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Turkish President Erdoğan presents Cuba mosque project to Castro,
Although Cuban officials have already agreed with Saudi Arabia for the construction of a mosque in Havana, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has told Cuban President Raul Castro that Ankara would like to conduct its own project similar to Istanbul’s iconic Ortaköy mosque in another Cuban province.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Castro in Havana on Feb. 11, Erdoğan said Cuban officials had already made an agreement with Saudi Arabia for the construction of a mosque in Havana.
“We want to build the mosque ourselves. We don’t want a partner. If you find it appropriate, we would like to build it in Havana. But if you have promised a Havana mosque to other people, then we can build our Ortaköy Mosque in another Cuban province,” Erdoğan quoted himself as saying to Castro.
Mustafa Tutkun, the vice general manager of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), announced in November 2014 that Ankara had been negotiating with Cuban officials to build a mosque on two hectares of land in Havana’s historic center. The Diyanet had proposed the construction of a mosque similar to the picturesque Ortaköy Mosque in Istanbul, which was built by Ottoman Armenian architects Garabet and Nigoğayos Balyan in 1856.
Erdoğan added on Feb. 11 that “Cuban officials have no negative attitude” regarding the issue, stressing that the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), as well as the Diyanet, will finalize the deal.