The Taskinpasa Altar Niche In Ankara Ethnography Museum – Chapter 2,
If you were curious as to which great mosque in which city this ancient and beautiful work came from, the reply would astonish you. This ancient altar niche, which has survived the wear and tear of centuries, comes from a small Anatolian village which few Turks even have probably heard, of, the village of Damsa in Urgup. Damsa is a typical, tiny Anatolian village 20 km. south of Urgup. Here Taskin Pasha, who rose to the rank of Emir in the fourteenth century, was brought up, and in 1350 he had a mosque and medrese built here at Damsa. The stone portals of the mosque and medrese are decorated with geometric designs and Rumi motifs. Taskin Pasha succeeded in immortalizing his name in the construction of this mosque. For it, he had built such a beautiful altar niche and pulpit, both made of walnut wood, that their equal will never be made again. The altar niche is 3.5 m. high and 2 m. wide, On the two Borders of the frame, are carved verses from the Koran.
On the panel over the arch are carved geometric designs, and in the niche itself and on the frames are braided flowers, winding branches, plumed designs, and Rumi motifs. Not one centimeter of the 7 square foot surface of the niche is empty but covered entirely with carving, relief, and inscriptions. Who designed this harmonious and lovely composition? I am sad to admit that I do not know. This artist created a work equal to any in the world and then did not write his name on a corner of it. On account of this humility of Turkish artists the names of most of them are unknown. The great architect Sinan was the same. None of his works carry his name. They were people who cared nothing for show and fame. “Man dies but his works are immortal,” they said.
You can find more details about The Taskinpasa Altar Niche In Ankara Ethnography Museum in Chapter 3.