Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) Secretary-General Abdurrahman Atasoy announced this, indicating that works for Friday prayers have been completed.
The municipality in Cologne, where a large number of Turks and Muslims live, has launched a project to allow Friday prayers for two years after which the DITIB applied for permission for its central mosque in Cologne.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Atasoy said: "There are a few minor problems left. I hope we will recite our first call to prayer here on Oct. 14, after we deal with the measurements and similar issues that should be resolved not by the constitutional framework but by the municipality."
He elaborated that the local people have been informed that Muslims are a part of the local community.
“We were born and raised here and we practice our religion here, so being a part of this place and being able to call the prayer is an indicator of this and also an important sign for us,” Atasoy said, thanking Mayor Henriette Reker for the decision that “is a link of the chain for mutual tolerance and acceptance.”
Murat Şahinarslan, director of the Moschee-Forum, elaborated that the DITIB applied for permission in November 2021 and submitted a report to municipal officials.
"Now they have provided feedback on the report and there will be a few minor corrections in the coming days. After they are fixed, we will sign the contract and start the project of reading the 2 years of Friday prayers externally,” Şahinarslan said.
He reiterated that similar implementations exist in other areas of Germany, but that it is a first in Cologne. Other mosques in the province have not applied yet, Şahinarslan said and indicated that the DITIB is ready to provide guidance and help during the process.
"When we built the new building, there was controversy. A magnificent complex was built in a central part of Cologne. Now the people are used to it, they refer to it as 'our mosque,'” Şahinarslan said.
The prayer will be read between 12 p.m.-3 p.m. and will not exceed five minutes at a sound level that will not disturb neighbors, similar to churches.
There are more than 900 mosques in Germany affiliated with the DITIB.
The latest permission constitutes a significant development for Muslims in Germany as Germany has experienced a rise in racism and anti-Muslim hatred in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of neo-Nazi groups and the far-right opposition Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Germany is home to 81 million people and hosts the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Of the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish descent.
Source: Daily Sabah