President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s promise to build 500 apartments in Albania, as well as other Turkish aid, might include the building of mosques in areas affected by the deadly November 26 earthquake.
Asked by a Tema TV journalist whether Turkey will also build mosques besides apartments, Turkish ambassador Murat Ahmet Yörük did not deny such possibility.
On Friday, speaking after a meeting with Albania’s Minister of Culture Elva Margariti, also Coordinator for Planning Reconstruction Projects, Turkish ambassador Yörük replied to a journalist’s question about the possible building of mosques by saying that reconstruction projects will include different kinds of facilities:
“Construction of these buildings [apartments] might necessitate the building of some [facilities for] social needs, let’s say, for example this project includes a children’s park, business facilities, parking lots. That is to say, everything that is needed for a comfortable living will be included in the project.”
The ambassador added that the project design has not been completed and it will be agreed with the Albanian government.
Deputy President of the Turkish Housing Agency Levent Sungur said they will start their first construction project in Laç, about 50km north of capital Tirana.
Ambassador Yörük said the projects will be fully implemented by Turkey but the design will have to get the Albanian government’s approval.
Turkey forced the project design and is currently building the Tirana Grand Mosque, which will be the largest mosque in the Balkans.
Prime Minister Edi Rama is in Turkey today to attend a conference of investors from Muslim-majority countries. On December 8-9, Turkey has organized the “High Level Public and Private Investment Conference” with 57 member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Erdogan has promised Rama to ask these countries’ help for Albania’s earthquake relief.