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OSMANELİ

Mini-Safranbolu near Bilecik                        Population: 14,500

osmane1Old name: Lefke

Market day: Friday

Osmaneli, near Bilecik, is one of the many mini-Safranbolus of old Ottoman houses that dot the northwestern corner of Turkey yet pull in far fewer visitors.

Long known as Lefke, Osmaneli merits a footnote in postal history since Turkey's first airmail letter was carried by plane from here to Bilecik in 1914. However, it's mainly interesting as a place to come to admire old Ottoman architecture without distracting crowds.

A picturesque town, Osmaneli is slowly being restored, starting with its Ulu Cami (Great Mosque), a gift of Rüstem Paşa, grand vizier and son-in-law of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, to the town. It was designed by Yüzgeç Mehmet Paşa, a pupil of the great Sinan.

Facing it, the imposing two-storied Hükümet Konağı that once housed the local government now houses the Fırtına Butik Otel.

Overlooking Balaban Meydanı one newly restored house has a fresco of Rumeli Hisarı, the castle in İstanbul, beneath its eaves.

Particularly magnificent 18th-century konaks (mansions) to look out for include the Tokluoğlu Konağı and the Cebecioğlu Konağı.

oeli1

In terms of specific sights it's worth looking out for the ruins of the huge Greek Orthodox Church of Hagios Georgios (St George), although the locals are more likely to direct you to the shrine of Bayraklı Dede, a local evliya or holy man, which is colourfully draped in Turkish flags, bayrak being the Turkish for flag.

Sleeping

Fırtına Bütik Hotel $$

Transport info

Minibuses to Osmaneli leave Birecik town-centre bus station every half an hour.

Travelling to or from Birecik it's easy to stop off for a quick look round Vezirhan too. 

More: http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action;jsessionid=16BF37709A4CB86DAA059A1E0848C406?newsId=241859&columnistId=0

 oeli4In the past terrible damage was casually inflicted on Osmaneli's fine housesoeli2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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