ZEYNILER GRAVEYARD AND ITS GRAVESTONES
The Zeyniler Mosque & graveyard are located in Zeyniler disctrict in the east part of Bursa very close to Emir Sultan cemetery. The kulliye with Zeyniler lodge was built during the reign of Sultan Murat II by Ramazan Hodja on behalf of Abdullatif Kudsi Effendi. There was a lodge and a madrasah on the west of mosque with the all necesarry buildings but today only the mosque & small graveyards are the remains. Abdullatif Kudsi Effendi is the founder of Zeyniyye lodge in Bursa and he devoted his life to train the sufis in order to advertise Islam & its principles. The Zeyniyye sect had been well-known all over Anatolia while Abdullatif Kudsi was alive so Zeyniyye lodge in Bursa became one the enlightenment centers in aerly Ottoman period. When Abdullatif Kudsi Effendi passed away in 1452 AD, the sect began losing its popularity and in 16th century AD it was disappeared. The lodge building was transformed into a mosque in 1568 by Muallimzade Ahmet Şemseddin Effendi. There are large three-part sides in the middle of courtyard closed vaults in the narrow one covered with a nartex. The mosque has a square plan and is covered with a dome in octagonal shape carried by columns. The walls were made of bricks and rubble stone in two rows. The altar and pulpit are quite simple inside the mosque and the mosque was restored several times in 1568, in1600, in 1679, in 1745, in 1761, in 1957 and in 2013. The Zeyniler graveyard is the oldest cemetery of Bursa with unique tombstones and most of them have a special form in shape called “” Zeyni style. “ The graveyards is behind the mosque and scholars, müftüs, lecturers, poets, seikhs, lodge masters, court judges and hodjas are buried here. Not only the members of the Zeyniyye sect but also different class of the inhabitants wanted to be buried here in order to benefit from the spiritual atmosphere. It is said that more than 1400 people had been buried since 15th century to be closed to the sect master but today only 70 tombstones & graves are the remains. The greater Bursa Municipality restored has the graveyard & has cleaned the old tombstones recently and has opened for the visitors. The graveyard has two main sections ; the sarcophagi and the tombstones. All of them are the oldest and unique. The main gravestones which are worth visiting and taking the pictures are ; Molla Hayali is one of the famous poets and his shrine behind the mosque surrounded by brass cage dated 1470, Molla Hüsrev is a famous sufi & scholar in 15th century and his grave is located in front of Molla Hayali, Mustafa Chalabi shaped in cylindiric stone dated 1554, Safiyye Hatun in Kufi form with Arabic letters dated 1582, Mevla Suca court judge dated 1509 with special Zeyni style tombstone, Fatma the daughter of Sinan in an Edirnekari style tombstone with tulip on top and Darwish Mehmet bin Hızırşah lecturer of madrasah dated 1480 in Zeyni style tombstone. The gravestone-lovers should begin their visit from Zeyniler graveyard as the first step and then follw the route to Emir Sultan, Green tomb, Turkish-İslamic Art Museum, Grand Mosque and Tophane & Hisar with first sultans of Ottoman empire. It can be easy to follow this route to see all historical cemeteries and gravestones in a full day.