PM announces construction of giant mosque in Istanbul

PM announces construction of giant mosque in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
PM announces construction of giant mosque in Istanbul

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.