26 June 2019

Renovated Maglay Kurşunlu Mosque Opened in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The opening ceremony of the historical Kurşunlu Mosque, which is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina was restored by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), was held.

Despite the rain and cold weather, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Serdar Çam attended the ceremony conveyed the greetings of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy. After stating that he first visited Kurşunlu Mosque in 2013 with his family to observe the construction site, Çam expressed his gratitude to all institutions and individuals involved in the restoration of the mosque and remarked that he wished for it to serve as an auspicious place of worship for very long years. Emphasizing that Turkey's thoughts are always with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Çam stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina is among Turkey's priorities, especially with respect to investments and other activities.

Çam touched upon the time a flood occurred in 2014 when the restoration of Kurşunlu Mosque was still underway and expressed that thanks to the efforts led by TİKA at the time, nearly 500 homes and businesses were provided support. Moreover, Çam conveyed his hopes that a similar natural disaster would not occur and that economic and cultural development would continue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, he remarked that Turkey had carried out numerous projects with various Turkish institutions in order to increase employment opportunities and create development projects; he also stated that they would contribute to the further development and welfare of the people and Bosnia and Herzegovina through additional projects.

Turkey's Ambassador to Sarajevo Haldun Koç highlighted that relations between Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which stands out in the Balkans with its cultural and ethnic fabric, have always been at the highest level and said, "We all wish for the perpetual unity, integrity, welfare and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Your stability means the stability of the Balkans and our joy." Drawing attention to the fact that the Alaca Mosque had recently been rebuilt by the Directorate General of Foundations and that Kurşunlu Mosque had been restored and reopened with the support of TİKA, Koç said "We sincerely wish for this spirit of unity, togetherness and understanding to remain alive.

– Greetings to President Erdoğan

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Civil Affairs Adil Osmanovic emphasized that Turkey had profoundly changed compared to the past after President Erdoğan took office and said, "Turkey spreads kindness and approaches all the countries in the world with love. The people of Bosnia know how to return kindness with kindness. We'd like to convey our greetings to the distinguished individual President Erdoğan." Osmanovic signaled the importance of TİKA's activities in Bosnia and Hezegovina and expressed that it significantly contributed to the revival of Bosnia and Herzegovina's cultural heritage. Remarking that the people of Maglaj should feel honored since Kurşunlu Mosque, the symbol of the city since 1560, had regained its prior grandeur, Osmanovic thanked those who were involved in the restoration.

Prime Minister of the Zenica-Doboj Canton Mirza Ganic explained that his grandfather has worked at Kurşunlu Mosque 50 years ago and stated that his taking part in the opening as the prime minister of the canton was particularly meaningful to him. Stating that mosques are sources of goodness and serve that which is good, Ganic said, "Mosques are places for religion, culture, science, cooperation and socializing. Both Alaca Mosque and Kurşunlu Mosque will eternally serve as symbols of the Islamic tradition." The ceremony, during which Turkish and Bosnian hymns were recited and Counselor for Religious Services at Turkey's Embassy in Sarajevo Hasan Atlı recited the Kuran and a prayer, came to close with the ribbon cutting.

TİKA's Deputy President Serkan Kayalar, ministers of the Zenica-Doboj Canton, local governors, authorities from the Islamic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and hundreds of Maglajans attended the opening ceremony of Kurşunlu Mosque.

– Visit to flood victims

Additionally, Çam and the accompanying envoy visited the homes of and spoke with the victims of the 2014 flood. – Kurşunlu Mosque, also known as Kalavun Yusuf Paşa Mosque, was built in 1560. This Ottoman structure is considered a national monument in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The mosque, which was restored by TİKA and whose humidity problem was solved following the 2014 flood, is considered to be one of the best Ottoman works in the country. The minaret and dome of the mosque, which were damaged during the attacks of Austrian Prince Eugen Savoyski in 1697, were also harmed during the Bosnian War.


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