The construction of the first mosque in Athens in over 100 years is due to finish in late April, according to sources at the company building it.
The construction company sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, told Anadolu Agency Tuesday that the mosque, begun last November, is due to be completed within two months.
Construction of the mosque’s metal skeleton is nearly finished, and the work is going as planned, the sources said.
The mosque in the Greek capital will be located at a former naval base in the downtown neighborhood of Votanikos.
Greece’s parliament last August passed a bill greenlighting the mosque -- the first since the 19th century -- but an occupation of the premises by self-proclaimed Greek “patriots” stalled its construction. Construction restarted in early November after police interceded to end the occupation.
The mosque will be low-rise and will not include a minaret. It will be able to accommodate up to 350 worshippers as well as a parking lot and recreation area over its two-block-wide site. The budget for its construction is around 887,000 euros.
After the construction, the administration of the mosque will be under a board consisting of state officials and Muslim community representatives designated by the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religions.
Muslims in Athens are currently fulfilling their religious duties in approximately 70 underground masjids, or smaller mosques.
After the opening of the Athens mosque, the 70 underground masjids will need to obtain licenses in order to continue their services.
Reporting by Furkan Naci Top:Writing by Fatih Hafız Mehmet