Turkey’s Erdogan to open mosque in Minsk next week

The Turkish leader is expected to arrive in Belarus on November, 11.

“A mosque destroyed in Soviet era Belarus, which has been rebuilt in the capital city of Minsk with the help of the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) will be opened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 11, 2016,” Turkish media outlet Daily Sabah reports.

The mosque started to be constructed in Griboyedov street in 2004. It will be able to accommodate up to 2,500 people for prayer.

In April 2016, the Turkish president confirmed his readiness to pay a visit to Belarus and called it ‘an island of stability in the region’. In turn, Alyaksandr Lukashenka thanked Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the invitation to the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

However, the visit scheduled for July 29 was canceled after a coup attempt in Istanbul overnight into July 16.

In August, the preparations for Erdogan’s visit to Minsk was discussed by Belarus presidential aide Usevalad Yancheuski and main economic advisor of the Turkish President Jemil Ertem. The sides discussed prospects of major Belarus-Turkey investment projects, including those which may be implemented under patronage of the presidents of the two countries.