Ground has been broken for a new mosque in Bergheim, Germany, spearheaded by an organization founded by local Turkish migrants.
The Bergheim Mosque and Culture Center will be constructed by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB).
Ceyhun Erciyes, Turkey's consul general in Cologne, and Bergheim Deputy Mayor Herrmann Rossler were among participants on Saturday at the groundbreaking ceremony. Speaking to the crowd, Erciyes said that the mosque will be important not only for the local Turkish community but also for the city itself. Construction of the mosque is expected to last some two years. The three-story project will be built over a 1,850-square-meter area and will have a capacity of 700 people.
The DİTİB, a Muslim organization founded by Turkish migrants in Germany, runs more than 900 mosques across the country. Germany, a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in western Europe after France. Among the country's nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin.