Turkish President Attended The Opening Ceremony of Sisak Islamic Cultural Centre
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Sisak Islamic Cultural Centre jointly built by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and Islamic Community in Croatia was opened with the participation of our President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Sisak Islamic Cultural Centre jointly built by TİKA and Islamic Community in Croatia was opened with the participation of our President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was on an official trip to Croatia. President Erdoğan gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the centre and said that he is very happy to be visiting Croatia, Türkiye’s friend and ally, almost 6 years later. Erdoğan added, “I am very pleased that I am here with you on this occasion for the opening of the Sisak Islamic Cultural Centre, one of the most significant examples of the cooperation between Türkiye and Croatia. I extend my gratitude to Mr. President, Mufti Aziz Efendi Hasanović, President of the Islamic Community in Croatia and all Croatian authorities for having the courtesy to give my name to the centre. May God sustain our union and solidarity.”
“I believe the centre will make Sisak, the city of rivers, even more beautiful”
Erdoğan reported that idea of building an Islamic and cultural centre in Sisak was first brought up by the former President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović during his visit to the country in April 2016. He added, "Mrs. Kitarović requested our country’s support for such a project, and we did not hesitate a moment and welcomed the idea. Islamic Community in Croatia started the project with its own means, and TİKA got involved in the project in December 2018. During Mrs. Kitarović’s visit to Türkiye on 16 January 2019, a memorandum of understanding was signed between TİKA and Islamic Community in Croatia. Thank God we completed this valuable project, which is a sign of our friendship and brotherhood. I believe this centre will be a leading meeting place in the city where our friends from other religions will spend time, too. Besides, with its wonderful architecture that successfully merges the traditional and modern designs, the centre will make Sisak, the city of rivers, even more beautiful.”
President Erdoğan wished this valuable project would be a blessing for everybody, primarily the people living in Sisak.
Milanovic: “Today friendship and peace reign over this old Croatian town”
Croatian President Zoran Milanović, too, gave a speech and stated that the centre is an important step in building dialogue, peace, understanding and friendship. He said, “Today friendship and peace reign over this old Croatian town, which hosts religions as well as important trading routes.”
Milanović said living in peace in a heterogeneous society is a struggle for everybody. He stated, “An Islamic community has been living in Sisak for long years. Our Bosnian brothers sided with Croatia in 1991, which was a difficult time for Croatia.”
Milanović said that although people believed in different religions, they fought for the same cause and added, “Their tombs are side by side, shoulder to shoulder. I know they see us now. This centre is dedicated to their courage, patriotism, and fight”.
Emphasizing that the disagreements of the past should be forgotten, and lessons should be learnt, Milanović said, “I always have respect for this centre. Unfortunately, we have made only a little contribution”.
Milanović extended his thanks to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and added, “This centre will also serve as a bridge connecting Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Hasanović: “We are proud that we have a friend to trust in”
Aziz Hasanović, President of the Islamic Community in Croatia, presented Erdoğan, who participated in the opening of the Islamic Cultural Centre, the “Founder’s Honorary Award of the Islamic Community in Croatia” and highly praised him.
Hasanović said Erdoğan is among the important members of the ummah and said, “We are proud that we have a friend to trust in. Islamic Community in Croatia is presenting Erdogan, our friend and brother, a special award.” Hasanović reminded that such awards have been given only twice in the 106-year history of the union and explained, “This one is the third. Previously, it was presented when the Zagreb and Rijeka Islamic Cultural Centres were opened respectively in 1987 and 2013.”
Hasanović said he is “the world’s happiest person” because he is next to Erdoğan and stated, “From now on, this place will be called Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Sisak Islamic Cultural Centre
The project was started by Islamic Community in Croatia in 2017 and it was completed with the memorandum of understanding signed between TİKA and Islamic Community in Croatia upon Erdoğan’s instruction during the then President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović’s visit to Türkiye in 2017.
The centre is built on an area of 12 thousand square meters and contains a mosque and an administrative building.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Sisak Islamic Cultural Centre has four floors and consists of a mosque, where 586 people can pray, 3 classrooms, where children can receive education, a multi-purpose hall, a restaurant, and a lodgement, where the imams working for the mosque can stay.