The Fatih Paşa Mosque was the first Ottoman mosque to be constructed in Diyarbakır. The mosque is named after its patron, Bıyıklı Mehmed Paşa, also known as Fatih Paşa, an Ottoman governor who led the army that conquered Diyarbakır in 1515. Another contemporary name for the mosque is Kurşunlu Camii (Lead-Domed Mosque), after its large lead dome.
The mosque is a domed cube fronted by an arcaded portico on the north side. A cylindrical minaret with balcony toward the top rises from the northwestern corner of the building. The portico has seven bays, each vaulted with a dome.
The prayer hall is composed of a square chamber divided into nine bays. The central bay is formed by four large piers that support the central dome, and four bays covered by semidomes flank this large central space. In each of the corners between the half domes is a bay covered by a small dome set on squinches. The lower ceiling-height of the half-domes accentuates the importance of the space under the central dome, allowing a hierarchy of spaces to de-emphasize the perfectly square plan of the prayer hall.
Flanking the square prayer hall on the northeastern and northwestern corners are small domed rooms only reachable from the portico.
The mosque plan already predicts the centralized plan of many grand Ottoman mosques that would be constructed in the following century. Despite the mastery of proportion evident within the mosque plan, however, the exterior is relatively plain.
In December, 2015, a fire resulting during skirmishes between the Turkish Government and the PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) badly damaged the mosque.1
Samuel Andrew Hardy, "A very brief and very remote review of recent damage and destruction of cultural property in south-eastern Turkey," Conflict Antiquities (blog), March 9, 2016. www.conflictantiquities.wordpress.com
Aslanapa, Oktay. Turkish art and architecture. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971.
Sinclair, T. A. Eastern Turkey: an architectural and archaeological survey. London: Pindar Press, 1989.
Sözen, Metin, and Ilhan Aksit. The Evolution of Turkish Art and Architecture. Istanbul: Has set Kitabevi, 1987.