President to embark on Latin America trip in February
AA PhotoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit Cuba, Colombia and Mexico as part of a Latin American trip from Feb. 9-12, while presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said there is no plan to lay the groundwork to build a mosque there at a press conference on Jan. 28.
Erdoğan wall visit Colombia on Feb. 9-10, Cuba on Feb. 10-11 and Mexico on Feb. 11-12. Meanwhile, Kalın refuted reported plans to construct a mosque in the country.
“There is no plan to lay the groundwork for a mosque during our Cuba visit. It’s not in our program,” he told reporters.
The visit to Cuba comes after Erdoğan’s controversial remarks in November that Muslims were the first to discover the Americas and a mosque once sat on a hill on the Cuban coast.
During his speech to the 1st Latin American Muslim Leaders Summit in Istanbul, Erdoğan said Muslim sailors arrived in America in 1178, more than 300 years before Christopher Columbus.
He also said Columbus had mentioned a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast.
“I will talk to my brothers in Cuba and a mosque would suit the top of that hill today as well,” Erdoğan said then, adding Turkey would build it if the Cuban government were to welcome such a project.