Kocatepe Mosque

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You might see it from your balcony, Kocatepe mosque is the largest mosque in the Turkish capital. (Photo Asim Bharwani)

It was built between 1967 and 1987 in the Kocatepe area of Kızılay, and its size and prominent situation have made it a landmark that can be seen from almost anywhere in central Ankara.

Some say it’s still the 2nd largest in Turkey, because the construction of the Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul is not over yet (90% done). However, Istanbul’s Çamlıca Mosque was inaugurated in mid 2016.The idea of building the Kocatepe mosque started in the 1940s. However it took, almost 50 years to complete the project.

 

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Photo Wikipedia

The initial project had an innovative and modern design. The construction started, but due to heavy critique from conservatives for its modernist style, the construction was stopped at the foundation level.

They later built a modified version of it after winning an international competition for the Shah Faisal Masjid in IslamabadPakistan in 1969.

This masjid, which can accommodate 24,000 worshippers, is one of the largest masjids of the world, and accepted by many as the frontiers of modern Islamic architecture.

After a third architectural competition in 1967, a more conservative or nostalgic design by Hüsrev Tayla and M. Fatin Uluengin was selected and built.

Completed in 1987, this project has a neo-classical Ottoman architecture style, and is an eclectic building inspired by the Selimiye masjid in Edirne, and the Sehzade and Sultan Ahmet masjids in Istanbul, which in turn, were influenced by the Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia.

 

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