Turkey opens mosque, Islamic center in Philippines

TACLOBAN, Philippines
Published 02.06.2017 22:53

The 400-square-meter Tacloban Mosque and Islamic Center in the eastern Philippines, built by a charity group run by Turkey's religious authority, had its grand opening on Friday.

Following Friday prayers, Filipino officials in the eastern city of Tacloban thanked Turkey's Diyanet Foundation (TDV) and the Turkish people for not forsaking their brothers.

"Turkey was one of the first countries to lend a hand to our country after the typhoon (Yolanda) in 2013. Turkey has given Tacloban a very valuable present and this will strengthen bonds of communion between the two countries," Tacloban Vice Governor Sambo Yaokasin said at the opening ceremony of the 350-person capacity mosque.

Ahmet Oztürk from the TDV, the charity arm of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate, said, "The TDV initially came here to help those affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Since then, we have been working on repairing and restoring places of worship damaged by the disaster. Turkish people stand together with their Filipino brothers."

Aisha Flores-Malayang of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) praised Turkey's "boundless generosity" towards the Philippines.

The TDV has spent some $1 million building, maintaining, and repairing mosques in the Philippines, including three in the eastern city of Ormoc.

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