The Center of Mosque Studies - Turkish and Belarussian leaders inaugurated Minsk Mosque in the eponymous capital of the eastern European country on Friday in a grand ceremony. The mosque, a replica of the original one built in 19th century and destroyed during the Soviet era five decades ago, was built by Diyanet Foundation linked to Turkey's state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs.
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the mosque in the ceremony that had originally been planned to take place in July but was postponed due to the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Built in 1890 by the Muslim community of Belarus, which is mainly composed of Tatars, the mosque was destroyed 54 years ago by Soviet officials who planned to replace it with a hotel. The rebuilding of the mosque was undertaken in 2014 and completed recently in line with its original Tatar architectural design and traits.
The mosque will be able to accommodate up to 2,500 people for prayer. The altar, pulpit and carpet will bear Turkish Ottoman features in addition to its original architectural design, while the entrance floor of the mosque will include a conference room, a computer room and an exhibition hall.