Turkey Global Mega-Mosque Bonanza List

Michael Bird, Zeynep Şentek

A list of the mega-mosque projects Turkey has built or are under construction across five continents, revealing size, who is behind the financing, and when they are planned for delivery

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Rebuilding a Muslim hub in Russia's capital: Moscow Central Mosque. Photo: maqiivi, CreatIve Commons

Moscow Central Mosque

Location: Moscow, Russia

Investor: The Russian Religious Authority built the rough construction. Financing comes from businessman Suleyman Kerimov (86 million Euro) and the Diyanet Foundation (12 million Euro).

Cost: 109 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 10,000

Status: Opened in September 2015

Info: Over six floors with two 72m-high minarets, this is the biggest mosque complex in Russia. Diyanet President Mehmet Gormez said: “After the Bolshevik regime that lasted for 100 years (sic), it is very important to build this mosque in Moscow with minarets reaching the sky with a crescent on the top as the symbol of peace.”

Beştepe_Millet_Camii Sefacan Bekar

Presidential showpiece: new mosque in Ankara Photo: Sefacan Bekar (Wikimedia Commons)

Bestepe People's Mosque

Location: Ankara, Turkey

Investor: Presidency’s budget

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: 3,000

Status: Opened in July 2015

Info: Inside the Turkish President’s new 535 million Euro palace complex, this is 1,200 sqm in size with four 60-meter-high minarets.

corum central mosque

A pastiche of the pinnacle of Ottoman architecture, the 16th century mosque in Selimiye: Corum mosque, central Turkey, rushed into opening in this election year

Corum Central Mosque

Location: Corum, Turkey

Cost: 5.2 million Euro

Investor: Presidency of Diyanet, Diyanet Foundation, Corum Municipality.

Worshipper capacity: 3,000

Status: Opened in June 2015

Info: Designed as a copy of the 16th Century Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, buily by the master architect of the Ottoman rulers, Mimar Sinan. This is the fifth biggest mosque constructed during the Turkish Republican era (post-1923).

kirikkale central mosque

A pastiche of the pinnacle of Ottoman architecture, the 16th century mosque in Selimiye: Kirikkale mosque, central Turkey, opened in this election year

Kirikkale Central Nur Mosque

Location: Kirikkale, Turkey

Cost: 10.2 million Euro

Investor: Presidency of Diyanet & Diyanet Foundation

Worshipper capacity: 10,000

Construction status: Opened in May 2015 (by President Erdogan)

Info: Like Corum Central mosque above, this was also designed as a copy of the Mimar Sinan's Selimiye Mosque, leading critics to argue that Turkey is building identikit mosques of its masterpieces, rather than original designs or constructions which are in harmony with their surroundings.

Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque

Location: Ankara, Turkey

Investor: Diyanet

Cost: 13 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 6,000

Status: Opened in 2013

Info: Referred as “the VIP mosque”, this is within the Diyanet HQ, with seperate ablution rooms for state officials.

There is a tunnel between the Diyanet HQ and the mosque, which is only open to high officials and their guests.

During its construction phase, Diyanet constantly instructed mufti offices across Turkey to encourage mosque-goers to donate money for the building.


Dominating the Istanbul skyline: the plan for Camlica mosque (Photo: AA)

Camlica Mosque Complex

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Investor: Donations

Cost: 60 million Euro, possibly higher.

Worshipper capacity: 35,000

Status: Under construction, due mid-2016

Info: Reportedly the biggest mosque in the country since the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, this will have six minarets and will be visible from the whole city.

By comparison, only the holy mosque in Mecca (Al-Masjid al-Haram) has seven minarets.

Camlica will also include a library, an art gallery and a conference center for 1,000 people, as well as recreational and sporting facilities. The project is designed by two female architects, Bahar Mızrak and Hayriye Gül Totu.

Duisburg interior DITIB

Sumptuous interiors near the Rhine: Diyanet's German mosque (Source: DITIB)

Marxloh Pollmann DITIB Mosque

Location: Duisburg, Germany

Investor: 50 per cent EU and the state of North Rhine Westphalia, 50 per cent DITIB, Diyanet’s sister organisation in Germany.

Cost: seven million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 3,500

Status: Opened in 2008


Cologne Mosque: in legal limboland for two years. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/ Pappnaas666

Cologne Central Mosque (DITIB-Zentralmoschee Köln)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Investor: Funded by DITIB, Diyanet’s sister organisation in Germany, loans, donations from Muslim associations.

Cost: 34 million Euro

Worshippers: 4,000

Status: Delivered, opening delayed

Info: Over 4,500 sqm, this was designed by Cologne-born church architect Paul Boehm as an industrial spin on the Ottoman architectural style, with glass walls, two 55-meter minarets and a dome, a bazaar, lecture halls and library. Construction is finished, but opening is delayed due to an ongoing court case.

Pristina Mosque

Location: Pristina, Kosovo

Investor: Diyanet Foundation

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: 7,000

Status: Planning. Construction due to start.

Info: Over 40,000 sqm, this is another replica of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, including conference and seminar rooms and an education centre.

Mitrovica mosque credit By GentiBehramaj (Own work)

Recreating a vision of Turkish Islam in Kosovo: Mitrovica Mosque (Source: Diyanet)

Mitrovica Bayrampasa Isabey Mosque

Location: Mitrovica, Kosovo

Investor: Istanbul Bayrampasa Mufti’s office

Cost: Two million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 4,200

Status: Opened in June 2014

Info: Claimed to be the biggest mosque so far in the Balkans with two 48-metre high minarets. Donated by the municipality of Bajram Pasa in Istanbul, as a replacement for the Isa Beg Mosque damaged during Kosovo conflict in 1999.

Bucharest Mosque

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Investor: Romania provides land with market value of 3.9 million Euro, Turkey finances construction, most probably done through the Diyanet Foundation.

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: 1,500

Status: The Romanian Mufti’s office has authorisation for construction to begin

Info: The Mufti states Turkey should finance the project, although the details are not finalised. Construction must be finished by 2018 under a deal with the Bucharest authorities

Kardzhali Mosque

Location: Kardzhali, Bulgaria

Investor: Likely to be Diyanet

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: 1,500

Status: Unknown

Kazakh-Uni mosque (camilereyardim.com)(1)

Tirana Mosque, Albania: Called the biggest in the Balkans (photo: camilereyardim.com) Tirana Mosque

Tirana, Albania

Investor: Diyanet Foundation

Cost: 30 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 4,500

Status: Under construction, due in 2017

Info: In May 2015 Erdogan laid the foundation stone on Albania's mega-construction. Called the “biggest mosque in the Balkans”, this is part of an Islamic complex in the heart of Tirana, which is set to house conference and exhibition halls, libraries and museums. Nearby, a "museum of coexistence" will be erected, Erdogan said, adding that it would act as "a symbol of religious tolerance".

Budapest Mosque

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Investor: Diyanet Foundation

Cost: Unknown.

Worshipper capacity: Unknown

Status: No location found.

Info: Designed as an exhibition space, cafe, a four-minaret mosque, cultural centre and guest house, this mosque is still only at the planning stage.

The Budapest city mayor István Tarlós confirmed the question of a mosque “has been raised” with officials at the Turkish Embassy, but they have not yet found a suitable location.

Gorazde Kayseri Mosque

Location: Gorazde, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Investor: Kayseri people in Turkey

Cost: 0.95 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 1,000

Status: Opened in 2009

Info: In 2013, Diyanet announced that they also will start building, through the Turkish overseas development agency TIKA, a “culture and education complex” next to the mosque. There will be a conference hall, Gorazde Mufti’s office, other halls and a religious high school.

cambridge mosque - UK (camilereyardim.com)

Cambridge, UK is due an "eco-mosque" from the architects of the London Eye (photo: camilereyardim.com)

Cambridge Mosque

Location: UK, Cambridge University

Investor: Diyanet Foundation/local Cambridge community/Donors

Cost: 23 million Euro, projected cost.

Worshipper capacity: 1,000

Status: Designs completed, under negotiation.

Info: In 2013, Erdogan sent a team from the Diyanet and Diyanet Foundation and Prime Ministerial officials to Cambridge to carry out talks on a mosque in Cambridge. Architects of the London Eye Marks Barfield and Professor Keith Critchlow of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts were appointed by the Muslim Academic Trust to design what intends to be an “eco-mosque”. At three stories high, this is a mosque which aims to complement rather than overpower its surroundings.

“As yet no construction has commenced,” says Timothy Winter, professor of Islamic studies at the the University of Cambridge. “The land has been purchased and planning permission obtained. Most donations have come from the local Cambridge community, including, pleasingly, many non-Muslim neighbours who are strongly supportive of the plans. We are hoping for significant donations through Diyanet, but the mosque will not be a Diyanet mosque.”

Minsk mosque2 (camilereyardim.com)

Embracing the local style of Mosques in Minsk (photo: camilereyardim.com)

Minsk Mosque

Location: Belarus, Minsk

Investor: Diyanet Foundation

Cost: 4.5 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 5,000

Status: Planning

Info: There are 30,000 Muslims in Belarus.

NorthernCyprus mosque2 -camilereyardim.com

A Turkish stamp on Cyprus: Hala Sultain Mosque (photo: camilereyardim.com)

Nicosia Hala Sultan Mosque

Location: Nicosia, TRNC (Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus)

Investor: Diyanet & Diyanet foundation & Association of Cypriot Foundations

Cost: 13.4 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 7,500

Status: Construction started, due 2016

Info: Turkish Vice Prime Minister Besir Atalay was present during the “laying down foundation” ceremony in 2013. In his speech he said: “this project will be the Cypriot Turk stamp on this island” which is still disputed territory between Cypriot Greeks and Turks.

Crimea Mosque2- (camilereyardim.com)

Mosque plan for Crimea (photo: camilereyardim.com)

Crimea Seyit Settar Mosque

Location: Simferopol, Occupied Crimea

Investor: Diyanet Foundation

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: Unknown

Status: Designs completed, under negotiation

Info: The mosque is supposed to have started construction in March 2015, but is suffering delays due to the Russian accession of Crimea, this is still listed on the Diyanet Foundation’s site as an ongoing project.


Serving the Turks abroad: Dutch mega-mosque in Utrecht Picture Wikimedia/FaceMePLS

Utrecht Ulu Cami Mosque

Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

Investor: The Netherlands Islamic Union (HDV) Diyanet’s sister organisation in Holland

Cost: 11 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 2,000

Status: opened in June 2015

Info: The biggest mosque in the Netherlands with the tallest minarets. There are around 200 Turkish mosques in the Netherlands.

Aziziye Mosque

Location: Batumi, Georgia

Investor: Diyanet Foundation

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: Unknown

Status: unknown, local Government still has to find space

Info: In 2013, then Georgian PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said that the local government will find a suitable place for the mosque.

According to an agreement between the two countries, Georgia will restore the ruined Christian monasteries of Oshk and Ishkhan in northeast Turkey. However the nationalist Orthodox community is against the plans saying Georgia doesn’t need another mosque.

In Batumi, where the Ottoman State had ruled for about 300 years and built many mosques, there is one mosque that survives today.

Some local Muslims also want to build a mosque from their own pockets without interference from the Turks.


Nine Gaza Mosques

Location: Gaza, Occupied Territories

Investor: Diyanet Foundation

Cost: 16.4 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: unknown

Status: Planning done, construction due to start

Info: The Diyanet President said in 2014 they would start to rebuild or repair nine Gaza mosques that Israel has demolished, from a total of 70 wrecked places of worship.


Kazakhstan mosque opening - Erdogan_Diyanet President_Nazarbayev

Turkish President Erdogan and Kazakh counterpart Nazerbayov open Turkey's mega-mosque in Turkistan (http://www.aktifhaber.com/erdogan-kazakistanda-cami-acilisi-yapti-1156180h.htm)

Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Mosque

Location: Turkistan, Kazakhstan

Investor: Funded by Diyanet and Diyanet Foundation

Cost: 11 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 2,700

Status: Opened in April 2015

Info: Turkey calls this mosque "a gift" from the Turkish state to the Kazakh people.

At its opening, Diyanet Foundation representative Mazhar Bilgin said: “Except for concrete, steel and sand, everything to build this mosque was brought from Turkey. Marble, stones, electric instruments, paint, rugs, everything. Workers were brought from Turkey… The mosque reflects Central Asian Turkic and Ottoman architecture. We designed and produced everything in Turkey. So it was a beautiful way of showing these people the things we have, but they don’t have here.”

Kazakh-Uni mosque (camilereyardim.com)(1)

Space-age college mosque in Kazakhstan (source: camilereyardim.com)

Hoca Ahmet Yesevi University Mosque

Location: Turkistan, Kazakhstan

Investor: Diyanet Foundation & Diyanet

Cost: 2.7 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: Unknown

Status: Planning done, construction to start soon

Info: The mosque is to be built in the university campus.

kyrgzstan-bishkek mosque

Bishkek wins fresh mega-mosque injection (source: camilereyardim.com)

Bishkek Mosque

Location: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Investor: Diyanet Foundation & Diyanet

Cost: 27 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 6,000

Status: Due for 2017

Info: With four 70-meter high minarets, the Diyanet Foundation says it will be the biggest mosque in Central Asia.


Diyanet Center of America

Location: Lanham, Maryland, USA

Investor: Diyanet & Diyanet Foundation

Cost: 90.5 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 3,000

Status: Opened in June 2015

Info: The only mosque in America with two minarets. Built around the corner from Washington D.C.


Haiti - buhara el iman mosque2 (camilereyardim.com)

Plan for Haiti (source: camilereyardim.com)

Buhara El Imam Mosque

Location: Cap-Haitien, Haiti

Investor: Diyanet & Diyanet Foundation

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: 500

Status: Construction started in April 2014.

‘Ortakoy’ Mosque

Location: Havana, Cuba

Investor: Turkey

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: 3,500

Status: Proposal stage

Info: Turkey and Saudi Arabia are both vying with Cuba to open a mosque on the Caribbean island. Turkey’s proposal is a replica of the 19th century neo-baroque ‘Ortakoy’ Mosque in Istanbul.

Erdogan stated that if Raul Castro accepts Saudi Arabia's plan, he will instead open a mosque on another part of the secular and Communist island, probably in Santiago. There are 9,000 Muslims in Cuba.


Somalia Central Mosque

Location: Somalia, Mogadishu

Investor: Diyanet Foundation & Diyanet

Cost: 2.7 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: Unknown

Status: 75 per cent completed

Info: This will be the largest mosque in Somalia.

Haci Tenzile Erdogan Mosque

Location: Mogadishu, Somalia

Investor: Turkish Housing Development Fund (TOKI)

Cost: Unknown

Worshipper capacity: 2,300

Status: Opened in January 2015.

Info: The mosque is named after President Erdogan’s mother.

Mali-Bamako mosque

Aiming to free people "from slavery and ignorance": Mali mosque: (photo: AA)

Bamako Eyup Sultan Mosque

Location: Bamako, Mali

Investor: Diyanet and Diyanet Foundation

Cost: 1.9 million Euro

Worshipper capacity: 750

Status: Opened in December 2013

Info: Diyanet calls this construction the first mosque with “Ottoman architecture” in Africa.

Bamako has a twin town in Turkey, Eyup, which helped initiate the mosque. The Eyup Muftihood wrote on its website about the new mosque:

“It is very meaningful to build a mosque like this in a country where more than 70 per cent of the population’s only dream is to find a job as a servant in a rich person’s house… They, through this mosque, will be free from ignorance and slavery and will embrace the spiritual qualities that have been destroyed… These people will come alive, will stand on their own feet and [Mali] will become a truly independent country.”

This information comes from the local, international and Turkish media and from religious leaders in the respective countries.

However Diyanet and the Diyanet Foundation did not return our attempts to confirm this information, or provide us with new information.