I had once come across a set of photographs in an in-flight magazine, of a beautiful mosque with giant swashes of calligraphic text painted on its walls, and these images rooted in my mind as something I needed to see in person. Over time I had forgotten about those inky loops, knots, and scimitar-tails on white— they had nearly left me until I visited Edirne and remembered that this was precisely the place where the mosque stood. I didn't know the name of the mosque, and so we hopped from one beauty to the next until we found the Eski Cami.
The night was cool and tinted orange from a nearby streetlamp. It was quiet, another world from Istanbul, and from the gate of the Eski Cami, I spied the alifs and laams of the name of God, like black spears pointing to the sky. My heart leapt in my chest, as I knew I had found what I was looking for.
The humble Eski Cami was built in the early 15th century during the Ottoman Empire, and it truly is set apart from other mosques in Turkey by its distinctive calligraphy. I needed to see the Eski Camii in daylight, and I needed to sketch it.