The iconic mosque located in Taksim Square of Istanbul was inaugurated on Friday (28/5) by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
The 30-meter-high mosque, which combines Ottoman style with modern materials, can accommodate 4,000 people. But today, some thousands of enthusiastic believers could not get inside and prayed in the surrounding areas.
With this mosque, the Erdogan puts his stamp on the famous Taksim Square in the center of Istanbul, realizing a dream of thirty years exactly eight years after the beginning of the demonstrations that almost destabilized his power.
“A mosque is missing from Taksim Square,” Edogan has said since he became mayor.
From the time he was mayor of the Turkish metropolis, Erdogan, as the Athenian News Agency reports, insisted that a mosque is absent from Taksim Square, where the only visible religious building there is an Orthodox Christian church (meaning rather the Holy Trinity Church).
The construction of the mosque, which began in 2017, has drawn sharp criticism as some have accused Erdogan of seeking to Islamize the country and undermine Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal.
Now, Erdogan’s imposing mosque overshadows Taksim Square Republic Monument with the statues of important personalities of the Turkish independence war led by Mustafa Kemal.
After announcing that the mosque would be inaugurated during Ramadan, Erdogan, obsessed with symbolic dates, finally decided to inaugurate the day of the start of the massive 2013 anti-government demonstrations, dubbed the Gezi Movement, focused on Taksim Square and drowned in blood.
The inauguration also took place on the eve of the anniversary of the Ottoman occupation of Constantinople in 1453, which is aptly commemorated each year by the nostalgic former Ottoman glory president.
The construction of the mosque is also part of a long line of moves by Erdogan to satisfy his conservative and religious electoral base, in an environment of discontent over the state of the Turkish economy.
According to analysts, this was the reason behind the conversion into a Hagia Sophia mosque.