Soup Kitchen Eskidji Mehmed Dede

This soup kitchen is named after a tomb located in eastern direction, which is known to be the tomb of Eskidji Mehmed Dede. Both the date of construction and the name of its sponsor are unknown. Although historical sources do not give exact information about the function of this structure, the prevailing opinion is that it was a part of a complex comprising several structures, and that it was used for a social purpose (soup kitchen).

The “Eskidji Mehmed Dede” Soup Kitchen consists of two different structures; one of them has a monument character. It is built with a square plan, and covered with a dome, which sits on an octagonal tambour. The other one right at its side is a two-floored structure representing civil architecture. This structure was built according to the original plans, and integrated later into a soup kitchen’s function. On its ground floor, there is a kitchen and two rooms. On the first floor, there are three rooms and one living room. Both structures were restored by Osmangazi Municipality in 2008. Today, they are rendering service as a soup kitchen.

It is known that the current tomb of Eskidji Mehmed Dede formerly was located inside a mausoleum, but that this mausoleum collapsed for various reasons. Eskidji Mehmed Dede originally was from Amasya. His father’s name was Husam. He died in 1618. Historical records mention that he was one of the disciples of his Excellency Uftade, and that he guided Saint Mahmud Hudai in finding the right way. It is told that Mehmed Dede sometimes was busy with trade in the bedesten (the covered market), and sometimes working as a junk dealer. It is also stated that he, from time to time, wandered off these mundane affairs, and completely was engaged in spiritual life.

The tombstone of Eskidji Mehmed Dede bears the following inscription: “Eskidji Mehmed Dede who showed Hudai Mahmud Dede, one of the disciples of his Excellence Uftade, the right way, 988 A.H. (1580)”. “Türbedarı (Mausoleum Minder) Mehmed Emin Efendi. 1246 A.H. (1888). 24th day of the month of the Campaign” is written on another tombstone.