Kuveyt Türk bank to fund Ortaköy Mosque restoration

Kuveyt Türk bank to fund Ortaköy Mosque restoration

A view of Ortaköy Mosque

December 24, 2010, Friday/ 17:31:00/ ASLIHAN AYDIN

Kuveyt Türk participation bank will provide funding for the restoration of İstanbul’s Ortaköy Mosque -- arguably one of the most important landmarks in the city.

Expenses for the restoration are expected to run approximately TL 3 million, which will be tax deductable for the bank, in line with recently passed legislation. The roof of the mosque collapsed last year, and a tarp was stretched beneath the debris. Following the incident, the General Directorate of Foundations added the structure to its 2011 restoration projects, with the plans drawn up by building experts at the directorate. The restoration of the mosque is estimated to stretch over a period of one year and will be closed to worship during that period. The Ortaköy Mosque was built in 1853 by architect Nigoğayos Balyan upon an order by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid. Even though the current minarets are similar in style to Balyan’s design, the original minarets collapsed in 1908. Later the original dome of the mosque was damaged and was replaced with a concrete reinforced dome. In later restorations, the ground floor of the building was made concrete. In 2004 former US President George W Bush made a speech with a view of the mosque behind him. The photograph appeared extensively in national and international media.

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