POLITICS > PM announces construction of giant mosque in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency

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The mosque on Çamlıca Hill will be visible from all parts of Istanbul, says Erdoğan. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

The mosque on Çamlıca Hill will be visible from all parts of Istanbul, says Erdoğan. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

A 15,000 square-meter mosque will be built on a tract of land in Istanbul’s Çamlıca district, and will be visible from all parts of the city, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced.

“We are going to build a mosque over 15,000 meters square next to the broadcasting tower in Çamlıca. The planning work is 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 late May 29, while speaking at the opening ceremony of a traditional handicrafts center in the nearby district of Kandilli.

Foundations General Director Adnan Ertem, Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, Police Chief Hüseyin Çapkın, Üsküdar Mayor Mustafa Kara and Emine Erdoğan, the prime minister’s wife, also attended yesterday’s ceremony.

The mosque complex will also include facilities underneath the building for traditional crafts, such as “hat” (Turkish calligraphy) and gilding, Erdoğan said. “In other words, just as there used to be madrasahs next to [mosques] in the past, our architects have undertaken to design something similar in this contemporary setting.”

Earlier in the day Erdoğan attended the re-opening of the newly renovated Fatih Mosque and the Mahmut I Library in Istanbul, on the 559th anniversary of the city’s conquest by Ottoman forces. The renovation of these historic buildings took 4.5 years to complete and cost about 24 million Turkish Liras, Erdoğan said.

“Our job is not yet finished. The restoration of the madrasahs on Akdeniz and Haliç Avenues is also beginning. Once they are completed, together with all the landscaping work in the vicinity, this region will be transformed into a very different [area],” Erdoğan said.

Other high-ranking figures attended the ceremony as well, including Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, European Union Minister Egemen Bağış, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir.


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two sides to every coin

5/31/2012 10:30:00 PM

This is only the start of AKP showing their true side of Erdogan being the supreme leader of the Islamic republic of Turkey. He is going the route of being totally isolated like his recent dictator friends, and look what has happened to them.

Richard Dickens

5/31/2012 10:11:32 PM

It is not the business of the government to build mosques in Turkey. (If I am wrong, please correct me, guys.) Recently, your PM has started coming up with new, extraordinary, and amazing ideas. In term of absurdity, the speech on abortion will get the first place, comparing abortion with Uludere massacre the second, and planning to build a GIANT mosque (surely without aesthetic) the third. But the worst thing is as follows: One nation, one religion, one leader... and the evitable end... Revol..

american american

5/31/2012 8:07:08 PM

blue dotterel, i think the sense of aesthetics he has come from his head.

iskander chasles

5/31/2012 8:03:47 PM

Exactly what was needed. The Government are on the ball.

mistique holland

5/31/2012 7:49:07 PM

@stern fred, Obama is not the boss of the USA but the Republicans with money from you know where....@ mara, They will not build a church but uch sooner a Synagog!! You lot just can't stand that all is going well in Turkey....silly folk

Dawn Utku

5/31/2012 7:38:29 PM

I hope the natural beauty of Camlica isn't going to be spoilt.

mara mcglothin

5/31/2012 7:31:35 PM

BLUE Someone does need to point out that bigger does not mean better. I like the Ortakoy Mosque the best! Even as a Christian non Turk(American) I want my ashes spread there when I die. No more beautiful place exists on the planet. I weep when I see it every time, and in 30 years of visiting Turkey I never tire of the vista.

Blue Dotterel

5/31/2012 6:40:24 PM

Let's hope it isn't too tacky. One problem with nouveau-riche, neo-Ottoman Muslims is that they have no sense of aesthetics. The most beautiful Mosque I have seen in Turkey is far from the largest - Selimaniye in Edirne. You notice Erdogan stresses big not architecturally beautiful. You would think Erdogan derived his sense of aesthetics from Texas - everything has to be bigger there - the worst notion in American culture, naturally, embraced by the PM.

mara mcglothin

5/31/2012 6:27:28 PM

Exactly FRED!!! Just imagine the outrage for a moment if Obama declared the USA a "one religion" nation and that a new mega church was being built. It is not the PM's business to get involved in the building of any religious buildings period.

Rimon Tree

5/31/2012 6:20:44 PM

"...One religion" was not that much a "slip of the tongue", or at the utmost one in Freud's sense, as everybody who watched the developement of the esteemed PMs politics has already suspected!
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