Ottoman-era mosque in Bulgaria set to undergo Turkish restoration
Turkey will renovate an Ottoman-era mosque in the Bulgarian town of Razgrad, the governor’s office in the Edirne province over the border stated on March 8, citing a decision reached after negotiations between the two countries.
Turkish officials are in contact with their Bulgarian counterparts, including Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, in order to start the restoration of the Ibrahim Pasha Mosque, which is the largest Ottoman architectural work in the Balkans still standing.
Currently closed to worship, the mosque’s restoration was discussed during a Bulgarian cabinet meeting on March 7 headed by Borisov.
The cabinet issued permission for the mosque to be restored by Turkey, appointing Razgrad’s Turkish-origin governor Günay Hüsmen to oversee the reconstruction process, the office said in a statement. The mosque will be opened to worship once the renovation has finished, the Edirne Governor’s Office added.
Bulgaria is home to numerous mosques, historical Turkish baths (hamams), and other historical buildings from the Ottoman era.
A total of 27 Ottoman-era mosques in Bulgaria are awaiting restoration as their minarets, walls and doors have either collapsed or suffered considerable damage over time, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
On the list are the Fatih Mehmed Mosque in the western city of Kyustendil, the Karaca Pasha Mosque in the southern town of Gotze Delchev, and the Ibrahim Pasha Mosque in Razgrad.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported that local Muslim authorities have been “complaining that Bulgarian officials do not allow the restoration of old mosques with no minarets.”