The mosque, located next to the famous Vefa Bozacısı in the Vefa neighborhood, was used by a blacksmith and also functioned as a barn at the time. The rings installed to hold the horses can still be seen in the mosque.
An elderly local of the neighborhood, Adnan Manav, told Today's Zaman that he witnessed horses being brought inside the mosque. The 60-year-old man, born and raised in İstanbul, said: “We know that horses were tied inside the mosque. It was used like a barn. They used to tie the horses to these rings and shoe the horses. The mosque used to be filled with horses.”
At his party's parliamentary meeting this week, Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan revealed some historical documents belonging to the 1926-1950 period. Based on nine documents from the era, Erdoğan said 513 mosques, 327 parcels of land, most of which had mosques situated on them, and 1,070 masjids (small mosques) in addition to many churches, monasteries, property containing graves and cemeteries were sold during the CHP's rule.
Mimar Mehmet Ağa Mosque was renovated between 1958 and 1960 during the rule of former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. Manav said he and others witnessed in person that mosques were turned into barns and night clubs. “Now [CHP leader Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu doesn't accept that. He should come and say this to my face. I saw that Mimar Mehmet Ağa Mosque was a barn,” he added.