Turkey’s largest mosque, Camlica Mosque officially opens in Istanbul
Turkey on Friday (May 3) officially inaugurated the country’s largest mosque, located on a hill overlooking the Bosporus Strait running through Istanbul.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended Friday prayers in the mosque complex, capable of holding 63,000 worshippers.
Albanian President Ilir Meta, Guinean President Alpha Conde, Senegalese President Macky Sall and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh were present at the ceremony, along with several other international representatives.
The 63,000-capacity Camlica mosque on the Asian side of Istanbul sitting on top the famous Camlica hill can be easily viewed from every corner of the city.
It is more like a complex than a simple place of worship. The female-friendly mosque features special accommodations for the disabled, a platform where visitors can observe prayers, an Islamic art gallery, and museum, as well as a library.
It has six minarets representing six key aspects of Islamic belief. Four of them are 107.1 meters tall, a tribute to the Seljuk Turks’ victory in eastern Turkey at Manzikert in 1071 against the Byzantine army, opening Anatolia to Turkish settlement.
It’s 72-meter high central dome represents the 72 nations living in the city. The second dome — with a diameter of 34 meters — represents Istanbul’s official license number.
Sixteen names of Allah are inscribed on the inner walls of the dome, symbolizing the number of states founded by Turks throughout history.
A three-piece finial on the main dome, weighing 4.5 tons and at a height of 7.77 meters is the largest of its kind.
A 17,000-square-meter carpet rolled out at the mosque is a specially designed hand-knotted carpet. The minbar of the mosque, a pulpit from which sermons of Friday and religious festivals are delivered, is 21-meter high and can be lifted through an elevator.
The mosque which was built in the Ottoman-Seljuk style of architecture, was designed by two female architects, Bahar Mizrak and Hayriye Gul Totu, with a budget of roughly TL 150 million (over $27 million).
Camlica mosque had opened its doors for the first time to worshippers on March 7 which marked the holy night of the Islamic month of Rajab.
The foundation for the mosque was laid in August 2013.