The largest mosque of Ankara – Kocatepe Mosque

Tue, 18.11.2014 18:39

KYIV/Ukraine in Arabic/ Built between 1967 and 1987, the Kocatepe Mosque is the largest mosque in the city of Ankara. The majesty of the masjid is such that it is visible from almost all the parts of the city. The idea of building the mosquewas thought of in the 1940's. The construction was started back in the 1950's, however, because of its modern design the work was stopped for some time. Later on the work was resumed in 1969 and finally completed in 1987.

The mosque can seat over 15,000 people. The mosque has been built in the neo-classical Ottoman style architecture and is mesmerizing. The interiors have been designed intricately and the floor is completely carpeted with plush Turkish carpets. Carved from marble the four minarets and the cascading domes present a beautiful scene. The main dome is gold plated and the others are copper covered.

The idea of building the Kocatepe  Mosque dates back to the 1940s. On December 8, 1944, Ahmet Hamdi Akseki, the Vice-President of Turkish Religious Affairs, along with seventy-two founding members, established a society known as the "Society to Build a Mosque in Yenisehir, Ankara." In 1947 this society called for projects to be drawn up by architects, but none of the submitted projects were accepted.

In 1956, through the efforts of the late Adnan Menderes, Prime Minister of the time, land was allocated for the project to build a mosque in Ankara, and a request for projects was made once again in 1957. This time thirty-six projects were evaluated, with the joint project of Vedat Dalokay and Nejat Tekelioglu being chosen as the one to be implemented.

The accepted project was an innovative and modern design. The construction started, but due to heavy critique from conservatives for its modernist look, the construction was stopped at the foundation level. Vedat Dalokay later built a modified version of the Kocatepe Mosque after winning an international competition for the Shah Faisal Masjid in Islamabad, Pakistan in 1969. This mosque, which can accommodate 24,000 worshippers, is one of the largest mosques of the world, and accepted by many as the frontiers of modern Islamic architecture.

After a third architectural competition in 1967, a more conservative or nostalgic design by Hüsrev Tayla and M. Fatin Uluengin was chosen to be built. Completed in 1987, this project is built in a neo-classical Ottoman architecture style, and is an eclectic building inspired by the Selimiye mosque in Edirne, and the Sehzade and Sultan Ahmet mosques in Istanbul.


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