Historical Places


President Abdullah Gül also paid visits to historical, religious and cultural places in Yemen. As part of this, he explored the Yemen Bazaar (Bab Al Yemen), Al-Ordi Barracks, Al-Bakiriya Mosque and Al-Saleh Mosque.

Bab Al-Yemen
Al-Saleh Mosque
Al-Bakiriya Mosque


President Gül, upon arriving at the Bab Al Yemen, was welcomed with great enthusiasm by Yemeni people. He then explored the Great Mosque and Al Saleh Mosque.

Bab Al-Yemen

Bab Al-Yemen (Yemen’s Gate), also known as Sana’a Al-Kadim, symbolizes the region where today’s Sana’a was founded. The Sana’a Bazaar, with its hundreds of years of history and vibrant commercial life, brings the past to the present day. On entering the bazaar through the gate, one will see narrow alleys with stone houses, tall buildings with white windows and ornamented walls known to be the first skyscrapers in the world and a number of stores some of which sell dates, desserts, sweets and spices and others selling Yemeni traditional dagger knives (jambiya) and jewelry.

Al-Bakiriya Mosque

The First mosque the Ottoman Empire built in Yemen, Al-Bakiriya Mosque, with its minbar (pulpit), mihrap (indicating the direction of Mecca), dome and ornamentations on its wall, reverberates the Ottoman architectural style. In the side garden are 19 Turkish graves. The renovation work in the mosque is being carried out by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the General Directorate of Foundations.

Old City of Sana’a

Situated on a citadel called Ghumdan dating back to the 1st century A.D according to legends, Sana’a converted to Islam in 632. Abdulwahab ibn Tahir (1478-88) from the Tahiri dynasty constructed many great mosques and madrasas. Conquered by the Ottomans in 1516, the city witnessed the rule of the imams once again during the beginning of the 17th century. When the Ottoman Empire was defeated in the First World War, Yemen with Sana’a as the capital promulgated her independence under the leadership of Imam Yahya. In 1990, when the North and South of Yemen reunited, the city was declared common capital of both regions. The city is surrounded by 9 m high robust walls with a number of gates, the most interesting of which is the Gate of Yemen or Freedom Gate named after the 1962 revolution. In the center of the city stood the 7-storey Republican Palace, which was used by imams. The old bazaars and more than 40 mosques are in the east of the city. The most famous mosque is Camiu’l Kabeer, one of the oldest mosques in the world and which is treasured by the Zeydees as much as the Kaaba in Mecca. The Old City of Sana’a was placed on World Heritage List in 1984 and was proclaimed the Capital of Arabian Culture in 2004.


The President, after the inauguration ceremony for the Turkish Martyrs Memorial, visited the Al-Ordi Barracks, used as the Ottoman 7th Corps Headquarters. He also explored the hamam and mosque within the barracks.

Al-Ordi Barracks

Built in the 19th century during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamit II and known today as Al-Ordi Barracks, the Ottoman Empire’s 7th Corps Headquarters has a large yard where the troops once conducted military training. Within the complex were a hamam and a mosque beside which lie three Ottoman Pashas.

Today, the complex houses President Saleh’s office, the Defense Ministry and a museum that displays photos of Yemen during Ottoman times.