ISTANBUL: The largest mosque of Turkey opened for worship here on Thursday.
The opening of Camlica Mosque after a six-year construction period coincided with the holy night of the Islamic month of Rajab.
The 63,000-capacity mosque on Istanbul’s Camlica Hill in the Asian side of the city opened for worship with Fajr (morning) prayers and Azaan, call for prayer.
Built in the Ottoman-Seljuk style of architecture, the mosque can be easily viewed from every corner of the city.
It has six minarets representing the six beliefs of Islam.
Four minarets are 107.1 meters tall, a tribute to the 1071 Manzikert victory of the Seljuk Turks against the Byzantine army that opened up Anatolia for Turkish domination.
Its 72-meter high main dome represents 72 nations living in the city.
There are 16 names of Allah inscribed inside the dome, symbolizing the number of states founded by Turks.
A three-piece finial on the main dome, weighing 4.5 tons and at a height of 7.77 meters is the largest of its kind.
A 17,000-square-meter carpet rolled out at the mosque is a specially designed hand-knotted carpet.
The minbar of the mosque, a pulpit from which sermons of Friday and religious festivals are delivered, is 21-meter high and can be lifted through an elevator.
The mosque can host eight funeral prayers at a time.