The October 23, 2011 (M-w = 7.2) and November 9, 2011 (M-w = 5.6) earthquakes increased the damage in the minaret of Van Ulu Mosque, an important historical masonry structure built with solid bricks in Eastern Turkey, resulting in significant shear cracks. It was found that since the door and window openings are not symmetrically placed, they result in unsymmetrical stiffness distribution. The contribution of staircase and the core on stiffness is ignorable but its effect on the mass is significant. The pulpit with chamfered corner results in unsymmetrical transverse displacements. Brace wall improves the stiffness however contributes to the unsymmetrical behaviour considerably. The reason for the diagonal cracks can be attributed to the unsymmetrical brace wall and the chamfered pulpit but the effect of brace wall is more pronounced. After introducing the cracks, a new model was created and calibrated according to the results of Operational Modal Analysis. Diagonal cracks were found to be likely to develop under earthquake loading. Drifts are observed to increase significantly upon the introduction of the cracks.