The Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs will finance the building of the Balkan’s largest mosque in the Albanian capital Tirana, authorities said.
Mazhar Bilgin, deputy chairman of the trustee committee of Turkey’s Diyanet Foundation, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the complex will be 10,000 meters square.
The mosque will be built near the Albanian parliament’s building in Tirana. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Albanian President Bujar Nishani, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Turkey’s top cleric Mehmet Gormez and Albanian Muslim community leader Skender Brucaj will inaugurate the construction work of the mosque Wednesday.
Bilgin told Anadolu Agency that the mosque will be able to accommodate 4,500 people. Turkish ambassador to Tirana, Hidayet Bayraktar, said the mosque is a gift from the Turkish people to their Albanian brothers. Bayraktar praised Albania’s model as a society where all religions live in peace. He also praised Albania’s progress toward becoming a European Union country.
Albania is a Muslim-majority country with a population of around three million people. It has been a NATO member since 2009 and is a European Union candidate country.