ARTA (Halbeeg News) – East Africa’s largest mosque in Djibouti’s capital city is expected to be opened in early next year.
According to Turkish Diyanet Foundation (TDV) which funded the construction, the mosque whose construction started in 2017 will be inaugurated in February 2019.
Furkan Kazım Yüksel, project manager of the construction who spoke to Anadolu Agency, said the mosque which stands on an area of 10,000 square meters has an overflow capacity of 5000.
Located near Djibouti’s presidential palace, the mosque modeled in the style of classic Ottoman architecture, giving it a chance to be one of the sites to attract tourists from Muslim countries.
“There is also a green area, a courtyard, modeled after the Blue Mosque in Turkey,” Yüksel said adding that part of the mosque rests on the ocean, which made the construction very challenging.
Two minarets jetting up to 45 meters each mark off one big dome and four small ones to give the cream-white mosque building an air of architectural grandeur.
Inside, a low-hanging chandelier brightens 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.
He said that the mosque is “Turkey’s gift to the people of Djibouti” — a country with which Turkey came in contact in ancient times together with other countries and places in the Horn of Africa.
“Our forefathers made contact with the people of this region in ancient times, and I feel honoured to be part of this project,” he said.
Turkey is focusing on increasing its footsteps in the African continent.
Last year, the Turkish government built its largest overseas military training base in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.
It has the capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government.