercial center, and home to a predominantly Jewish population. In situating the mosque there, Sultana Safiye hoped to extend the sphere of Islamic influence within the city, capitalizing on the growing discontent of local and foreign merchants caused by the growing power and influence of their Jewish counterparts, which gave the Sultan an easy justification for confiscating their property. However, the vast monetary outlay drew sharp criticism. In particular, the Janissaries resented the growing political power of the Valide Sultan, and believed the mosque to be an unnecessary expenditure. Sultana Safiye was forced to abandon the project upon Mehmed III's death in 1603. The new Sultan, Ahmed I, had no interest in pursuing the project after Sultana Safiye was relegated to the harem and the construction was abandoned.