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.
Turkish foreign minister says Russian nationals will be able to stay in Turkey up to 90 days
At least four killed after strong winds hit several provinces across the country
Ex-diplomat Philippe Moreau Defarges makes controversial comment on French TV about assassination of Turkish president
People from all over Turkey and major cities of the world celebrate the special day; PM Yildirim visits Ataturk's mausoleum
Counter-terrorism operations in Sirnak province continue
Controversy casts doubt on the objectivity of OSCE after its members were accused of spying and supporting PKK
Turkish military also seizes several explosives, guns and artillery; 1 PKK collaborator captured
If EU does not accept new proposal, refugee deal to come to a standstill, EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik says
According to preliminary reports, an assailant has been killed in the blast in Suruc, Sanliurfa province
Analysts say passing of constitutional referendum should see near-term improvement in currency
Total number of returned refugees under Turkey-EU deal reaches 1,074
Thursday evening's shooting left one police officer dead and two others wounded
Weekly military operations report says 5 soldiers killed
Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss situation in Syria, Kremlin spokesman says
March figures from Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges show yearly drop in new firms
Turkish president hopeful Trump will take actions regarding Gulen, US-based mastermind of Turkey's July 15 coup attempt