World Bulletin / News Desk
Professor Ahmet Vefik Alp, an architect, has revealed the details of a mosque project in İstanbul's busy Taksim neighborhood that also entails the construction of a cultural center and museum.
The mosque is expected to be constructed in an area near the French Consulate General in Taksim, which is currently used as a parking lot.
Alp's design was commissioned by the Taksim Mosque Culture and Arts Foundation and has received approval from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Regional Protection Board. It now awaits approval from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
On Thursday the design received an award from the International Union of Architects in Sofia, prompting Alp to give some information about the proposed works. He said the intention of the project was not only the construction of a mosque but of a broader cultural center, despite the limited space available for the project.
Alp noted that the center will include an auditorium, restaurant and museum documenting the histories of world religions, located underneath the mosque.
“The museum will run underground independently from the mosque. There will be three floors allocated to three religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- which will be connected to each other by moving walkways. The museum will be visited by tourists. So Taksim, which is a cradle of civilizations, will leave its mark on the world once again,” said Alp.
The mosque, he added, to be named Taksim Cumhuriyet Camisi (Taksim Republic Mosque), will be an example of contemporary architectural style.
The Taksim mosque will have a 300-person capacity on regular days, while its capacity will increase to allow 1,500 people to pray together in congregational prayers on Fridays.