27 January 2022

President Erdoğan inaugurated Ethem Bey Mosque, restored by TİKA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a speech at the inauguration ceremony of Ethem Bey Mosque, restored by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “Ethem Bey Mosque is the common historical and cultural heritage of Turkey and Albania and the jewel of Tirana.”

Starting his speech by praising Allah for bringing them together on that day on such a good occasion, Erdoğan thanked those attended the inauguration ceremony for their patience, affection, and commitment.

Erdoğan said, “I know that you have come here from Skopje and Shkodër and waited here for hours. Today, we are having a packed day in Albania in every sense. I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings and love to my brothers and sisters from Kosovo. We are happy to inaugurate the works and projects that are the signs of the solidarity between us.”

Erdoğan reminded that in the morning, they delivered the post-earthquake houses built by Turkey in Laç, and stated that they were greatly happy that the damage caused by the earthquakes that hit the country on September 21 and November 26, 2019 was relieved.

Erdoğan wished Allah’s mercy on those who died in the earthquake.

Stressing that he was proud on behalf of his country that the 522 houses built for earthquake victims were delivered on that day, Erdoğan said, “We were in constant contact with Prime Minister Edi Rama at that time. These projects were implemented. I have just found the chance to address your deputies in the Parliament of Albania. Now, we are happy to reopen Ethem Bey Mosque for worship after the restoration activities carried out by TİKA. Ethem Bey Mosque is the common historical and cultural heritage of Turkey and Albania and the jewel of Tirana. Thankfully, the mosque, which was built by the children of conquerors by doing manual labor and putting effort into every single part, has been restored to its former glory and regained its architectural elegance. Embodying a very common and refined artistic approach in the Balkans with its hand-made colorful ornaments, this unique building is one of the most distinguished surviving monuments using Ottoman-era architectural techniques. Adding a unique beauty to Tirana during the day, the mosque will hopefully charm those who view it at night, thanks to its exterior lighting.”

“We have implemented 546 projects through TİKA since 1996.”

Stating that Turkey attaches importance to supporting the development of Albania, as well as reviving monuments that are part of its cultural heritage, Erdoğan said, “In this context, we have implemented 546 projects through TİKA since 1996. Hopefully, we will continue to stand in solidarity with the people of Albania. We will complete Namazgah Mosque by Ramadan unless anything extraordinary happens. I believe that the close, sincere, and effective cooperation between Turkey and Albania can solve any problem in the Balkans. I think that it is a necessity of our solidarity to implement such projects with my dear friend, Prime Minister Edi Rama, as soon as possible.”

Expressing his hope that the Ethem Bey Mosque will bring good things, Erdoğan told Prime Minister Rama to relay his thanks to the ministers of Albania for their support for the restoration process.

Erdoğan said, “I pray that the prayers said and the rituals performed in this beautiful mosque would be answered by Allah and would come true. May Allah not leave us without love, without water, without air, without a homeland, without a place of worship, without a minaret, or without a call to prayer.”

“We consider Erdoğan as an indispensable partner in our quest to revive this aspect of our cultural heritage.”

Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, attended the inauguration of the Ethem Bey Mosque, restored by TİKA.

Stressing that it was a joy and special honor to be there for the inauguration ceremony with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a great friend of Albania and Albanians, Prime Minister Rama said, “We consider President Erdoğan as an indispensable partner in our quest to revive this aspect of our cultural heritage.”

Rama added, “Thanks to his (Erdoğan’s) special interest and the cooperation between Turkish and Albanian historians, engineers, and restorers, we now have one of the most precious jewels of our Islamic cultural heritage. All of them were reborn in a magnificent way in the Ethem Bey Mosque, which is one of the most meaningful symbols of our history and embodies our historical bonds with the Turkish people, which is a sister nation.”

Rama noted that other mosques restored by TİKA in Berat and Gjirokastër regained their glory thanks to the meticulous work of the Agency. He stated that these mosques did not only serve Muslims, but also constituted a reference point for anyone visiting Albania.

Rana said that their efforts to revive Berat, Gjirokastër, and Shkodër would continue with President Erdoğan’s support, TİKA’s cooperation, and the valuable work and assistance of the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey.

After the prayer said by Ali Erbaş, Director of Religious Affairs, President Erdoğan, Albanian Prime Minister Rama, and the accompanying guests of honor cut the ribbon and inaugurated the mosque.

Then, Erdoğan, Rama, and the accompanying delegation entered and inspected the Ethem Bey Mosque.

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