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Yirmisekiz Celebi Tomb

Famagusta, North Cyprus

This tomb is to be found alongside the Sinan Pasha Mosque.

Yirmisekiz Celebi was a famous Ottoman diplomat, and a close relative of Sultan Ahmet III. His real name was Mehmet Faiz, but was given the nickname as he was a member of the elite Ottoman military unit, the 28th Janissary (Yirmi Sekiz is Turkish for 28), gradually becoming a favourite at the Saray palace, becoming head of security and master of the Janissary.

Yirmisekiz Celebi tomb, Famagusta, North Cyprus
The Tomb of Yirmisekiz Celebi

In the first decades of the 18th century, the Ottomans aimed to forge closer ties with Europe, and Yirmisekiz headed the committee looking at ways this could be achieved. In November 1720, he became the first Ottoman ambassador to France at the special request of the French ambassador to Istanbul.

Europeans for centuries had perceived the Ottomans as fierce warriors, were surprised by this diplomat, who dressed and behaved with culture and refinement. He wrote a book with his observations of France, initially for the Sultan and Grand Vizier, but ultimately printed for the masses, triggering the arrival of the printing press into Istanbul. This work was admired, not only in Istanbul, but in France and England.

After 11 months, he returned to Istanbul in order to be reassigned to Egypt. He returned with books, clothes, paintings and furniture samples, which greatly influenced Ottoman styles, which became more westernised.

In 1730, an uprising by Patrona Halil lead to Sultan Ahmet III being replaced by Mahmud I. However, the new Sultan had no time for the rebels, and after two months they were defeated and the leaders executed.

Patrona Halil had been a Janissary, and although Yirmisekiz Celebi had not taken part in the revolt, the link was enough to see his exile to Cyprus, where he died two years later.

See the location on Google maps.

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