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Divrigi, Turkey: Portal to the Great Mosque.
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Divrigi, Turkey: Portal to the Great Mosque. Photo: Sarah Murray.

Divrigi, Turkey: The Great Mosque.
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The Great Mosque.

Divrigi, Turkey: Wooden minaret.
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Wooden minaret.

Town in central Turkey with 20,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), on the Caltisuyu River, a tributary of the Euphrates River.
The main economic activity of modern Divrigi is iron-ore mining, representing the largest centre for this in Turkey. Most of the ore is transported over 900 km out to the ironworks on the Black Sea coast.
Divrigi lies on the SivasErzurum railway and is also linked by road with Sivas 130 km northwest.
Divrigi's architecture is quite unique in some respects; here are examples of wooden minarets and houses with inverted-keyhole windows. The twin structure of the Great Mosque and the Darüssifa sanatorium date back to 1228. The mosque is noted for its extraordinarily highly decorated portals. A ruined 13th-century walled citadel lies on a small hill above the town.

As part of the Byzantine Empire, it is called Tephrike.
9th century: Tephrike becomes a refuge for the Christian group of Paulicians, deemed heretics by the Byzantine rulers. It comes under protection of the Caliph in Baghdad, yet not part of the Caliphate.
1071: Conquered from Byzantium by the Danishmend Turkmens.
Around 1200: Becomes capital of the Mengücheh emirate.
1252: Razed by the Mongols, but rebuilt.
1516: Becomes part of the Ottoman Empire.

By Tore Kjeilen