Turkey builds biggest mosque of Balkans in Albania
Mosque to open by end of 2019 has capacity of up to 10,000 worshippers
By Esin Isik
A Turkish charity group is building the biggest mosque of the Balkans in the Albanian capital Tirana, according to a statement on Friday.
In a written statement, the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV) -- linked to the state Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) -- said the Namazgah Mosque will be completed and open for worship by the end of this year.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had attended the mosque's groundbreaking ceremony in 2015, where he said: "I believe this mosque will be a unique symbol of the brotherhood between our nations.”
The statement said 70 percent of the construction of "the 100-year dream of the Muslims in the region" was complete.
The mosque that is built in the area called Namazgah, or open-air place of worship, among locals will have the capacity to host 5,000 worshippers inside the mosque and 5,000 others in the compound.
The Namazgah Mosque is expected to become one of the symbols of Tirana city. It includes a library, cultural center, parking area, Quran course venue, exhibition hall, cafeteria as well as a conference hall.