Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ali Pasha and Selime Sultan Shrine, Cappadocia

Architecturally and decoratively speaking, Selime Sultan Shrine in Selime town (Cappadocia) is a typical piece of Anatolian Seljuk art. It has an octagonal pedestal, a body, and a cone. Stone and brick works stand side by side in the shrine. The spiked arched are connected to each other on the top. The north side with decorative bricks is the entrance with the diadem door. The plate of the door is circled with a round arch, and the jambs are decorated with hexagon ornaments and zigzag motives. Dated to the late 13th century due to its architectural styles and materials, the Shrine is one of the most significant Seljuk monuments in Aksaray.

In his “Musameretu’l Ahbar”, Kerimuddin Mahmud-I Aksarayi, a Seljuk historian, indicates that Ali Pasha was murdered as a result of a treachery in present Selime area of Guzelyurt. Ali Pasha was an important person in Aksaray at that time. As a result of the disagreements between Seljuk Seigniories and pressure by the Mongol, Ali Pasha took refuge in Selime Castle. His enemies found him there, but they couldn’t get him as it was impossible to penetrate the castle. To draw him out instead, they engaged in a trickery saying that they wanted a deal. Ali Pasha, his brother Mehmet, and his five men came out, but wheyn they realized the trick, they couldn’t’ go back, since people inside the castle betrayed them and closed the doors. It is said that the shrine was built by his descendant Selime Sultan on their tombs, between 1316 and 1317. Thus, it is called Ali Pasha and Selime Sultan Shrine. Selime town takes its name from this shrine. 

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