LOCAL > Construction works start in Istanbul for giant Çamlıca Mosque

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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The debated plans for the mosque on Çamlıca Hill will incorporate the highest minarets in the world, its architect had previously said. DHA photo

The debated plans for the mosque on Çamlıca Hill will incorporate the highest minarets in the world, its architect had previously said. DHA photo

Excavation works for a giant mosque on Istanbul’s Çamlıca Hill have started while the plan for another controversial mosque, to be built in Istanbul’s central Taksim, has changed.

Ahmet Vefik Alp, the head of a team running the project for the Taksim Mosque, said the team had been revising the previously revealed project, in line with the expectations of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to daily Habertürk.

Alp said the project’s “outfit” had changed and they had prepared two different versions, syntheses of modern and classical mosques, and that it was now time to wait for the instructions of the Prime Minister.

“Even though we didn’t have the chance to meet face to face with our esteemed Prime Minister, we were informed that he wanted the project we prepared in a modern way to bear more classical elements,” Alp said.

The project, which is being run by Taksim Mosque Culture and Art Foundation, will not be a copy of its former version, Alp added.

‘No judicial obstacles’

Alp also said there were no judicial obstacles ahead of the project, since all the complaints had been overruled.

On the other hand, another controversial mosque project has made a start, the daily reported. Some 50,000 trucks of earth excavated from a 15,000 square-meter area will be transported to Maltepe shore in the next 4 or 5 months.

An architecture competition was organized to help bring a new mosque project to life on Istanbul’s Çamlıca Hill after the prime minister’s announcement of a new mosque which would be visible from all parts of the city.

A commission set out to find a winning project, but had failed to determine a single grand prize winner by November 2012.

Two projects were named “second best.” Istanbul’s Association for Constructing and Maintaining Mosques and Educational-Cultural Service decided to build a six minarets mosque. 

The debated plans for the mosque on Çamlıca Hill will incorporate the highest minarets in the world, its architect had previously said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had announced on May 29, 2012, that the mosque 
would be built on a tract of land in Istanbul’s Çamlıca district. 


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Notice on comments

Murun Buchstansangur

4/5/2013 9:14:48 AM

@BMedic. I don't blame you (sorry). I agree with you. But Turkey just isn't secular despite its being so remaining the wishes of many who reside there.

mara mcglothin

4/4/2013 11:10:01 PM

In the 50s my parents got together with some friends and built a church home for our families. It is a very small church and now because those original members of the church are dying, there won't be a church much longer. The neighborhood is now older, and no new blood is coming in. Many of the children(like myself) prefer to worship closer to our homes, and not visit the old neighborhood. This is the way of the Church. That is how it should be in any secular society.


4/4/2013 1:39:56 PM

It would an interesting experiment to stop any official financing of Mosques or Imams, let their congregations pay for everything. I wonder how religious people would be then?

B Medic

4/4/2013 11:18:51 AM

@Tekion: I agree that the tax money could have been spent better. It is also true that AKP is a religious party. But the Turkish Republic's Department of Religious Affairs has spent billions on building big, lavish mosques long before AKP came to power. The Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara (1987)and Turkey's biggest Mosque; Sabanci Camii in Adana (1998) are two examples. Turkish secularism is not only hypocritical and discriminant, but expensive too.

B Medic

4/4/2013 10:52:18 AM

@murun. Don't blame me for the Turkish Republic's hypocritical way of dealing with religion. Turkish secularism has been defined this way since 1924. No other state talks so much about secularism as Turkey. Still, Turkey only promotes Sunni Islam and discriminates citizens of other faiths. 20% of Turks are Alevis. They pay for mosques and imams through their tax money. But the Turkish Republic never paid one single lira to build a Cemevi.

michele suzanne

4/4/2013 12:23:50 AM

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

michele suzanne

4/4/2013 12:14:45 AM

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” ― Plato

Tekion Particle

4/3/2013 6:53:05 PM

@B Medic, State do not control religion, in Turkey it seems the religion control the state. Allocating public's cash to projects that has no tangible benefit to the society should also be considered a criminal offense same as embezzlement. This mosque building project has no beneficial purpose whatsoever except giving lucrative work to AKP sponsors who happened to be a construction firm and elevating RTE as the great Muslim who ordered the building of this mosque like the Sultans in the past.

Jeffrey Gibbs

4/3/2013 5:30:11 PM

Trying to murder every bit of green in the city--but it's that Donald Trump mentality right? If you stick a building on it, it means its real pretty and yer real rich.

mara mcglothin

4/3/2013 4:44:37 PM

DUTCHTURK So if no tax monies are involved in the building and maintenance of mosques, then where does the huge Religious Affairs Directorate budget go? People in Turkey don't support their mosques in the same manner as we Christians in America support our churches. It isn't rocket science. Who donated the money then? Will someone provide a list? There should be no mix of government and religion period.
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