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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan
Camlica Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey - Famous Mosques
392    Dibyendu Banerjee    23/03/2022

Located in Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey, Camlica Mosque is the largest mosque and the most modern complex of its kind in Turkey, complete with its library, conference hall, art studio, art gallery and even a Museum of Islamic Civilization. Commissioned by the Ottoman Empire and inspired by the combination of Ottoman Islamic architecture, the architectural planning of the design of the great mosque began in the year 2000, under the leadership of two female architects, Bahar Mizrak and Hayriye Gul Totu, who took into account the possibility of an earthquake. Construction of the mosque began in 2013 and was completed six years after the commencement of the work at the cost of 110 million US dollars. Distinguished by its sound, light, heating, ventilation and security systems, the robust building of the mosque was officially inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 3 May 2019, in the presence of the Presidents of Senegal, Guinea, Albania and the Prime minister of Palestine and other foreign dignitaries. Followed by the inaugural ceremony, Çamlıca Mosque hosted the Morning Prayer on Laylat al-Raghaib, Islamic Night of Wishes, on 7 March, with the participation of almost 50,000 people.

camlica mosque

The Camlica Mosque is described by Christopher, a journalist who has worked on the developments in Iran and Turkey, as a huge box attached to a colonnaded courtyard, containing several domes and half-domes swarming around a squat central dome, surmounted by a golden, crescent-shaped finial. Situated on the Camlica hill, in the Asian quarter of Üsküdar in Istanbul, it stares at the Suleymaniye Mosque, facing the hill on the European bank of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The huge Camlica Mosque is visible from all parts of the city and its six imposing minarets marking the perimeter of the building and representing the six articles of the Islamic faith, attracts the attention of visitors as they approach it from a distance.

camlica mosque
The main entrance courtyard

The minarets of the Camlica Mosqueare meticulously centred around the main dome with the four minarets on even ends and the two smaller towers on the outer ends of the mosque. The four minarets that stand on even ends, equipped with three balconies, are 351.37 feet (107.1 m) tall and are dedicated to the Turk's Victory of Manzikert in 1071, while the other two minarets have two balconies and stand at 295.27 feet (90 m) in height. The Camlica Mosque is crowned with the 72 metres (236.22 feet) main dome, representing the 72 nations that reside in the city of Istanbul. The main dome contains a 10.23 feet (3.12 m) wide and 25.49 feet (7.77 m) tall finial weighing 4.5 tons. The finial, consisting of three parts, is the biggest in the world and is coloured with nanotechnology.

camlica mosque
Inside the mosque

With its 21.32 feet (6.5 m) high main gate, spanning 16.40 feet (5 m) and weighing in at 6 tons, the Çamlıca Mosque has some of the largest gates for a place of worship in the world. The main building has a Greek cross floor plan with a huge square to the front of it. Although it was built to accommodate around 37,500 people at a time, it can hold about 100,000 people in case of an emergency, arising due to a possible earthquake. However, the female-friendly mosque also has a separate prayer space for women, located in the central hall of the mosque with the capacity toaccommodate up to 600 people. The female arena is also equipped with a separate space for women to perform ablutions before prayer, a separate elevator to the prayer space and childcare, along with a playground area for the children.

camlica mosque

The construction of the Çamlıca Mosque was not a solitary project, it was rather part of a major project, undertaken by the Turkish government of the AK Party in an attempt to strengthen the economy with the vision of boosting the country's touristic economy and infrastructure investments. At the same time, the mosque was designed not only as a traditional mosque, reflecting the amalgamation of the Ottoman and Seljuk architectural styles. It is a huge complex in the modern sense and at the same time, an Islamic Ottoman social complex in the traditional sense. Apart from the mosque, the complex contains an art gallery, measuring about 37, 673.69 square feet (3,500 square m), a library of 20, 83333 square feet (3,000 square m), a conference hall, with seating arrangements for 1,071 people, eight art workshops and an indoor parking lot for 3,500 vehicles.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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