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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Erdogan inaugurate Taksim mosque

Its construction began in February 2017 in a project championed by Turkey’s president

Reuters Istanbul Published 30.05.21, 01:43 AM
Taksim Mosque, Istanbul

Taksim Mosque, Istanbul Getty Images

President Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated an imposing new mosque in Istanbul on Friday, fulfilling a decades-old goal and stamping a religious identity on the landmark Taksim Square in the heart of Turkey’s largest city.

The Taksim mosque and its 30-metre high dome loom symbolically over a monument to the foundation of the Turkish republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, whose staunchly secular legacy has been eroded by nearly two decades of Erdogan’s rule.

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After performing Friday prayers with thousands of worshippers, Erdogan said completion of the mosque marked the culmination of a dream for Turks, and that the call to prayer would be heard there “until the end of time”.

Erdogan told crowds outside the mosque that before building work started four years ago there was not even a prayer room at the site. “Worshippers were trying to pray here on top of newspapers, literally like a hen-house,” he said.

Construction of the mosque began in February 2017 in a project championed by Erdogan.

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