Erdogan inaugurates major new mosque in heart of Istanbul
May 29, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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President Recep 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.
(CNN)President Recep 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-meter 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.
After performing Friday prayers with thousands of worshipers, 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.
Construction of the mosque began in February 2017 in a project championed by Erdogan, a devout Muslim, and his Islamist-rooted AK Party, but which was beset for decades by court battles and public debate.
Officials on Friday shared on Twitter a video showing Erdogan in 1994, the year he became Istanbul mayor, pointing from the top of a building towards the area where he said he would build the mosque, the exact spot where it now stands.
It is one of many construction projects with which Erdogan has left his mark on Turkey, including a huge hilltop mosque overlooking the Asian side of Istanbul.