Opening of Cathedral Mosque in Crimea postponed again for one year. Delay explained not by desire to lure Erdogan to peninsula, but by “multiplying Crimean Tatar flavor”

02 May 2019, 10:46

The opening of the Great Cathedral Mosque in Simferopol was postponed until spring of 2020, according to the “Project Monitor”, member of the State Duma of Russia from the illegally annexed Crimea Ruslan Balbek, Kryminform Reports.

He stated that the delay is due to the fact that “the Crimean Tatar flavor was added to the interior project”.

A decision was made to multiply the presence of the Crimean Tatar national flavor, to reflect the features of the national culture. The mosque will be the largest in Eastern Europe. The design of interior decoration has been already agreed. The opening of the mosque will be held April 21, 2020. This day is symbolic, since April 21, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin, by his decree, exonerated the Crimean peoples, Balbek said.

Initially, the opening of a new mosque in Simferopol was scheduled on the same “symbolic day”, but a year earlier – on the fifth anniversary of Putin’s signing of the decree on the rehabilitation of the deported peoples of Crimea, which has already passed.

During his visit to the annexed peninsula on March 18, Putin said that he had invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the opening of the mosque. And on April 23, he instructed the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation to consider the format of a possible visit of the Turkish leader to the occupied Crimea by June 1.

Active construction works of the Cathedral Mosque began in 2015 on the southern elevation of Simferopol, near the reservoir. The project includes two parts: the main building (37 by 37 meters in size) with a 28-meter high dome and a courtyard with colonnades and a Shadirvan. The mosque will have four minarets, each 50 meters high.

The general contractors are Russian companies, whose names are not disclosed because of the threat of Western sanctions. According to preliminary estimates of the Crimean “authorities”, the construction of a mosque will cost 2 billion rubles. Earlier, the opening date was postponed from April to August-September 2019.