The highest hill in Istanbul is in the district of Camlica, located on the Asian side of Turkey's largest city. It is a popular viewpoint to admire the skyline of the ancient metropolis, featuring a minaret of a historical mosque that dates back to the times of the Ottoman Empire.
But in the near future, all eyes might be on the hill itself. This is the future site of a "huge" mosque that, when built, would be seen "from any point in Istanbul," according to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Construction of the controversial project started in March.
According to the Turkish newspaper "Today's Zaman," the property will be a 15,000 square meters (161460 square feet), or more than 2,000 soccer fields. The construction costs are estimated to be 43 million euros ($57.4 million) and the mosque will have space for some 30,000 people.
"When it comes to size, the project is very demanding. We will build an even bigger dome than our ancestors," said Haci Mehmet Güner to the Turkish newspaper "Hürriyet." Erdogan recently named him the head architect of the mosque project. "The mosque will have the world's highest minaret; it will be even bigger than the 105-meter-high minaret of the Medina-i Munawara mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia."