East Africa is set to have its largest mosque by February 2019. The mosque, which will be in Djibouti, in the capital city, was constructed by Turkey's Diyanet Foundation (TDV). Construction began in 2017 and the mosque will open in February 2019.
The mosque is a resemblance of the glorious Ottoman Empire, a former bastion of the Islamic religion which had wide control over some parts of the world. The mosque is thus styled in the classic Ottoman Empire architecture, and magnificently stands over a suitable area of 10,000 square meters overlooking the Indian Ocean shores near the Djiboutian presidential palace.
The project construction manager Furkan Kazım Yüksel revealed that the mosque has a capacity to accommodate 5,000 people for prayer at once. "There is also a green area and a courtyard modeled after the Blue Mosque in Turkey." He also acknowledged the issue of the difficulty in constructing the mosque because part of the mosque rests on the ocean.
Adorning the mosque are two minarets reaching up to 45 meters each marking one big dome and four small ones, giving the mosque a brilliant architectural flair. Inside the cream white mosque, a low-hanging chandelier illuminates the illustrious Turkish hand-drawn patterns.
"The compound also includes a quarter for teaching children," he said, pointing beyond a fountain in the middle of the courtyard, which he said would be used for ablution. According to Yüksel, most of the materials come from Turkey, including cut stones that are used in Ottoman-style buildings.
The mosque is being viewed as "Turkey's gift to the people of Djibouti," alluding to the fact that Turkey has been in contact with Djibouti since the ancient times. "Our forefathers made contact with the people of this region in ancient times, and I feel honored to be part of this project," he said.
Turkey's activities in Djibouti are no longer limited to the military aspect, as the interventions are now encompassing development and humanitarian support. Turkish Ambassador to Djibouti Sadi Altınok said that Turkey has carried out several socioeconomic projects to benefit the people.
According to Anadolu Agency, a pediatric hospital is in the pipeline and a water dam has been completed by 50 percent. Clearly, these are massive projects by Turkey in the strategically-placed Djiibouti.
Header image credit - Daily Sabah