Turkey to build Crimea’s largest mosque
SIMFEROPOL – Anadolu Agency
DHA photoTurkey is set to fully finance the construction of Crimea’s largest mosque, Crimea’s grand mufti said Sept. 28.
Crimea Autonomous Republic Grand Mufti Emir Ali Ablayev said the Russian administration had approved the project, which they had been trying to implement for 10 years – before the time Crimea joined Russia.
The mosque will be constructed in Crimea’s capital, which Crimean Tatars refer to as Akmescit and Russians as Simferopol.
“The worship venue will be built in an area of 2,500 square meters, and, together with the courtyard and the fountain, it will cover 5,000 square meters,” Ablayev said, adding that “about 5,000 Muslims will be able to worship at the same time.”
He said the mosque would be called the Friday Mosque.
Ercan Bekar, the owner of the Istanbul-based construction company Erbek İnşaat which will build the mosque, said the cornerstone of the mosque would soon be laid.
Erbek has 36 months to build the mosque, but the aim is to finish the construction within 24 months, Bekar said.
Bekar said the mosque complex would include a “home for the imam, library, car park, and market center. The project represents Turkish architecture,” Bekar said.
“Turkey’s Directorate for Religious Affairs [Diyanet] provided every kind of support for the implementation of this project, which will be Crimea’s largest mosque. Turkey will fully finance the construction of the mosque,” Ablayev said.
The grand mufti said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, former President Abdullah Gül and Diyanet head Mehmet Görmez had helped the project receive approval first from Ukrainian authorities, and then from Russian authorities. The Crimean Autonomous Republic joined Russia in March 2014 following a plebiscite, although Ukraine and much of the West has declared Russia’s takeover of the peninsula as illegal.