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Turkey opens new mosque in Istanbul’s iconic Taksim

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President Erdogan inaugurates Taksim Mosque that will host a congregation of up to 4,000 people in one of the most important centres of Istanbul.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has inaugurated a new mosque in Istanbul’s popular Taksim Square that will host a congregation of up to 4,000 people and boasts a parking area, as well as conference and exhibition halls. 

“Our mosque has already taken its distinguished place among the symbols of Istanbul,” said Erdogan, speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Taksim Mosque following Friday prayers.

He underlined that the mosque would be one of the most important centres of culture and art in the city.

“In addition to being a place of worship, Taksim Mosque will be one of the most important cultural and artistic centers of Istanbul with its digital library and reading, lounge, and exhibition areas,” he said.

Erdogan added that he considered the Taksim Mosque a “salute to the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, which we opened to worship a while ago, as a gift to the 568th anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul,” which will be marked on Saturday.

“I believe that this third important spiritual legacy that we’ve given Istanbul recently after the completion of the Grand Camlica Mosque and reopening of the Hagia Sophia will brighten our city like a lamp for centuries,” he added.

Importance of Taksim Square

Taksim Square is one of the most busiest areas of Istanbul.

Popular for vintage trams that run along Istiklal Caddesi (road), the area is also known for 19th-century buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, bars and street artists.

In the summer of 2013, a relatively small demonstration in Gezi Park, near the square, grew into a nationwide wave of protests against the government that left eight protesters and a police officer dead.

The government later said the demonstrations were an attempt to overthrow it by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) members who had infiltrated the police and judiciary.

Three years later, FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016 which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded.

Mosque features work of calligraphists

Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the vice president of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council, along with several Turkish officials including Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop, Vice President Fuat Oktay, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Communications Director Fahrettin Altun were also present at the ceremony.

The foundations of the mosque, which bears the signatures of architects Sefik Birkiye and Selim Dalaman, were laid on February 17, 2017.

Spread over 26,716 square feet, it also features the works of calligraphist Davut Bektas and miniaturist Adem Turan, with inscriptions from the Quran. 

The mosque’s prayer area has wooden wall panels.

Buff-colored carpets specially woven in the western province of Manisa cover the mosque’s floor below six plates emblazoned with calligraphy of the names of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, and the four caliphs –– Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, and Ali.

An nearly 28 feet mihrab (prayer niche showing the direction of Makkah) is built into one of its walls, while a luminous chandelier of 60 lights and 12 metres in diametre hangs from the mosque’s ceiling.

TRTWorld. (2021, May 28). Turkey opens new mosque in Istanbul’s iconic Taksim. Retrieved from https://www.trtworld.com/turkey/turkey-opens-new-mosque-in-istanbul-s-iconic-taksim-47076

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