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x0x Modern mosque attracts worshippers

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  • Turkish Culture List
    [See more on this subject by visiting the pages selected for you by Anita Donohoe: http://www.turkradio.us/k/shakirin/ ] x0x Modern mosque attracts worshippers
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 27, 2009
      [See more on this subject by visiting the pages
      selected for you by Anita Donohoe:
      http://www.turkradio.us/k/shakirin/ ]

      x0x Modern mosque attracts worshippers


      ISTANBUL -- Hurriyet Daily News

      Though Istanbul is full of historic mosques that
      draw foreigners and Turks alike, mosques
      constructed in the past 10 to 20 years are hardly
      tourist attractions, being generally criticized
      for their lack of aesthetic value.

      One new building seems to be an exception to that
      rule: People who come to pray there cannot keep
      themselves from snapping photographs, an unusual
      sight at a newer mosque.

      "It is extraordinarily beautiful," said $evki
      Yorulmaz, 60, who left Shakirin Mosque in the
      Uskudar district of Istanbul's Anatolian side
      after Friday prayers. "There are no words to
      describe it; one can feel the reverence while

      "The mosque is so beautiful and different [from
      others]," added Emel Tetik, 60, who had also come
      to the mosque to pray.

      Opened to worshippers in May, Shakirin Mosque has
      been called the most modern mosque in Turkey
      because of its architectural structure, which was
      drawn up by Husrev Tayla. A female architect,
      Zeynep FadIllIoglu, designed the mosque's
      interior, a newsworthy detail that has given it a
      touch of glamour.

      "It is transparent. It is in harmony with
      contemporary architecture," said $ukrettin
      Guldetuna, another member of the community.

      Added his wife, Dilek Guldetuna: "It is modern,
      but it is not cold."

      The couple came to the mosque with their children
      for Friday prayers; Dilek Guldetuna had already
      seen the mosque and wanted to show it to her

      Women pay attention

      Women in particular have demonstrated strong
      interest in the new mosque. A young woman sitting
      with her family in the building's garden said they
      had come to see the mosque while visiting
      relatives in Istanbul. "Our relatives told us that
      the mosque is so beautiful, and we came," said the
      woman, who is from the southeastern province of
      Urfa, but declined to give her name.

      That Friday, there were so many female visitors
      there was no room for latecomers in the area
      designated for women. The small, illuminated
      balcony was so full that mosque employees
      allocated a place outside for a woman who came
      late for the prayer.

      The entire mosque was crowded for Friday prayers
      and some men also stayed outside to pray. The
      assembled community was young and contained many
      people from different segments of society.

      "There is not a stable community for this mosque,"
      said muezzin Bilal Acar, the person who gives the
      call to prayer. He added that the building's
      transparent architecture makes the community
      concentrate more on prayer, as the green trees and
      the graveyard they can see outside the mosque
      remind them of the afterworld.

      The mosque is near a main street and close to one
      of the largest graveyards in Istanbul. Visitors
      from Bahrain, Mexico and Canada have all come to
      see it. "That means that the mosque is known both
      in the East and the West," Acar said.

      Another visitor that Friday was a young Catholic
      from Poland, law student Krzysiek Jankowski, who
      said he was "so impressed" as he sat in the garden
      of the mosque, reading pamphlets about Islam that
      he had taken from the famous Blue Mosque in
      Sultanahmet. Jankowski said he noticed the mosque
      while passing by and had come to look after he
      heard the call to prayer. "It is a modern style,"
      he said.

      Shakirin Mosque was built in honor of Ibrahim and
      Semiha $akir by their three children. The
      construction took four and a half years. Inside
      the mosque, transparent boards at the entrance
      give information in both Turkish and English about
      the prayers written on the mosque's walls.

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