TODAY’S – State housing agency donates TL 10 mln to amlIca mosque

State housing agency donates TL 10 mln to amlIca mosqueThe Emlak Konut Real Estate Investment Partnership (Emlak Konut GYO), a subsidiary of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI), recently confirmed in a statement to Turkeyand#39s stock exchange that it donated $10 million toward the construction of a large mosque on Istanbuland#39s amlIca Hill, according to news outlets on Monday.The Millet daily ran a headline reading andldquoA $10 million secret donation,andrdquo which prompted reactions from investors in the company, listed on Turkeyand#39s stock exchange, the Borsa Istanbul (BIST), as well as a subsequent confirmation from Emlak Konut GYO.

Investors in the company were reportedly opposed to the firm making donations.The controversial mosque project has been vigorously supported by President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan and has been criticized for its massive size, lack of architectural originality and its unfortunate location atop a hill in one of Istanbuland#39s few remaining forest areas.

Critics have also claimed that Istanbul, a city with more than 3,000 mosques, simply does not need another one. Construction is presently under way on amlIca Hill, a popular area known for its picturesque views of Istanbul and the surrounding bodies of waterThe complex is expected to include a parking lot with room for 3,500 vehicles, a museum of TurkishIslamic artifacts spanning just under 11,000 square meters, a 3,435 square meter art gallery, a 2,750 square meter library and a 1,000-person capacity conference hall.

The colossal facility will span a 57,500 square meter area and the mosque will have room for 37,500 worshippers. This means that it will be considerably larger than the SabancI Central Mosque in the province of Adana, which is the largest in Turkey and features six minarets.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman