Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf visits Stockholm’s Grand Mosque
STOCKHOLM – Anatolia News Agency
The Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf (C) and Queen Sylvia (3R) were welcomed by the mosque’s Turkish imam Ergin Öğçen (3L). AA photo
The Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf visited the Fittja Grand Mosque (Ulu Cami) in Stockholm May 4 in the framework of events marking the 40th anniversary of his accession to the throne. Accompanied by Queen Sylvia, the Swedish King was welcomed by the mosque’s Turkish imam Ergin Öğçen and other representatives of the Muslim community.
Ergin informed the King about the mosque’s architectural features. Seljuk, Ottoman and Turkish mosques were taken as a model, Ergin said, adding that the dome contained characteristics of Swedish architecture for which Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his satisfaction.
Following the royal couple’s 20-minute visit, Öğcem told the press that he was honored to have received the King at the mosque.
The Fittja Grand Mosque was constructed with financial aid from Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (DİB) and benefactors in Sweden.
Last March, a local administration’s decision to approve for the first time the reciting of the Muslims’ call to prayer from the minaret of the Grand Mosque had strengthened the ties between Muslims and Sweden.
The move had also been hailed by Turkey as Europe Minister Egemen Bağış had thanked Sweden in an official letter expressing his gratitude for the decision.