Mon, Feb 05, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ko discusses Turkish funding for third mosque on last stop of European tour

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, left, dines with members of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey on Saturday evening as his visit to Europe comes to a close.

Photo courtesy of the Taipei City Government

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday met with Turkish legislators in Istanbul, the last stop of his European tour, to discuss the possibility of building a third mosque in Taipei.

A Taipei City Government delegation led by Ko arrived in the city at about 5pm on Saturday and attended a dinner meeting with Turkish legislators and officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), specialists and other administrative officials.

The Turkish government has expressed its interest in funding the construction of a new mosque in Taipei.

After the meeting, city government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said the Turkish legislators and officials were friendly and showed their appreciation to the delegation, and they also thanked Taiwan for establishing charitable clinics and computer classrooms at school campuses in Turkey.

Liu said the Turkish legislators clearly expressed the wish to build another mosque in Taipei to serve Muslims in Taiwan.

Ko responded by saying that Taipei has always been friendly to Muslims and that many attended the city’s Eid al-Fitr fast-breaking celebration marking the end of Ramadan, and he would take their suggestions back to Taipei for further discussion, Liu said.

After yesterday visiting the Sultan Ahmed Mosque — popularly known as the Blue Mosque — Ko said the parties in the meeting had agreed to discuss the issue further, as they still have to decide how big the mosque would be.

He said the Turkish legislators proposed to donate the mosque to Taipei, but a location still needs to be designated by the city’s Department of Urban Development and approved by the city council.

When asked whether he expected the council to approve the project, Ko said he did not expect it to reject the plan, but consultation with the public would be needed.

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