President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reopened the historic Yildiz Hamidiye Mosque located in Istanbul’s Besiktas neighborhood on Friday.
During the opening ceremony, Erdogan said that the Muslim civilization in Iraq, Syria and Jerusalem was under attack, adding that it was important to protect the mosques and heritage left behind by our ancestors.
“The legacy left behind by our ancestors has been intentionally destroyed,” he said.
Speaking about last summer’s defeated coup where mosques were also targeted, he said, “Those who attack Turkey, target our places of worship first.”
"Allah willing, no one will be able to silence the Muslim call to prayer," he said.
Erdogan said that Turkey was also building new monuments, adding that it was important to educate the coming generations about religion, culture and history.
He said that the largest mosque of Turkey, Istanbul’s Camlica Mosque will be completed next year.
The restoration of the Yildiz Hamidiye Mosque was carried out by the Directorate General of Foundations at a total cost of 27 million Turkish liras ($7.6 million).
Adnan Ertem, director-general of the foundation, said that the mosque was restored in four years.
The mosque was built 132 years ago during the period of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II.