This is Kocatepe Mosque, as seen through the smog common in afternoon Ankara, Turkey.  The mosque was started in 1967 and finished in 1987, and is the largest mosque in Turkey, if not quite the biggest in the world.  You can see from almost everywhere in Ankara!

Here we are at the front of the mosque.  Note the four large minarets; while this is a new building, they copied older buildings rather faithfully (no pun intended; well maybe a little).

From the front of the building looking back toward the car park.  Yes, there is a underground garage; there is also a huge shopping mall under the mosque.  This is not an odd juxtaposition; most mosques either have a shopping area under them or right next door.  After all, the faithful are commanded to go to pray five times a day...that is a lot of chances for drive-by shopping!  This mosque can handle 24,000 people, which is normal for a Friday noon prayer session.  It takes about two hours to get...out...of the area afterwards.

The inside, taken after removing our shoes and walking in through the front door.  The pillars are the bases of the minarets...

Looking up to the top of the dome.  All of the indoor pictures were taken with the camera on the "night" setting, which (while it did turn out better than the blacks and grays that the standard setting produced) was not much for resolution.

View to the side:

And the view to the other side:

Muslims like stained glass too.  This shot was taken on the "standard" setting to show the contrast

The standard mosque feature "stairway to heaven," done this time in marble.  The imam preaches about spiritual matters from here.  Note the carpet: handmade.  The lines are to standardized groups of people praying; eight thousand people can pray inside.  My friend Kadir bid on the handmade carpet project, but was underbid  :)

Another shot of the central dome. set you up for a closer shot of the main chandelier.  The chandeliers have, between them, one ton of gold that was donated by local merchants as a sign of faith.  I am, as ever, in the wrong line of work.

One last shot of the mosque; this time of the "bully pulpit" from which the imam comments on secular matters.  These are recorded and reviewed by the State; at least, they were until the current radical religious government took over.


To see more of Ankara, please click HERE