World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey on Friday began building a mosque on the iconic Taksim Square in Istanbul which the local authorities hope will create a major new Islamic landmark in the heart of the country's largest city.
Taksim Square is the bustling commercial heart of the city and has also been the focal point for decades of protests, including the 2013 demonstrations against the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then premier.
But it has long lacked a major place for Muslim worship, located in an area which in Ottoman times was the preserve of Europeans and home to several churches.
"It is pleasing that no one will have now to pray in the streets," Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbas said at the ceremony laying the foundation stone of the mosque, according to the Anadolu agency.
He noted that the two-minaret mosque would be adjacent to a historic Greek Orthodox church.
"Tourists who see the minarets of the mosque and the church will see how well we live together in this city."
Turkey under Erdogan has in the last years gone on a spree of building mosques but the authorities say this is needed to satisfy the needs of its worshippers in the Muslim country.
President Erdogan visits July 15 Martyrs' Monument near the July 15 Martyrs Bridge
Over 100 Turkish lawmakers were inside parliament when it was bombed 3 times during 2016 defeated coup
FETO orchestrated a defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured
Salt Lake turns red due to seasonal rise in algae, which also attracts flocks of hungry flamingos
Events marking 2016 defeated coup attempt will be held throughout the day, says Binali Yildirim
Terrorist reportedly responsible for death of teenager last year, says Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu
Turkish representations in Netherlands, Serbia, Guinea, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia hold events
Spain clearly showed it favored democracy and Turkey after July 2016 defeated coup, says Turkish ambassador to Spain
Turkey stronger, more resilient, more effective with new system of government, writes presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin
Palestinian diplomat says on night of July 15, 2016, Turkey gave the whole world a lesson in democracy
Turkish Airlines CEO says its first flights from Istanbul’s new airport will be to Turkish Cyprus, Azerbaijan this fall
Presidential spokesman speaks to reporters after first Cabinet meeting under new presidential system
President Erdogan will join march on July 15 Martyrs' Bridge in Istanbul
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election on June 24 marks Turkey's transition to presidential system of government
Turkish embassy in Islamabad hosts event in memory of victims of July 15, 2016 defeated coup