Wednesday, 10 August, 2022

Taksim Square: Erdogan inaugurates controversial mosque in Istanbul

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 29th May, 2021 10:18:57 AM
  • Print news

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has inaugurated a mosque in Taksim Square, Istanbul - the plans for which sparked a wave of protests in 2013.

Thousands attended the ceremony with some praying in the square itself because the mosque was full.

The mosque features prominently next to a public space traditionally seen as a symbol of the secular Turkish republic.

It also dwarfs a monument to the republic and its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

"Taksim Mosque now occupies a prominent place among the symbols of Istanbul," Mr Erdogan said after saying Friday prayers at the site. "God willing, it will stay until the end of time."

Plans in 2013 to build the mosque in Istanbul's Gezi Park, in the Taksim Square area, sparked a wave of protests - both in the city, and solidarity protests across the world.

But what began as a demonstration against the redevelopment of the area quickly turned into a wider expression of anger against government policies, and what they saw as Mr Erdogan's increasing authoritarianism.