The selection committee chose this essay because of its eloquent, well-argued analysis of a significant yet neglected monument. With reference to religious, scientific, political, and topographical factors, the author goes beyond current scholarly consensus to propose a new and convincing explanation for the mosque’s curious double alignment. Her study therefore constitutes a valuable addition to the scholarship on the Almohads, particularly with regard to how they sought to distinguish themselves from their Almoravid predecessors. If revised and expanded, this essay could be developed into an important published article. The committee would also like to award an honorable mention to Bahar Bilgin Uşar (MA student, Koç University) for her study “The Aksaray Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque Complex: Reflections on the Patronage of a Nineteenth Century Valide Sultan,” a detailed and meticulously researched essay that displays a scholarly range rarely encountered at the MA level.