Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Turkish Mosque, Midrand South Africa

In Midrand, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, there is a sight that ought to belong to the landscape of Istanbul. On a highveld koppie one notices the unexpected pencil-thin minarets of a Turkish mosque. They dominate the skyline, the crowning glory of a 52-hectare complex developed by Turkish businessman, 75 year-old Ali Katircioglu.

Said to have cost R 1.3 billion, the mosque is a scaled down version of the Sulaimaniyyah mosque in Istanbul, one of the grandest projects of the 15th century Ottoman architectural master, Mimar Sinan. In spite of being smaller than the original, Midrand's Nizamiyyah mosque is still a huge building framed by four 50 metre-high  minarets and a dome that is 31 metres off the ground.

The mosque complex also consists of a clinic, an educational facility and a shopping centre, where people can sip coffee, enjoy Turkish kebabs, browse in a bookshop and buy sweetmeats. Inside the mosque courtyard one enters a world of tranquility and aesthetic mastery where the soul is uplifted.

Photos Copyright Shafiq Morton

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