Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan officially inaugurated Çamlıca Mosque, the largest in Turkey and one of the largest in the world, following the Friday prayers on May 3, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The giant mosque, sitting atop the biggest hill overlooking the Asian shore of the Bosporus, is part of a 90-acre complex featuring a library and conference hall in addition to various other public facilities.
On March 7, considered a holy night of the Islamic calendar, President Erdoğan unofficially opened Çamlıca mosque to visitors, a move seen as a boost to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s votes on the eve of March 31 local election by the opposition.
Çamlıca mosque, which Erdoğan ordered built in 2012, has a 60,000-person capacity and cost an estimated $100 million.
Pro-government media in Turkey has hailed Çamlıca Mosque as a rival to the historic Ottoman-era Sultan Ahmet and the Süleymaniye mosques on the European side of the city in the heart of the former imperial capital.
However, some architects have criticised the complex for being an imitation of Ottoman mosques, rather than having an original design. Others say that since it is built on a big hill, it does not serve the community as public transportation is limited to reach the facility./aa