Giant Turkish-built Mosque Complex Open in South Africa
A giant mosque complex built by Turkey, with 55-meter (180- foot) Ottoman minarets towering over a religious center, is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The Nizamiye Mosque dominates the clear skies on the main highway between the capital Pretoria and economic hub Johannesburg. President Jacob Zuma cut a red ribbon at the entrance to the structure, flanked by government ministers from South Africa and Turkey. Built in three years, the complex houses a central mosque, bazaar, Islamic school, sports grounds and a clinic. Wealthy Turkish property developer, Orhan Celik built the complex with the blessing of Nelson Mandela, Nobel Laureate and the country’s first black president. Mandela had insisted that a clinic be included. The magnificent yellow structure, with its 24-meter (80-foot) diameter dome, is a replica of the 16th century Selimiye Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the town of Edirne in Turkey. It is named after Nizam al-Mulk, a Persian hero who lived in the 11th century. The complex is the largest religious educational
Pic photo credit: AFP center in South Africa, and the southern hemisphere’s largest mosque complex in area.