Situated in the district of Şişli in the quarter from which it takes its name, the Teşvikiye Mosque was built in 1853. In earlier periods this area was called Haseki Square and Ottoman sultans occasionally visited here for excursions and sporting activities.
Abdülhamit gave the name of Teşvikiye to this district and encouraged people to construct buildings here.
The first mosque on this site was built in 1794-95 by Selim III. The inscription on the mosque, which still exists today, dates to 1794. The mosque fell into ruin over time and was reconstructed around 1853 on the orders of Sultan Abdülmecit. The mosque was last renovated in 1981 – 1982.
Teşvikiye Mosque was built on a rectangular plan with a gathering room (imperial court) for the sultan and his company of approximately 24 x 15 meters. A section of the basement floor was separated for the remaining congregation.
In the courtyard of the mosque there are two stones used as shooting targets. An inscription in the middle of the courtyard writes that Selim III hit a water jug with a rifle from 1260 gez (paces – a thousand yards); another inscription by the main street facing the courtyard writes that Sultan Abdülmecit hit a water jug with a pistol.
Mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. It comes from the Arabic word 'masjid' which literally means "a place for prostration". Mosques are also places where Muslims come together for different purposes such as education, social gatherings, public meetings, exhibitions, lectures etc. Although there is no specific requirement for mosques in terms of their architecture, one can see some common features inside and outside of many mosques such as minarets, domes, ablution areas, prayer niche (mihrab), pulpit (minbar) and so on.
Muslims are obliged to perform the ritual worship 5 times a day. They are not required to attend a mosque for each of these prayers however in order to interact with the community they are encouraged to pray in congregation. Friday noon is the only time in a week when Muslims must definitely join the congregational prayer in a mosque after which they can continue their work, education or other commitments.
Azan or the call for prayer is a vocal announcement that one can hear from minarets 5 times a day. The call to prayer is made live -even early in the morning- by a person called 'muazzin'. The muazzins are usually chosen from people with loud and beautiful voices and trained over years to make this announcement beautifully and invite people to worship.