Rize, Aug 6 () - An unusual mosque has been built on top of a 1,130-meter mountain in a Black Sea province in Turkey where President Tayyip Erdoğan’s father was born.
The lush mountain in the Rize province’s Güneysu district is known as “kıble,” referring to the Islamic term qibla, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca where Muslims face during daily prayers.
The reason for its name stems from the fact that the main ridge of the mountain faces Mecca and the mountaintop can be seen from most of the district.
The first mosque on top of the mountain was built in the 19th century. After the wooden structure was burned during a fire in 1960, a simple concrete hut replaced it as a praying place.
Erdoğan visited this newer mosque in 2010 when he was Turkey’s prime minister and instructed local authorities to restore and expand it.
After an asphalt road was built, the construction started in 2013 with donations from local businessmen. The historic Şemsi Ahmet Paşa Mosque in Istanbul’s Üsküdar neighborhood was used as a model.