Culture and Tourism Minister Eruğrul Günay has said he backs the idea of building a mosque on Üsküdar's highest hill, Çamlıca, on the Anatolian side of İstanbul but asserted that it should be constructed in a dignified manner rather than highlighting its size.
His remarks came after a flare-up of discussions among intellectual circles over the construction of a new mosque on Çamlıca hill that could be the biggest mosque in the city and visible from everywhere in İstanbul.
The minister spoke at a meeting of the Architects and Engineers Group (MMG), held at the Akgün Hotel on Saturday.
He made some personal suggestions, saying that the new mosque could be constructed in a similar way to new mosques which were made of marble from Crimea and Kazan, Tatarstan's regional capital. He also suggested that the new mosque be called “Ak Mescit” (White Mosque) to embolden cultural ties with other Turkic nations.
MMG President Avni Çebi vehemently criticized the government for its indifference to historic places as new government and local municipality projects do not pay enough attention to the protection of historic sites amid ongoing urban transformation in metropolitan areas.
He also lashed out at the selection of the project in a competition to design the mosque, saying that the competition must be held again.