ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
There is no concrete project to build a 15,000-square-meter mosque in Istanbul’s Çamlıca district, the Minister of Culture and Tourism said, following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s earlier announcement that the government will build the biggest mosque in Istanbul in Çamlıca.
“So many criticisms were voiced by society including religious segments to the idea of building a mosque in a place which is not a residential district. I suppose we will take these criticisms into account and proceed this way,” Ertuğrul Günay said June 13 in an interview on private broadcaster NTV.
Günay said there had only been an “exchange of views” on the issue and no governmental institution or municipality had plans for such a project yet.
Erdoğan announced May 29 that a giant mosque visible from all parts of the city would be built on Çamlıca Hill.
The prime minister also said planning work for the project was nearing completion.
“I believe the bulldozers will begin working within two months. This giant mosque in Çamlıca was designed so as to be visible from all parts of Istanbul,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan even gave details about plans for the mosque in his announcement.
“The mosque complex will also include facilities underneath the building for traditional crafts, such as “hat” (Turkish calligraphy) and gilding. In other words, just as there used to be madrasahs next to [mosques] in the past, our architects have undertaken [the task] to design something similar in this contemporary setting,” he said.
Çamlıca Hill is located in Üsküdar and is the tallest of Istanbul’s “seven hills.”