Guzelyurt (Omorfo/Morphou), North Cyprus
North Cyprus  

Piri Osman Pasha Mosque

Piri Osman Pasha mosque is found in the upper part of Lefke. The mosque was a church in Byzantian time which was known as Ayyorgi. After Cyprus was joined to Roman Empire, the empire divided into two parts and that time Cyprus became part of East Rome called Byzantium. Cyprus was ruled by Byzantium for 789 years and the church was built in that period. But the exact day had not known. And the church was turned into mosque one of the Arab raids in 963 AD. And that time Byzantium and Arabs had an agreement. And there was an important point in that agreement which said that Byzantium did not destroy the holy places which were belong to islam. Byzantium was keept their words, and they didnít give any damage to Islam's holy places. So that, Islamís holy places remained stood. And Piri Pasha mosque is the one of these places. The mosque was ruined from lack of good care until the ottoman time. Cyprus was occupied by ottoman in 1570-71. One of the Kanuni Sultan Suleymanís (the Magnificent) viziers was the grandchild of Piri Osman pasha who was known as Mehmet Bey and he joined this occupation too. Mehmet Bey was a governor of Paphos sancak and he helped the Turks to settle their own rules and Lefke joined to this sancak too. When Mehmet Bey visited Lefke he saw this neglected mosque and he rebuilt it. And also he gave his grandfatherís name to this mosque which was known as Piri Osman Pasha. The mosque also known as Minareli mosque, Orta mosque and also it's old name Ayyorgi. One medrese opened beside this mosque but it ruined from day by day.

The mosque carries Ottomanís architecture style so it has three arches in front of it and five arches beside of it. Front arches stand on the column and beside arches stand on archaic. Only Piri Osman pasha mosque has dome in Lefke. They used hewn stone when they built it and it has only one gallery of a minaret. The bottom of the mosque is setting on the octagon body.

In front of the Piri Osman Pasha Mosque there are graves. But you can find only two of them today. One of them belongs to Vizier Osman Pasha and the other belongs to Huseyin Aga.

  There are many beliefs about this mosque. Most people believe that if they smash the onion in the Piri Osman Pasha Mosque when its cover smuches all illnesses disappear like the onionsís cover. And also Osman Pasha tomb visited by most people. They wish something and they light candles if their wishes come true. And also people tie a piece of clothes on the tence of mosque in this way they believe that their illnesses stay there like those piece of clothes and patients become healthy. 

This mirror site of Lefke Town website, is prepared by Eda Kandulu